Living-Learning Communities

Radford University offers six unique freshman learning communities that provide students opportunities to deeply engage with faculty, academics and peers with similar interests. For more information and to apply please visit the High Impact Practices website.

  • Biology Connections - A supportive, residential learning community for freshmen who have declared Biology as their major. Students in the community will engage inside and outside the classroom through intentional biology related programming, linked courses taken with other Biology Connections students and added academic support through peer tutors, advising and study sessions.
  • Accelerated Research Opportunities (ARO) - Looking for a way to make connections with faculty, conduct original research and challenge yourself? ARO allows freshmen the opportunity to immediately be exposed to, prepare for and actively engage in research and scholarship.
  • Community of Artists - For first year students, both freshman and transfers, who are majoring in Art, Dance, Design, Music or Theatre. Students in the community will live with other visual and performing arts majors in a creative environment, attend workshops, participate in exclusive, faculty-led travel opportunities and more.
  • RUMakers - A new residential learning community with special classes, co-curricular activities, close faculty interactions and access to a new makerspace in your residence hall. Makers will experiment, innovate and create solutions to real-world problems.
  • ECO Connections - A freshman residential learning community for students interested in the environment, sustainability and the rapidly changing relationship between human societies and the physical world in which we live. ECO students will create innovative approaches to contemporary and future problems, be active leaders within their individual majors and will be able to link their education to Radford, Virginia and around the globe.
  • Schoolhouse - The Schoolhouse is a living and learning community that connects and inspires prospective educators from all disciplines and grade levels. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the Schoolhouse for their entire undergraduate careers. 
  • Entrepreneurship - The RU Entrepreneurship Living-Learning Community (ELC) is a learning communited designed to help incoming freshmen learn about, live the life of, and become successful entrepreneurs. The ELC encourages innovation and entrepreneurship in students from diverse majors and backgrounds.  Entrepreneurs turn I wish into I will!

Learning communities are small groups of students that typically take one or more courses together focusing on a common theme or discipline. Faculty and peer instructor teams work together to assign readings, create assignments and coordinate activities that connect the courses. Students engaged in a learning community are able to build both intellectual and social relationships with classmates and faculty through shared experiences and increased time together. 

Students participating in living-learning communities also benefit from the coordination of residence hall teams with their academic partners to create additional programming in their living environment. 

Why enroll in a learning community?

  • Small classes typically of 20-24 students with other new freshmen.
  • Mentoring from peer instructors (successful upperclass students in your discipline or area of interest).
  • Hands-on learning inside the classroom and beyond (field trips, speakers, etc.).
  • Priority registration for the learning community class.