Communities Program is a new initiative at St. John's
University, uniting resident and commuter students with professors
who have the same academic interest. This shared interest is
heightened by events planned by the professor for both inside and
outside the classroom. Learning Communities (LCs) are designed to
enhance the student’s academic experience while establishing a
social support networks within the university setting that will aid
the student to achieve a successful transition to college.
The goal of the Learning Communities Program is to bridge the
academic and residential experiences. Features in the each
respective Learning Communities Program include:
- Two shared classes
- Regular interaction with faculty, other administrators, and
- Planned on-campus and off-campus events related to the
The Learning Communities Program involves numerous events
throughout the year. Some are hosted by a specific professor with a
Peer Academic Leader (PAL), while others are wider scale University
planned events. Programs are promoted through email, flyers, and
other various outlets.
Resident Village Events
These events include movie screenings, discussions, and
faculty/administrator meet-and-greets. They are typically held
within the Resident Village and are very casual in nature. More
formal events include host speakers from within the University.
Off Campus Events
Professors and a PAL accompany students to areas of interest
in the city. The Environmental Learning Community, for example, may
take a guided tour of Central Park while the Liberal Arts community
(CPS) will go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
From time to time, the Learning Communities Program present
different speakers on campus. In the past, students have seen ESPN
senior writer Howard Bryant and Associate Judge Theodore Jones of
the New York State Court of Appeals. These events are usually
co-sponsored by other St. John’s offices.
Learning Communities: How to
Joining a specific Learning Community is simple. When filling out
an application for admission to St. John’s University, check off
that you are interested in joining one of the Communities. Students
can choose an “opt-in” LC (see below) or students are placed on
floors with like majors, a function of the Community Academic
Residential Experience Program (C.A.R.E.).
Learning Communities Staff
Each community is under the direct supervision of a full-time
faculty member who is assisted by an undergraduate student called a
Peer Academic Leader, or PAL. Together, they are responsible for
academic programming and mentoring.
There are four “opt-in” themed communities for incoming students to
choose from, each of which encompasses majors from all aspects. The
themed communities are: Social Justice, Leadership, Health &
Wellness, and Environment. Students accepted into either the
University’s Honors Program or Ozanam Scholars Program will be
place in their respective Learning Communities
Why Learning Communities?
National statistics show that students involved in living-learning
programs have greater satisfaction with their college and residence
hall experiences, are more academically engaged and involved on
campus and achieve higher grades. Freshman in LCs at St. John's
University agree that being involved in the LC makes it easy to
form study groups and speak to others about class work; that class
is more fun thanks to the personal relationships that have been
formed; and that they recommend the LC experience to others.
The Vincentian Component
Participants in the LCs will be provided with opportunities to
perform community service while gaining an understanding of the
social constructs behind the need for service. Each community will
be responsible for participating in one service initiative and a
facilitated reflection/discussion will follow.
Jacqueline H. Grogan
Director of Learning
St. John's University
DaSilva Hall 100-3