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– Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
New Students and Family Programs

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Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/newstudent/communities/future/faqs.html

Can I sign up for a learning community before I make a housing reservation?

Yes, you can fill out the enrollment forms, but you won't be accepted until you complete your housing reservation. You can complete your housing reservation online.

Does it cost extra to be in a learning community?

Learning community students only have to pay the pre-payment and fees associated with living in the residence halls. There is no additional fee to participate in a learning community.

Please note that the renovated spaces in our Residence Communities (including McElroy H and Preska I Halls) are charged at a higher rate than basic spaces because of the upgraded amenities in those areas.  For more information about renovated spaces, please see the Residential Life Web site or contact the Office of Residential Life at 507-389-1011.

I'm filling out my Residential Life preferences form and I don't know what to put down; learning communities aren't listed as a preference option.  What do I do?

Your learning community enrollment will override the building/room preference you indicate on your Residential Life preferences form.  Fill out the form as though you have never heard of learning communities.  That way, if you change your mind and decide not to enroll in the learning communities program, the Residential Life Office can assign your housing based on what you put on that form. 

If I'm in a learning community, do I have to live in the Residence Halls/on that floor?

All first-year learning communities are "residential", meaning students are required to live in the Residence Halls on the assigned floor with the learning community.

Is the entire floor learning community students?

Typically, about half of the residence community floor residents are learning community participants and half are not.  So, while you'll have the cohesiveness and small-group feel with your learning community, you'll also have the opportunity to meet plenty of friends outside the learning community as well.

What if I have a particular roommate in mind?  Can I be in a learning community and still be assigned that roommate?

If you want to live with a particular individual, you both need to indicate that preference to Residential Life.  If you both enroll in the same learning community, you have stronger odds of being assigned as roommates.  If only one of you requests to be in a learning community and the other does not, your odds of being assigned as roommates is reduced, but it is still possible. Reserve your housing and sign up for your learning community early for the best chances. If you are each requesting different learning communities, you will not be assigned as roommates.

What about RoomSync? How does that work if I'm in a learning community?

The response here is the same as the response to the question above about requesting a particular roommate. If you're interested in finding a roommate that is in your learning community using RoomSync, you can use the message board to post a message indicating that interest and see if you get a response.

What if I already took a course that's a part of the learning community I'm interested in? Can I still be a part of it?

If you have college-level credit (through PSEO, AP/IB/CLEP, College in the Schools, etc) for a course that is offered through a learning community, you are welcome to still participate. You just have to let staff in the Office of New Student and Family Programs know and you won't be enrolled in that class.  True transfer students (students who have attended college full-time at another institution) are not eligible for enrollment in a learning community.

Can I take classes outside the learning community?

Most learning communities offer fewer than 12 credits per semester, so participants have to take additional course(s) in order to be full-time students at the University.  It is recommended that students take an average of 16 credits per semester in order to graduate in four years.  At New Student Orientation, you will receive academic advising to help you select the additional course(s) you should take.

Is the common read book required?

Many learning communities will use the common read book in their FYEX 100 First Year Seminar course, so in those cases, reading the book will be required for the class. You might find it beneficial to read the book during the summer so you won't have to read it while trying to stay on top of reading and homework for your other classes at the same time.

Reading the book is definitely strongly encouraged and by signing up for the learning community you are agreeing to participate. You'll find that most of the students in your LC have read the book, that we'll have enlightening and engaging events and activities regarding the book, and our student readers have said they really enjoyed the book so you probably will too!

The selection for 2014-2015 is Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody. Check out our common read website for more information.

What if I change my mind about my major? Do I have to take the spring semester classes?

The great thing is that most learning communities are designed to get students who are committed to a major on the right path as well as help students who are still deciding confirm or change that decision.  Most of the courses offered through each learning community fill general education requirements as well as start students toward their academic program.

Learning communities are a year-long program, but participation in the second semester is optional. During the fall of your first year, you will receive a form regarding spring semester enrollment. It will list the courses offered as a part of your learning community for the spring semester, and you can indicate which course(s) you would like to take. You can take as many or as few as you would like. If you choose not to take any of the spring semester courses, you are still welcome to participate in learning community events and activities.

What is the difference between Anatomy of Nursing and Elements of Nursing?

The two nursing learning communities are essentially the same, except the courses are offered in opposite semesters.  Elements of Nursing is recommended only for students who have strong chemistry background and feel prepared to dive into a difficult 5-credit biochemistry course.

Is the Alpha Engineering Learning Community good for my major?

Only students planning to pursue civil, mechanical, electrical or computer engineering should enroll in the Alpha Engineering Learning Community. This learning community is not appropriate for students with any other major, including the engineering technology majors (automotive engineering technology, electronic engineering technology, manufacturing engineering technology, etc.).

What kinds of things will I be doing if I join a learning community?

What you choose to participate in as a learning community student is up to you; but the more you take part in, the more you will get out of being in it! We'll have study groups, meals with faculty members, social events (that YOU will help determine), and other activities to support your academics and career goals.  It is also expected that each learning community choose and participate in a service project during the fall semester. All learning community students also read a specific book before coming to campus. (If anything in a learning community were "mandatory", the service project and common read would be it.)

To see what is happening in the learning communities program right now, become a "fan" of Learning Communities at Minnesota State Mankato on Facebook.

What if I change my mind and want to cancel?

Please contact the Office of New Student and Family for information about cancelling out of the learning communities program. Please note that any cancellations received prior to the start of the semester will affect your fall semester course schedule and your housing assignment.