You live you learn

Business, music and elementary/early childhood education majors can soon live with and learn from other like-minded students on residence hall floors specifically designed for them. These three new Living Learning Communities (LLCs), which are available in fall 2013, expand UNI's specialized housing options to 10.

The communities focus on first-year students; however, returning students who have recontracted to live in their same space can do so and will be vital members of the community.

UNI has had LLCs for a long time, but the addition of academic communities is new. "We looked at the number of students in the different majors, considered the locations of the halls/academic centers and worked with academic departments who share our enthusiasm for this learning experience," said Lyn Redington, director of residence life.

UNI has 10 residence halls, and all of them have at least one LLC for students who share similar academic interests, goals and commitments. First-year students in academically oriented communities share at least one class in their major. Taking the same course as their housemates helps students make their transition to UNI a bit easier while strengthening their network within their major and department. The resident assistants in the LLCs are also in the same major as those in their community, which allows them to assist and mentor students.

Outside of class, LLC students participate in programs, activities, and faculty and staff outreach opportunities together. For example, they eat with faculty in the dining centers and go to events in the community, such as Waterloo Symphony concerts.

An LLC for biology majors will be offered in Noehren Hall in 2014. The new LLCs for 2013 are in the following residence halls:

Business LLC, Rider Hall. The Princeton Review has recognized UNI's College of Business Administration as a "Best Business School" for seven consecutive years. The focus in this learning community is on skill development in management, business administration and entrepreneurship as well as on exploring various majors, careers and opportunities in the business world.

Elementary/Early Childhood Education LLC, Lawther Hall. UNI's College of Education is known for having some of the most innovative teacher education programs in the country. Students in this learning community will focus on educational topics related to this major.

Music LLC, Noehren Hall. The focus of this LLC is on promoting an understanding of music as a universal language and supporting students as they develop an appreciation of music in a culturally diverse world. Students will participate in activities to prepare them for productive lives as teachers, performers, composers, scholars and citizens.

These three new LLCs join one academic and six non-academic communities currently available in UNI's residence halls: Honors, Second-Year Experience, Transfer, Wellness, Substance-Free, Upperclassman and Springboard. Learn more about UNI's LLCs at