Education for Life First Year Academic Initiatives

Learning Communities



Education for Life

Let us know your interest by e-mail at

There are several types of FYE Learning Communities, including some based on specific themes or certain segments of the student population.

Please note: Placement testing results in mathematics or English may affect your eligibility for FYE Learning Communities which contain first year courses in those areas.

If you have any questions about the enrollment process, please contact the FYE Office at (320) 308-2941 or

During Advising & Registration Days, students enrolled in FYE meet with an advising staff member who is an “FYE specialist.” Prospective students are also encouraged to contact individual FYE faculty leaders whose names and contact information are provided below.

Being part of an FYE Learning Community has several significant advantages:

  • You will have an identifiable peer support network starting your first day of classes;
  • You will have common interests with the other students in your FYE group;
  • You will enjoy a more personable learning atmosphere and closer contact with faculty because of limited class sizes;
  • Your FYE professors are committed to addressing the unique needs of first year students, enhancing your chances for a successful start;
  • You will have an experienced student as your Peer Mentor, who is trained to offer support in adjusting academically and socially to campus life;
  • You will benefit from unique outside-the-classroom activities such as social events and field trips which are provided at no extra cost to you!

Summer Learning Community open to all students:

SCSU Summer Program: The Journey Community

 Students in this special living-learning community begin their SCSU adventure June 24th and work together until July 26th.  Participants earn 6 credits toward general education, and participate in a service learning project and a weekend outdoor adventure.

Contact: Adam Klepetar at

6/25 – 7/26

CEEP 101 (fulfills the COLL 150 requirement for DGS students)

M T W Th 1-3 p.m. & Online

6/25 -7/26

PHIL 112  OR CMST 192

M T W Th 10 a.m. -12 p.m.

Fall 2012

COLL 110-43 DGS Students ONLY

T Th 12-12:50 p.m.

Summer Learning Community open only to Honors students:

HONORS Summer Program:  The Honors Community

This special living-learning community is for students admitted into the SCSU Honors Program  and takes place from June 24th until July 26th.  Participants earn 6 credits toward general education, participate in a service learning project and a weekend outdoor adventure.

Contact: Gretchen Huwe at

6/25 – 7/26

HONS 211 “Genocide Embodied”

M  W  12-1 p.m.  &  T  Th  10 a.m.-12 p.m.

6/25 – 7/25

HONS 263 “Gender and the Body”

M W 12-4 p.m.


Fall Learning Community open to all students:

South Africa-USA: Comparative Race Relations in an Intertnational Context

Students will learn about inter-group dynamics and social issues in a changing society and to compare these developments with conditions in the United States. The academic and international learning outcomes of the proposed program include the following:

  • Compare US and South African race and ethnic relations in a contemporary and historic perspective.
  • Provide students an opportunity to observe directly the societal transformation of a country formerly based on racial oppression through a unique education abroad experience through the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University -St. Cloud State Education Abroad Program.

Students learn about the history of South Africa, its place and significance on the African continent, and its role in international affairs. A comparative approach is used to examine social changes in South Africa to changes in the United States in terms of race and ethnic relations.

Students who successfully complete these courses have the option of spending the spring semester studying in South Africa, with the opportunity to witness and participate first-hand in some of the developments of this rapidly changing society.

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University is a modern, comprehensive university with an international reputation, located in the scenic and historic city of Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Options to travel throughout the region, in South Africa and to other African nations abound, as do opportunities and learn about the cultural, geographic and natural heritage of this country.

Contact:  Robert Johnson at

Fall 2012

ETHS 201-40

T Th 12:30-1:45 p.m. and Th 2-3:15 p.m.

Fall 2012

HIST 106-40

T Th 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Optional: South Africa education abroad experience Spring 2013 semester

Fall Learning Communities open only to Division of General Studies (DGS) students:

DGS: Magic, Monsters & Self

This Living-Learning Community explores literature focusing on personal journeys while providing information, strategies, and models for managing the transition to college.  ENGL 184 will introduce the techniques of close reading as students study literature focusing on heroic journeys into magical realms (i.e. The Hunger Games, The Hobbit).  COLL 150 will use this literature to help students explore their personal identity, growth, and development as they make the transition into college.


Contact:  Adam Klepetar at

Fall 2012

COLL 150-40

T Th 11-11:50 a.m.

Fall 2012

COLL 110-40

M W 11-11:50 a.m.

Fall 2012

ENGL 184-40

T Th 1-2:15 p.m.

DGS: Success-Cubed (for students who place into Math 070)

The Striving for Student Success (Success-Cubed) Learning Community focuses on improving academic success for first year students who are taking the beginning Math 070 at SCSU.  College 110 helps students apply strategies for problem solving, studying, note taking and test taking to enhance individual learning experiences and to prepare for examinations in college course work.


Contact:  Kathryn Tasto at

Fall 2012

COLL 150-41


Fall 2012

COLL 110-41

M W 12-12:50 p.m.

Fall 2012

MATH 070-41

M W F 1-1:50 p.m.

DGS: Adventure Leadership (Backpacking Trip over Fall Break)

Do you see yourself wanting more out of your education than a classroom experience?  We have developed an outstanding opportunity for first year students to be engaged in their college experience while using the outdoors as a classroom.  The COLL 150 course requires students to work together to plan a backpacking trip in Michigan’s gorgeous Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park.  The fall break backpacking trip leaves after class on Wednesday October 10 at 4pm and returns on Sunday October 14 at 5pm. To get credit for your COLL 150 course you must attend the backpacking trip.


Website Link:


Contact:  Ivan Bartha at

Fall 2012

COLL 150-42

W 2:30-4 p.m. until Fall Break

Fall 2012

COLL 110-42

T Th 10-10:50 a.m.

DGS:  Beyond Black and White to Grey: Exploring Ethics, Meaning & the Human Condition

Do you have strong beliefs? A clear idea of right and wrong?  Or do you sometimes wonder what the right thing is to do in a tricky situation? Do you consider your life to have meaning and purpose?  Does all life have meaning?  Where does that meaning come from?  Philosophy is a field of study dedicated to tackling challenging questions about ethics, meaning, and the human condition.  Through a focus on philosophical studies, this learning community will equip you with skills to guide your life through college and beyond.


Contact:  Christine Metzo at

Fall 2012

COLL 150-71

M W 3-3:50 p.m.

Fall 2012

COLL 110-44

T Th 3-3:50 p.m.

Fall 2012

PHIL 112 -44

M W 1-2:15 p.m.