What is a Living-Learning Community (LLC)?

An LLC is a program where students (1) live together on campus, (2) take part in a shared academic endeavor, (3) use resources in their residence environment designed for them, and (4) engage in structured social activities that also emphasize academics. At Gardner-Webb, we give first-year students the option of joining an LLC connected to their University Life 111 course.

What is the value?

Based on recent national research, students living in an LLC were shown to exhibit higher rates of campus belonging, higher career attitudes, and higher scores in critical thinking. Living-learning communities not only help with the transition to GWU, but set students up for success moving forward. This is a great opportunity to maximize your first year of college.

“The evidence is clear – LLCs promote student success. These initiatives create a seamless and holistic experience for students that reinforces our support for their growth”

Dr. Ryan W. Erck, Executive Director for the Division of Student Success

How does it work and what are my options?

All incoming students at GWU are placed into a section of UNIV 111, our required first-year seminar. Three of those sections have affiliated LLCs with the following themes: Honors, STEM, and Faith. Essentially, students in those three sections will live in close proximity in their residence hall, take their UNIV 111 class together, and have opportunities to engage in fun supplemental programming to reinforce a seamless in-class and out-of-class experience on campus.

Students wanting to be involved in those specific UNIV 111 courses need to list their preferred community first on their housing application. Students accepted into one of the Living Learning Communities (LLC’s) will be subject to live in specific housing for their assigned LLC. If the student opts to live in a different community, they will opt out of their LLC University 111 class. Secondarily, students that choose to opt out of their LLC University 111 class will be asked to move to a different community.

Questions about the housing application and preferences can be directed to [email protected]. For general questions about UNIV 111, please contact Kara Alves, Director of Success Initiatives and FYE, at [email protected].

“Our LLC students are definitely collaborating inside and outside of the classroom. They have numerous social gatherings, such as pancake dinners, bible studies, and homework sessions. During class, they get along very well and bring up their shared experiences during activities.”

Dr. Wilson Hawkins, Honors LLC Faculty Fellow

Honors Living-Learning Community

Faculty Fellow:

Dr. Wilson Hawkins, Assistant Professor of Physics, Director of the Honors Program

The Honors LLC is a vibrant, fun, and intellectually stimulating environment designed for academically driven students seeking a well-rounded college experience. In this tightly-knit community, participants have the unique opportunity to engage in specialized honors events, lively intellectual discussions, and collaboration on their coursework within their living space. Beyond academics, the Honors LLC also encourages the development of leadership skills, community service, and a strong sense of social responsibility. This community is the ideal space for students who are eager to challenge themselves, both academically and personally, and to make the most of their collegiate journey.

STEM Living-Learning Community

Faculty Fellow:

Professor Susan Manahan, Assistant Professor of Biology

The STEM LLC is a dynamic and immersive opportunity tailored to students passionate about STEM-related fields. This program offers an exciting and engaging opportunity for like-minded individuals to live together and engage in rigorous academic pursuits. Residents have access to specialized STEM-focused resources, hands-on experiences, and mentorship from faculty and peers who share their interests. Beyond the classroom, students are encouraged to participate in STEM-related extracurriculars and hone their scientific identity. Whether you’re an aspiring nurse or medical worker, a budding chemist or biologist, or a coding and computer science enthusiast, this community provides the ideal setting to excel academically and cultivate a passion for STEM.

Faith Living-Learning Community

Faculty Fellow:

Dr. Paula Qualls, Professor of Religious Studies

The Faith LLC is a nurturing and spiritually enriching program that welcomes students who wish to explore and deepen their faith journeys while pursuing their academic goals. This community provides a supportive space where residents can engage in open dialogues, share their beliefs, and participate in meaningful discussions about spirituality. Students learn how a Christian faith can animate their entire college experience, and connect with peers through prayer groups, worship events, and community service projects that align with faith-based principles. Whether you’re seeking to strengthen your faith, engage in interfaith dialogue, or simply find a welcoming community that aligns with your values, the Faith LLC offers a warm and inclusive atmosphere for personal growth and the exploration of faith in the context of higher education.

Reserve your spot through your housing application! Reach out to [email protected] with questions.