Making the transition from high school to college is hard for many students. Ohio University (OU) has created a program that helps students feel more comfortable at their new school, and become acclimated to the University socially and academically.
OU Learning Communities (LC) came into play in 1999, and have continued to expand since then. According to the organization, “LCs are designed with learning, academic success, and life outside the classroom in mind. All students want to feel at home, get to know people easily, and do well academically. Ohio University’s Learning Communities can help bring it all together, and provide a few nice extras, too.”
LCs are made up of a maximum of 25 first year students, grouped together by major. This group of students is required to take two or three courses together, and they are also assigned a Learning Community Leader, which is a peer that will attend their weekly seminar class, and plan out of class activities for them to participate in.
I am a huge advocate for OU LCs, because I was apart of one when I was a freshman, and it made a huge impact on my life. It is now three years later, and I still keep in touch with many of the great people that I met through my LC. There are a few people who I still have classes with, others that I am in student organizations with, and one or two that I occasionally catch up with over a drink.
They may have no idea of the impact that they had on me, but some of those people are to thank for motivating me to strive for success. A great deal of them were so driven at such an early age, which resulted in their decisions to join student organizations, apply for on-campus jobs, or internships, which pushed me to start making moves as well. When you are surrounded by a group of intelligent peers who are constantly making moves to get higher up on the totem pole, you feel obligated to get off your butt and do the same.
Not only did my LC influence me to motivate myself, but they also influenced me to motivate others as well. I am currently employed as an LCL for a class of 25 students who are all enrolled in the College of Communication. I can only hope that I have had an impact on their lives, but I can assure you that they have had one on mine. I feel like a proud mom when they tell me that they got their first story published for a student newspaper, joined one of the organizations that I am involved in, or filled out an application to be an LCL. They are a lively bunch with a wide range of bold personalities, and big dreams! I know that they will accomplish great things, and I can’t wait to see what their future will bring!
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