First-Year Learning Community

The First-Year Learning Community is an optional program that consists of pairings of courses that have been developed by faculty to focus on a shared theme. Each pairing satisfies portions of the general education program requirements while enhancing the student experience. Students who choose to join the First-Year Learning Community will participate in one pairing of courses.

 Academic programs have been developed to support the student’s transition to college by providing meaningful interaction with faculty members and their peers. The planned academic programs involve faculty who have connected their course content in ways that create powerful learning opportunities for students. The professors will not only collaborate with one another to develop in-class experiences, but will also host programs that relate to the classes in ways that will enhance your learning. 

With a wide variety of academic fields to choose from, the First-Year Learning Community offers a unique opportunity for incoming freshmen to establish a solid foundation to ensure success at GVSU.

Space in each pairing is limited, it's important that you sign up by May 1!

Interested in joining?


Courses will be assigned to students based on preference and availability. Placement in a particular Connected Course pairing is not guaranteed.
Sign up by May 1 for optimal course placement.

Why join?

Connected Courses have been developed to provide more interactive and deliberate discourse, leading to enhanced interaction among students and professors. Research demonstrates that students who develop strong relationships with peers and professors early in college are even more successful, and often our most outstanding students are those that are active in these endeavors.

  • Attend out-of-class programs connected to your class
  • Learn about helpful resources available to you
  • Boost your chances for academic success
  • Create lasting friendships
  • Broaden your learning experience
What are "Connected Courses"?

The planned curriculum involves Connected Courses, where two faculty members have worked together to plan their individual course content in a collaborative way. Coursework and in-class experiences will be coupled with planned and deliberate extra-curricular programs that involve many of the student services offered at Grand Valley. 

What are the benefits?
  • Connected Courses designed to meet university requirements for graduation
  • Get to know your instructors and classmates
  • Coordinated academic programs with faculty collaboration
  • Workshops and lectures related to professional, academic and social topics hosted on-site
  • Peer mentoring through current students and tutoring services available
  • Undergraduate research opportunities with faculty
  • Service learning and community services opportunities provided
Dedicated Professors

"The students that I've had in this program have seemed more engaged and interactive. They have built a community all their own. The students attend the Connected Courses and co-curricular programs together, while all transitioning to GVSU at the same time - they have comfort with one another."
- Dr. Brian Hatzel, Faculty Director - Movement Science House

Student Success

"My other course experiences may give knowledge that is not very applicable in the real world. Writing 150 and LIB 100 connected ideas that we learned in class that with concepts that I could apply to my every day schema and engage with the people around me in a unique way that I hadn't previously thought of."




Learning Community

Page last modified April 15, 2022