Students connect in learning communities

September 4, 2008 by Jared McDonald NMSU Round Up

Want a unique approach to connecting with fellow students in your academic major? Take a look at the Living Learning Communities (LLC) program. LLC offers students a way to connect with each other in the same learning environment. There are academic and social benefits for being involved in an LLC. Students get to live in an active community with peers who share similar interests.

“LLCs give you an opportunity to study with the people who live around you and are taking the same courses,” said education major Danny DeStefano.

Each LLC is different, and are located all over the campus. On average about 30-40 students participate in each, however some have more than 100.

“Living Learning Communities are proven to help increase student success and student retention,” said Bob Nosbisch, Educational Outreach coordinator. “Students feel like they belong in smaller more focused groups, and Living Learning Communities offer just that.”

Being part of an LLC automatically creates study groups and helps build upon friendships with support from fellow students.

“By feeling a part of a smaller group, it makes it easier to feel part of the larger group,” Nosbisch said.

There are 15 LLC programs offered at NMSU: Agriculture and Home Economics, Biological Sciences, Business, College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), Criminal Justice, Education, Engineering, First Year Scholars, Fine Arts, Global Village, Graduates, Health and Social Service, Honors Residence, Pre-Pharmacy and Professional Golf Management.

“We offer a Living Learning Community for just about everybody attending NMSU,” said Michelle Bernstein, assistant director of Residential Education and Assessment. “In an LLC, students do everything together, they really become involved with each other and the program creates its own personality.”

The LLC program used to be just for first-year students, but was opened to all levels of the college experience because of the benefits involved. Students get to build a community, create traditions and belong to a focused group.

Along with close connections with fellow students, the LLC also has a faculty mentor and peer advisers. Most of the advisers are department heads, experienced faculty members or deans of colleges.

“Living in the business LLC has been an amazing experience,”said Ryan Grovey a business major. A peer advisor is available to help whenever we need it, especially before tests and projects. “Being here has helped me out a lot.”

There is no extra fee to live in an LLC. “What makes our campus unique, is that we don’t charge,” said Bernstein. “We would have been pricing people out of an option, and we’re really dedicated to our student population. We want everyone to have the same opportunities.”

Because LLCs have specifically designated spaces, it’s based on a first come, first serve basis. Signing up is done online when applying for housing.

The LLC Key Partner Reception is going to be held this Friday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the La Vista Learning Center in Garcia Hall and is open to the public. For more information about Living Learning Communities visit

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