First year Experience

<p>Is your child a freshman enrolled in a learning community or linked classes with other students? If so, has your child communicated with you about the benefits or challenges of a learning community?</p>

<p>Are you talking about high school?</p>

<p>My daughter is in a linked "leadership" group. they take their intro to college life class together and are in the same dorm. They also do serious community service projects in return for their scholarships. This has been the single best thing that could have happened to my daughter. It's a built-in group of peers with a common goal. They've turned out to be great kids, so that's an extra benefit. She's a soft-spoken, gentle person who might have had trouble making this number of friends so quickly, but they were presented to her and created a jumping off point for her to make friends in her classes and ECs as well. I highly recommend a linked group.</p>

<p>Mathmom, I'm referring to college freshman.</p>

<p>My son, who is now a college senior, was in a special-interest community of that sort as a college freshman and sophomore. It did make a very large campus seem smaller, and it gave him an opportunity to meet other students who shared his interests. Also, since students had to have reasonably good academic credentials to get into the program, it helped to protect him from the possibility of having to live with the most irresponsible, non-academic people on campus.</p>

<p>However, one disadvantage was that the topic of this particular special-interest community appealed to many more male students than female students. Thus, being in the special program actually impeded him in terms of meeting girls and getting dates.</p>

<p>Okay, our high school is divided into smaller learning communities. In some ways, because Carnegie Mellon is divided into a half dozen or so special interest colleges it ends up operating somewhat like a smaller learning community. Unlike many places where you have a year or two to decide on a major - he's a computer science major from day one. He takes three out of five classes in the department and some of the required freshman writing courses are reserved for certain schools. They also tend to house kids with the same majors together, though my son got an engineer as a roommate, there were quite a few other computer science kids in the building. I think it's both an advantage and a disadvantage of the university. But for my son it is probably helpful.</p>

<p>My D is in an engaged living program. She took a class with a group of students & she lives in the dorm with them. The class was fine, and she likes the other students in her program. However, her good friends are not in her program. They are, however, from similar programs & live in her dorm. As far as particular benefits go ... she got the great dorm with the best freshman experience (in her opinion). She also got to know her prof for that class very well, which has been to her benefit. No challenges to speak of.</p>