Ohio University



A learning community (LC) is a group of students who take a common set of courses together or share a common experience around their academics. Participants in an LC- develop a deeper understanding of the courses' subject matter while they build relationships and learn together outside of the classroom.

There are five objectives for the LC program at Ohio University:

  1. Create learning-based peer networks
  2. Improve the academic success of first-year students
  3. Improve student retention from the freshman to sophomore year
  4. Increase student satisfaction with Ohio University
  5. Increase student-faculty interaction outside the classroom

The objectives, have been/are being met through the following programmatic elements:

  • Students are enrolled in two to four thematically linked courses, including a learning community seminar, in the Fall Semester. The courses, with the exception of introductory course, count toward students' Tier 2 requirements or major requirements.
  • In most LCs, students live in a shared living environment for a common residential experience.
  • An administrator or faculty member from the college teaches the introductory course.
  • Students participate in out-of-class activities, in most instances organized by a Learning Community Leader, that include involvement of faculty members from the linked courses.

In most learning communities, students are enrolled in two required general education courses as well as a freshman seminar.

Learning communities within our Biological Sciences, Mathematics and Chemistry areas partner a peer-led tutoring lab (PLTL) with some of the more difficult science courses.

For University College undecided students, the instructor for the freshman seminar may also serve as the academic advisor. Some of our learning communities are residentially-based, which means that participating students not only take courses in common but also live in either the same residence hall or the same residential area of campus.

Read General Information About Learning Communities [PDF]

Learning communities at Ohio University are a collaborative effort between University College, the Office of Admissions, the Office of the Registrar, Institutional Research, the Office of Information Technology, the Division of Student Affairs, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the Scripps College of Communication, the Patton College of Education, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, the College of Fine Arts, and the College of Health Sciences and Professions.

Learning Community Programs Staff

Wendy Merb-Brown

  • Assistant Dean, University College Operations and Learning Community Programs
  • Chubb Hall 060
  • 740.593.1953
  • merbw@ohio.edu

Lisa Kamody

Kris Kumfer

Wendy Rogers

Sandy Smith