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Learning Communities (University College) (Albany State University-2023)

Strategy/Project Name: 
Learning Communities (University College)
Momentum Area: 
Change Management
Strategy/Project Description: 

The Learning Communities (LCs) activity provides first-year learning communities where two or more courses are linked thematically with collaborative instruction. The primary approach of the Learning Communities is to organize and leverage student success activities and campus resources while supporting and aligning to the mission of University College and our strategic plan, The Standard. Courses within a first-year learning community will develop co-curricular activities and focus on core areas as well as areas of academic performance, retention, student mindset, and degree progression. LCs at ASU will provide an easier platform of transition to ASU students while providing a supportive network of peers, mentors, professors, success services, and more.

Reasons to consider joining a learning community at ASU include:

  1. Courses attached to the learning community often work towards the completion of one’s major
  2. Students within the same community often take the same course(s) and can work together
  3. Students often build academic and personal connections with peers, faculty, and staff at ASU
  4. Students often better explore and define personal values and identity within a community
  5. Students within the same community often make new friends while having fun and learning at the same time

Fall 2023 Learning Communities include:

  • Future Nurses (Pre-Nursing)
  • Health is Wealth (Health Professions)
  • From the Movement to a Hashtag (Education)
  • The Language of Law (Criminal Justice)
  • Summer Success (Summer Success Academy)
  • Men of Distinction
  • The STEM Lab (STEM)
  • Reality Check (Social Science)
  • Local Goes Global: World Class Business (Business)
  • The American Dream: Art of Political (Humanities)
  • Sisters of Excellence
  • Achieve Atlanta
Activity Status: 
Evaluation/Assessment plan: 
  • Participation in UC Events
  • Number of Enrollment
  • Number of Learning Communities available to first-year and second-year students
  • Number of Support Service Sessions
  • Student Academic Progress
  • Student Satisfaction


  • Student attendance record
  • Total Fall Enrollment (Headcount)
  • Number of Learning Communities available to first-year and second-year students
  • Early Alert Rate
  • DFW Rates
  • Fall-to-Fall Retention
  • Student survey and focus group responses
  • Baseline measure (for each KPI): 9
  • Fall-to-Fall Retention Rate
    • Students in two-year program 82%
    • Students in four-year program 100%

Goal or targets (for each KPI):

  • Increase % of first-year and second-year students who earn end of course grades A, B, or C by 5% annually
  • Increase the retention rate of Freshman by 5% annually
  • Increase the number of Learning Communities by 2 each reporting period

            Time period/duration: 5-year plan

Progress and Adjustments: 

The Learning Communities have been active for a full academic year, starting fall 2022. During spring 2023, the University College (UC) started its fall recruitment in partnership with the Advising Center, Summer Success Academy, invitations to all accepted first-year students and made over 700 phone calls informing perspective students about the program. Participants attended program Orientation and Rites of Passage ceremony at the beginning of the semester. Changed the retention rate for Freshman by 5%. The following three Learning Communities were added for fall 2024: Achieve Atlanta, Humanities, and Sister of Excellence. The Learning Communities will continue to be two or three paired courses lead by the UC fellows. The program fellows participated in the summer High Impact Practices trainings. Please see Academic Support Services for additional updates/changes.

Plan for the Year Ahead: 

The Learning Communities has 172 students enrolled in 12 ASU Learning Communities (LCs) fall 2023. Continue to develop initiatives and programming that support the students needs and support.

Challenges and Support: 

Students pre-collegiate dispositions, awareness, and academic preparedness.

Additional funding to cover programming to promote student belonging and mindset, which includes scholarships, student travel, food, and promotional items.

Primary Contact: 
Dr. Steve Transou, Director of First Year Experience
Dr. Tiffany Pogue, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs