What is the Linked Learning Community Program?
The Learning Community program ise designed for students who want to intensify their first semester of college. A community at Buffalo State is a cluster of two courses in the fall and one course in the spring that are designed around a common theme. To be a part of the program, students need to enroll in the two courses in the fall and the one course in the spring. The professors plan their curriculum to address the theme. They also plan co-curricular learning experiences that extend the learning outside the classroom. The Linked Learning Community Program is an amazing experience that is difficult to obtain in any other setting.
What are the benefits of joining a learning community?
There are many benefits to participation in a learning community. You will meet new friends, have the opportunity for close interaction with professors, be able to participate in co-curricular learning experiences, have built-in study groups, be around a community of scholars, feel an immediate sense of belonging, and have the opportunity for increased academic conversation outside of classes.
Who should join a community?
The Program is open to all incoming freshmen during the Fall semester. The communities are great for students who want to get the most of their freshmen year. See the benefits of a community for more information. Special populations (Honors, EOP, and athletes) should seek the advice of the appropriate adviser or counselor about participation in a community.
How do I sign up?
You may indicate your preferred community on the Orientation Registration Form to be completed in Banner. If you have already completed the form and have received a schedule, but did not indicate that you wanted to be in a community, please contact Amitra A. Wall, assistant dean for Intellectual Foundations and First-Year Programs with your Banner ID and your preferred community at (716) 878-5906.
Is there extra work in a community?
All professors maintain the same standards as they do for students that are not in a learning community. You can expect your professors to help you reach your full academic potential.
What kinds of professors will I have?
Professors come from diverse backgrounds with degrees from institutions like the Texas Woman's University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Minnesota, Pennsylvania State University, and Buffalo State. They include directors and actors, published authors, department chairs, members of the administration, and prestigious teaching-award winners. All of the instructors in the program are involved because they are committed to helping students grow and succeed.
What classes will I take?
Each community includes courses that help you progress to graduation.
How many students are in the classes?
One of the biggest benefits of the community program is that, with only a couple of exceptions, classes are limited to 25 students. Professors really get to know their students.
Do I have to sign up for all courses in a community?
Yes. The program is designed to build community and deepen learning. Students who take the two courses in the fall must enroll in the designated spring course. The classes have been chosen for their appropriateness for first-year students. The professors are enthusiastic about their subjects, so even if a course seems unappealing at first, chances are good students will find it interesting and valuable. Because of the theme, it is likely that you will quickly see how all the courses relate to each other and how beneficial the courses are to becoming an educated and well-rounded person.
Why is the theme of the community important?
One of the goals of the Program is to encourage students to appreciate the connections between many subjects, despite their apparent differences. Faculty members work together to emphasize these connections and to use the theme of the community as a "thread" to tie them together.
What is the "Integrated Hour?"
The one-credit "integrated hour" is designed to explore connections in the course material. Past community participants have called the integrated hour the "magic hour" where everything they are learning comes together.
What if I am not doing very well in one course? Can I withdraw from it?
The goal is to keep all students together throughout the semester in order to maintain the community. If a student is struggling with course material, many options exist to help the students succeed. Participants find faculty members and classmates willing to give time and support. Withdrawing from a course is permitted only if documentation of extenuating circumstances, such as illness, is provided.
Does the community provide me with enough courses? Can I take more classes?
A typical full-time load for a first-semester student is 15 credits. Students will receive a full-time schedule during the fall: the two fall linked courses plus additonal courses to round out the schedule. Speak to the Assistant Dean of Intellectual Foundations Program for more information.
Is there a residence hall designated for Bengal Community Scholars?
Yes. Residence hall space has been dedicated to the program and includes lounge space, kitchen, and a computer lab. Students who participate in a community and live on campus will be assigned to this residence hall.
Do you have to live on campus to participate in a community?
No. While many students choose to live in the residence hall designated for communities, commuter students are welcome to take part as well. Commuter students have access to the residence hall during certain hours and can consider it a "home away from home."
Can I room with someone who is not in a community?
In most cases, yes. Residence Life will make every effort to accommodate special requests. Please contact Residence Life for more information.
If I am in a community, when do I come to campus?
Please see the Move-In Day page for more information. Bengal Community of Scholars Program Orientation is required for all community students. Information will be emailed to you this summer.
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