What is a Living Learning Community?

Tyson Schritter

Reviewed and edited by Tyson Schritter : 06 July, 2024.

Living Learning Communities (LLCs) are residential programs that connect you with diverse students who share a common focus. In LLCs, students live together, take shared courses, and participate in special events and service projects. Sponsored by various academic departments, LLCs foster both academic and personal growth. As more colleges introduce LLCs, these unique housing initiatives offer expanding possibilities for collaboration and learning beyond the classroom.

Why Participate in Living Learning Communities?

Research shows that participating in a Living Learning Community increases academic engagement and satisfaction with college experiences. This is especially true at larger institutions, where LLCs can make the campus feel smaller and more accessible. Many LLCs welcome first-year students, easing the transition from high school to college. Students in an LLC enjoy a built-in network of friends who share their passions and interests.

Types of Living Learning Communities

Living Learning Communities vary across campuses. You’ll find themes like sustainable living, science and engineering, social justice, global studies, and leadership. Language and cultural themes are also common. Some LLCs focus on specific languages such as Spanish, French, Mandarin, or Japanese. Others offer residence opportunities for students who are Native American, African-American, or Latino. There are also LLCs for first-year students, transfers, and honors students. Some colleges even allow students to design their own LLCs, covering interests from electronic music to plant-based eating.

Living in a Living Learning Community vs. Traditional Housing

The goal of a Living Learning Community is to help you engage intellectually outside the classroom. Typically each community gathers weekly for discussions or workshops related to their topic. Dinners, lectures, presentations about off-campus experiences, and social service projects are all part of the living learning experience. You’ll live on the same floor or in the same house as other students in the LLC, so they’ll be your neighbors and your classmates.

These communities are a great way to connect with students and faculty who share your passions. You’ll also have the opportunity to broaden your horizons, while acting as a member of a vibrant and collaborative living learning experience.