Learning Communities

Learning Communities class photo
An exciting way to learn

Research shows that students who participate in a learning community earn higher grades, make friends faster and graduate at higher and faster rates than students who don't participate.*

* The National Resource Center for Learning Communities

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What is a Learning Community?

Watch a short video about Learning Community to learn more.

  • A common group of students is enrolled in the same classes.
  • Students and faculty build connections between subject matter, disciplines and ideas.
  • The community focuses on a central theme common to the disciplines.
  • Courses are collaboratively taught by faculty from two or more content areas.
  • Collaborative and experiential learning are central to learning communities.
  • Multicultural thinking is encouraged to promote the understanding of diverse perspectives.

Spring 2022 Courses

Intersections- Art and Literature in Contemporary Culture

ART105-0LW, CRN 63983 and LIT102-0L2, CRN 63984

Instructors: Perry Pollock and Christopher Padgett

Living Sustainable Lives 

CHM103-LHB, CRN 61056 and PHI115-LHB, CRN 63510

Instructors: John Garcia and Julie Ellefson Kuhn

* Honors Students Only

Intercultural Dialog and Exchange

ENG101-0L2, CRN 63673 and FYS101-0L1, CRN 63674  

Instructors: Richard Johnson and Kimberly Jaeger

Rock and Roll

ENG102-0LW, CRN 63523 and LIT105-0LW, CRN 63524 

Instructors: Kurt Hemmer and Magdalen McKinley

Benefits of Learning Communities

  • Learning Communities classes emphasize that faculty and students alike are embarked on a journey of discovery.
  • Faculty and students are able to work together more closely and develop successful learning strategies collaboratively.
  • Students are able to become better acquainted with faculty and tend to be more comfortable asking questions.
  • Students have the opportunity to develop stronger skills, the confidence to explore issues in depth, and the ability to question and think rigorously.

Kinds of Learning Communities

First Year Seminar and English

First Year Seminar Learning Community is a partially integrated Learning Community that pairs an FYS class and ENG class. The same group of students are taking the same FYS and ENG back-to-back. The class is taught by two teachers who know each other, plan assignments together, and have your best interests in mind. Students who are part of a learning community at Harper feel more supported, have a greater sense of community and do better in their classes.

Theme Based Learning Communities

To learn more about Learning Communities, speak to your academic advisor or contact the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs.


"It's a lot different than just your standard classroom. There's a respect between the teacher and the students."
—Learning Community Student
Last Updated: 4/5/22