Learning Communities

Learning Communities

Connect. Engage. Succeed.

A big part of college success is making connections — with other students and with your professors. And as a first-year student at Northern Vermont University–Johnson, there’s no better way to build connections than joining a learning community, or LC.

LCs build bridges — between the academic and co-curricular aspects of your education and between learning on campus and off, whether that means a field trip kayaking down local waterways, visiting nearby tiny houses, or dinner at a faculty member’s home.

LCs are small groups of students who take two classes together and participate in a variety of activities all organized around a common theme that matches your interests — so from day one you’re making friends with people who share those interests. And because LCs are small, you’re building close-knit relationships with your professors as well.

2019-20 Learning Communities at NVU–Johnson

A Call to Action: Building Sustainable Communities

This learning community is designed for students in all majors; Environmental Science majors are encouraged to enroll.

In this learning community, you will join other like-minded first-year students and take two 3- credit classes (Introduction to Sustainability and FYS: A Call to Action) and a 1 credit Success Lab.

We will explore real-world issues, look for new sustainable strategies, and develop skills to become agents for positive change in our local and global communities. We will also take several field trips to learn about, serve, and build community amongst ourselves and with others in our region.

As you learn the key principles of sustainability and explore strategies for active citizenship and community engagement, you’ll be part of a challenging and enjoyable academic and social environment that will enrich your life at Northern Vermont University-Johnson.

We believe humans can learn to live in harmony with the environment; and to do this, we must learn to think about long-term interconnected solutions to address the complex issues that surround us.

We believe that true sustainability must include ecological integrity, social equity, and economic stability for all.

We believe that college students are key catalysts in affecting real positive change in their own communities and globally. Join us!

Teaching For Change

This learning community is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in education.

Teaching for Change is dedicated to exploring how teachers can work to transform their schools and communities. Throughout our learning community, we will visit different schools to investigate how educational theories are applied in context and create a service learning action project that aims to solve injustice and inequity in school and society.

In this learning community, you will join other like-minded first-year students and take two 3- credit classes a 1 credit Success Lab.

In our first year seminar, “Common Book for the Common Good,” students will explore critical service learning as a way to connect learning, community service, and social justice. Students will identify and explore a theme from the common book as the impetus for making change through a critical service learning project. (3 credits)

In the Fall, students will also take “Perspectives on Learning,” where they will explore key theories that explain how people learn. (3 credits)

During the spring semester, “Ecology of Human Experience” will help students examine how the unique cultural context of people’s growth and development influences their experiences in school.  (3 credits)

Wilderness Lessons for a Complex World

This learning community is required for Outdoor Education Leadership and Tourism majors.

In this learning community, you will work to understand how interacting with the natural world and persevering through challenges have positive influences on our well-being and overall success in college and beyond.  

Through two co-enrolled classes, Intro to Outdoor Education and FYS Deep Survival, students in this learning community will study and participate in outdoor education experiences with specific learning goals: learn more about one’s self, how to effectively interact with and contribute to a small group community, and find harmony in the natural environments in which we recreate and seek solitude. We will explore Vermont’s mountains and waterways, meet professionals working in the field of outdoor education, read books and articles to develop an understanding of the study and methodology of outdoor education and the importance of educating ourselves and others toward a sustainable future. 

Students are required to meet the technical requirements for participating in a variety of outdoor activities. Course fee: $700 to cover the cost of trips, activities, and gear.