Living/Learning Communities (LLCs)

Why Choose a Learning Community?

Participants in Living/Learning Communities tend to achieve higher grade point averages, make friends quickly, and transition into college life smoothly. The Colleges’ have a long history of promoting active engagement with Learning Communities, which have been linked to positive student engagement, overall satisfaction with college, increased interpersonal skills, and a greater understanding of diversity. In short, students who take part in a Learning Community leave their first year with the tools and resources necessary to be highly successful in college and beyond.

What is the difference between a Living/Learning Community (LLC) and a Learning Community?

LLCs bridge the academic world and residential world, as nearly all LLCs are taught in a hybrid classroom within the residence hall, known as a Residential Learning Lab. These labs are classrooms during the academic day, located right on your residence hall floor, and then a social/study space in the evening. They come equipped with standard smart classroom technology and have flexible seating arrangements to maximize use of the room. In addition, to being taught on your floor, faculty members work closely with residential education staff to create co-curricular programs that align with what you’re learning in class and help students connect to their faculty member and each other in more intentional ways. As a team, the residential education staff, faculty, and writing/teaching colleagues meet monthly to update each other on the community and plan programs to continually engage students.

First Year LLC

First-Year Seminar LLCs

For a full guide to first-year seminar descriptions, click here. If assigned to a LLC, you will reside on the same floor as all other students in the LLC.

ECON LLC (Economics LLC)

FSEM 029: Why Are Some Countries Rich?
Faculty Member(s): Jenny Tessendorf

Why are some countries rich while others remain poor? The answer matters because 'rich' versus 'poor' translates into significant differences in the quality of life of the 'average' person in these countries. The history of the post-WWII period is littered with the corpses of 'big ideas' that purported to answer this question and thus provide the key to growth. Colonial exploitation, low investment rates, inadequate spending on education, insufficient financial liberalization, among others, all failed to answer the question by themselves and certainly didn't provide the magic elixir for growth. We will examine the merits and the failings of these big ideas and consider some newer proposals as well. We'll particularly look at the roles of geography and of political, social and economic institutions and the incentives they create. There may be no single big idea that will work for every country, but we will identify some characteristics that clearly separate the “poor” from the “not so poor.” This FSEM is linked to ECON 135 Latin American Economies.

First Year LLC

E-LLC (Explorers LLC)

FSEM 055: I’m New Here: Russians Discover America
Faculty Member: Kristen Welsh

This LLC explores American culture and identity by proposing and testing definitions for these terms. Our raw material includes words, sounds, and images created by Russian and Soviet artists and travelers. Most of our texts can be described as arrival narratives: works that capture the artist’s first encounter with their new environment. Our LLC focuses on asking questions, using imagination and analytical skills to make sense of the unknown, and using points of encounter between strangers (people, languages, nations) to enhance how we understand life in the United States.

SLLC (Sustainable LLC)

FSEM: 078: Sustainable Living and Learning
Faculty Members: Kristen Brubaker, Tom Drennen and Whitney Mauer

The Sustainable Living and Learning Community is open to all incoming first-year students. There are no prerequisites for enrollment, nor is it necessary to have a history of work in sustainability initiatives. Instead, we’re looking for students who have a curiosity about the world around them, who want to learn more about the environment, and who enjoy classroom experiences that are active and varied. Click here for more information.


FLLC (Foodie LLC)

FSEM 186: Eat Like a Slav
Faculty Member: David Galloway

What does a country’s cuisine tell us about the people who developed it? FLLC tackles this question by learning about culture and food, fully incorporating cooking into your seminar.

Our work will find its practical application in a weekly kitchen laboratory session where we will construct these dishes as we discuss the nature of food in Russian culture of the last several hundred years.


SJLLC (Social Justice LLC)

FSEM 042: Interrogating Race in the US and South Africa
Faculty Member: James McCorkle

This LLC encourages students to look at our lives, our communities, and society in ways that we may not yet have considered. Issues that relate to the dimensions of social class, racism, sexual orientation, gender identity, cultural reproduction, and the very nature of human existence are explored both implicitly and explicitedly. Interrogating Race tackles questions like "do we live in a post-racial world or a new Jim Crow society" and "what is meant by white privilege?"

STEM LLC (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics LLC)

FSEM 041: Playground Physics
Faculty Member: Leslie Hebb

FSEM 106: The Secret Science of Learning
Faculty Member: Kristin Slade

FSEM 098: Fictional Facts: The Chemistry of Science Fiction
Faculty Member: Elana Stennett

FSEM 091-01 Earth vs. Humans
Faculty Member: David Kendrick

This LLC consists of four STEM-based FSEMs united through experiencing science in an interactive manner. While the courses will vary, you will live on floors with students interested in chemistry or physics and enrolled in introductory science and math courses. The central goals of this group are hands-on activities to explore fundamental scientific ideas and building a community based on similar interests in science. Field trips, demos, and off-campus learning experiences will complement this unique opportunity.

PEERS logo

Upperclassmen LLCs

PEERS (Personal Empowerment & Engagement Residential Seminar)
RCOL: 109: Personal Empowerment
Instructor: Brandon Barile

PEERS (Personal Empowerment & Engagement Residential Seminar) is a class and a living environment. Students who live in PEERS take a class together during Fall 2017 (the half-credit course, RCOL 109, Personal Empowerment) and live on a floor in a suite-style building, Emerson Hall. The course is taught in the residential learning lab and small group activities occur within the suite’s living room.


Office of Residential Education
101 St. Clair Street,
Geneva, NY 14456
Phone: (315) 781-3880
Fax: (315) 781-4026



Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.