The course code for learning communities in the Social Science department is “CHFY007: CHASS F1RST Year Learning Community”. All incoming freshmen within the College of Humanities Arts Social Sciences (CHASS) are required to participate in one. The department consists of about 50% of the entire undergraduate student population.
What is a Learning Community (LC)?
A learning community is a block schedule that gives around 30 students to all be in the same classes for 1 subject. It allows for students to learn and grow together within a small community so strong friendship can be formed. For example, Microeconomics (ECON0003) LC would be a block schedule that consists of Microeconomics Lecture, Discussion, and a CHFY007 class. Around 30 students can select this block and you will all be the same 3 classes. This allows incoming students to form social relationships as they will see each other frequently. The downside to this is that some people rather meet new people or do not like the people in their Learning Community and can’t avoid them.
LC in the CHASS department is also mandatory. If students do not pass the LC then the student will be dropped from their major.
CNAS (Colleges of Natural Agricultural Sciences) Learning Communities
CNAS is the 2nd biggest undergraduate department at UCR. The Learning communities are slightly different though. Since classes such as Calculus, Chemistry, and Biology are rather difficult classes, LC was created to ensure students will receive the required credits for each person’s degree. If you join an LC in the CNAS department then you have your entire quarter schedule planned out.
Once the school approves your LC application, you will receive 3 to 4 schedule blocks. All the time slots and classes have been chosen for you. It is like a package and you just pick which one you like the most. LC’s in the CNAS department is also based on a first come first serve basis.
Also, people tend to enjoy CNAS Learning Communities because people need each other for help and questions since Biology and Chemistry have more coursework such as 3-4 hour labs and pre-lab reports.
What if I do not want to be in an LC?
There is always a petition to drop the LC. However, a valid reason must be present as to why you want to drop the LC. Valid reasons include documentation of sport, medical, or other serious issues. Learning Communities is a unique aspect at UC Riverside and it will only last 10 weeks.
Depending on the type of person you are and the people you are around with, you may love or hate your learning community. Those who are looking to meet new people may love LCs while others who want their own independence may despise it. It all comes down to personal preference.