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How does a Learning Community affect you as an RA?

Learning Communities are located in five of Purdue University's residence halls: Earhart, Harrison, McCutcheon, Owen, and Shreve. Bear in mind not all LCs have a residential component associated with them, so any floor with first-year residents may have students in LCs. The following are things to keep in mind when working with Learning Communities.

On working with LC Students:

LC students will become more familiar with each other. Students usually have two to three courses together, which allows them to make friends with each other more quickly than the rest of your residents.

Beware of the "clique" mentality that may begin to form. This happens as a result of Learning Community participation. Students will be spending more time together since they are clustered together on the floor or have the same courses or both.

Some LCs have different housing and roommate requirements. The Honors Engineering Program, Pre-Pharmacy, Women in Engineering, and Women in Science require roommates to be participants of that LC. LCs with housing requirements are listed in 2005-2006 listing of residential and non-residential Learning Communities section of this handbook.

Occasionally a student may be participating in two LCs. The Liberal Arts Honors Learning Community, The Lyceum, and "Women In" programs allow students to participate in a residential community as well as an academic course-cluster community if they choose to do so. These students must live in the required residency of their respective program.

There may be times that are either "busy" or "quiet." Students who have a course component associated with their LC will have similar academic schedules, due dates and exam times.

Many relationships on the floor will be more academically based. Since LC students may be in the same courses, they may frequently study together.

You may need to give extra support to a student who decides to leave the major associated with his/her LC. Keep in mind that these residents usually were placed in an LC because of a particular academic program. By leaving this academic area, they potentially will not be a part of the same classes as a large portion of the other residents on the floor.

On working with instructors:

Instructors may need your assistance with programming in the halls. Since you are a programming expert, instructors may call you to set up meeting space, food, advertising, etc. Try to assist the instructors with programming in any way you are able. If necessary, you can refer the instructors to your Residential Life Manager or to the Learning Communities, Access, and Retention Programs office.

It is important to keep in contact with the instructors. Two-way communication between the RA and the instructor will help identify situations that may need special assistance or handling from the instructor, RA, or both. Open communication can only help the RA and the instructor throughout the year.

The instructors are expected to follow all polices and procedures of the residence halls and the University. If you notice they are not, do not be afraid to communicate the problem to them in an educational and professional manner. If the problem continues, or you do not feel comfortable confronting your LC's instructor(s), your General Manager or Residential Life Manager can help you convey the message. The staff at the Learning Communities, Access and Retention Programs office can also assist in providing instructors with correct information regarding policies and procedures.

Learning Communities  HILL 1301 3rd Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906 - (765) 494-2020, learningcommunities@purdue.edu

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