Submit a First Year Learning Community Proposal

The first year experience at UW-Milwaukee is defined by connecting students both inside and outside of the classroom. Through the Access to Success initiative, interventions such as Peer Mentoring, Tutoring, Freshman Seminars, Supplemental Instruction and Undergraduate Research have led to greater student success and retention. It is the goal of the First Year Learning Communities (FYLC) to develop a learning environment that combines effective instructional methods, co-curricular learning and events and High Impact Practices to lead to academic success and stringer connections to campus for first semester students. Once a course has been deemed a FYLC, it will be marketed to incoming first year students at New Student Orientation with the recommendation that all students enroll in at least one FYLC. Due to the rich diversity of the UWM students, it is the goal to offer a variety of FYLC options.


Definition of a First Year Learning Community

  • Enroll only first-time freshmen.
  • Employ high impact practices, including a team approach with mentors, instructors and possibly advisors connecting with the course and student community.
  • Establish and assess common curricular and co-curricular learning outcomes for all First Year Learning Communities.

Types of First Year Learning Communities

  • First-Year Seminars- Smaller in size and broader in scope than most other courses, they are intended to enhance skills (inquiry and analysis, critical and creative thinking, oral and written communication) and engage students in reflection about the process of learning at the college level. More information can be found at

  • Intro to Profession- A course all students in a specific major or school/college are required to take their first semester. May introduce student to the discipline as well as the school/college expectations.

  • Living Learning Communities- Students take one or more courses together and live on a residence hall floor together. A separate process occurs for LLCs. For more information, see

  • First Year Impact Section- A freshman only section or lab in a larger lecture class.

  • Paired Courses- Two different courses with the same students and shared content.

  • Other- Current examples include Study Skills, Career Exploration, Financial Literacy, and Information Literacy.

To submit a First Year Learning Community proposal, please email the Student Success Center at

If you have any questions about First Year Learning Communities, please contact Ericca Pollack, Executive Director of the Student Success Center at or 414-229-5385.