Learning Communities

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of activities do Learning Communities do?

  • Study groups -- informal or formal gatherings with your classmates
  • Out-of-class activities such as field trips, guest speakers, and social events, etc.
  • Hands-on experience -- applying classroom learning to real world situations
Why join a Learning Community?
  • Make the big campus smaller -- helps you make a fast, smooth, and easy transition to Penn State
  • Get to know people and make friends in your major or area of interest right away
  • Develop a supportive network with other students, peer mentors, and professors
  • Connect your learning in multiple classes
As members of a Learning Community, students are able to meet and interact more easily with other students, who become a support system for them.  Students are able to discuss course material with other Learning Community members in and out of class, often forming social relationships alongside the academic ones. This integration of course material into students' daily lives and blending of the academic and social realms contributes to a host of positive outcomes, including:
  • Improved academic skills
  • Increased sense of belonging
  • Increased opportunities to write and speak
  • Higher critical thinking skills and problem solving abilities
  • A greater openness to ideas different from one's own

Receive the benefits of working with a peer mentor

Many of the Learning Communities at Penn State Berks have peer mentors (a.k.a. upper-division students in that major) who work with members of the Learning Community. Peer mentors often coordinate out-of-class activities, ranging from study groups to social events. They also provide a voice of experience and can consult with individual students, too.

How much time does it take?

Being in a Learning Community should not take any more time than you would expect to spend as a successful student at Penn State Berks. It can help you manage your schedule and time by providing you built-in opportunities for study groups and building connections with your classmates.

What we've learned about Penn State Berks Learning Communities

We've found that students who participate in Learning Communities are more likely (than non-participants) to remain at Penn State and they are more satisfied with many aspects of their academic experience, including their overall experience at Penn State Berks.

Also, Learning Community students have reported greater satisfaction with their opportunities to interact closely with faculty, participate in study groups, apply their learning to real world problems, and work with other students.

How can I sign up?

You register for a Learning Community at the same time you register for your other classes. Ask your academic adviser which Learning Community is right for you. For more information call 610-396-6085.