Choose a Learning Community

Business

The Cotsakos College of Business Learning Community welcomes freshmen who have declared a major in business. First year business majors are placed in the Business Learning Community as space permits. This community enhances your preparation for success in business careers, helps you make a successful transition to college, and provides a collaborative learning experience where students quickly get to know fellow students and faculty.

  • Take course requirements for your business major and the University Core Curriculum
  • Receive direction to help determine the right business major for you
  • Establish connections that help start your business career
  • Attend seminars with alumni and local business leaders
  • Visit local and regional businesses

PathFinders

The PathFinders Learning Community is designed for Undeclared Students. Students are placed in this learning community based on similar academic course requirements. Whether on campus or a commuter, students take select courses with other students in the learning community and participate in out of class activities that help students find a pathway to success at William Paterson University. PathFinders Learning Community provides an opportunity to get a head start on choosing a major, completing core course requirements, making friends and finding your direction. Your Pathfinders friends and experiences will support you throughout your college years and beyond.

  • Take courses together that satisfy core requirements
  • Identify strengths, weaknesses, passions, and interests that can be applied towards academic majors and career paths
  • Make connections with faculty, staff and student mentors
  • Participate in co-curricular activities that help you connect with other students and the community
  • Participate in programs and workshops that are specifically designed for the needs of undeclared students

Education

The College of Education Learning Community is designed to help freshmen education majors prepare for a successful career in teaching. Students in this learning community will take courses together that contribute to both university and major core requirements. Learning community activities focus on preparing students to meet the demands of a 21st century teaching career. This learning community is delivered at our Valley Road Campus, which is home to our College of Education. Education majors will be placed in this learning community as space permits.

  • Connect with other education students
  • Receive guidance from education faculty, staff and student mentors that will help you navigate your choices and requirements in education
  • Attend Praxis training and teaching seminars
  • Become acquainted with student and professional organizations
  • Volunteer with our Professional Development Schools Network

Educating the Imagination

The courses you will take in this learning community include Experiencing Theatre and Child Development, both of which count towards requirements in the University Core Curriculum. By taking these courses together, and participating in related activities outside the classroom, you will have a unique opportunity to examine connections among theater, child development and the history of teaching and learning.  Our interconnected digital world gives new meaning to clear and decisive expression understood through body language and oral and written language which can benefit students in a wide range of academic areas. Some students may be placed in this learning community based on major, as space permits. However, incoming freshmen may also choose to join this learning community: it is especially appropriate for students interested in theatre, whether undeclared or in a major, or those considering adding an education major at a later date.

  • Connect with others considering an education career or with an interest in theatre
  • Participate in co-curricular activities such as assisting and attending Shea Performing Arts Center performances and interviewing actors who perform in campus plays
  • Explore a career in education by working with teachers in local school districts who direct theatrical performances

Nursing

The Nursing Learning Community is designed specifically for freshmen accepted into the Nursing major; students in this major will be placed as space permits. Students in these learning communities will take courses together that contribute to their major core requirements. In order to progress in both of these majors, students must earn grades in foundation courses such as Anatomy and Physiology that demonstrate potential for success in later courses. Participation in a learning community can help you achieve that success through scheduled study groups, peer support and tutoring. It is not all work, however! Learning community activities will also help you connect with professionals working in the health care realm as well as with you peers.

  • Connect with other nursing majors
  • Receive guidance from faculty, staff and student mentors that will help you navigate requirements in major
  • Succeed in the most challenging courses with support from peers and tutors
  • Become acquainted with student and professional organizations
  • Participate in meet and greet events with health care professionals

Kinesiology

The Kinesiology Learning Community is designed for freshmen pursuing Athletic Training or Exercise Science majors; students from these majors will be placed as space permits. Students in these learning communities will take courses together that contribute to their major core requirements. In order to progress in both of these majors, students must earn grades in foundation courses such as Anatomy and Physiology that demonstrate potential for success in later courses. Participation in a learning community can help you achieve that success through scheduled study groups, peer support and tutoring. It is not all work, however! Learning community activities will also help you connect with professionals working in the health care realm as well as with you peers.

  • Connect with other Kinesiology students
  • Receive guidance from faculty, staff and student mentors that will help you navigate requirements in major
  • Succeed in the most challenging courses with support from peers and tutors
  • Become acquainted with student and professional organizations
  • Participate in meet and greet events with health care professionals

Rooting for STEM!

STEM stands for Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics. This learning community will prepare you for a strong start in your STEM major while focusing on this unique human endeavor. In addition to building a strong foundation to be successful in the mathematics required for STEM careers, you will also have an opportunity to discuss important questions such as: what does STEM suggest about human cognitive capacities? What role has STEM played in shaping human lives and societies? Is STEM a model of universal language and practice, or the product of cultural views and habits? How can we make STEM more attractive to those who don't fully understand it? And how can we make those who like it more aware of its perils and power? Students in this learning community will be scheduled based on math placement and major.

  • Connect with other STEM majors, especially mathematics and computer science.
  • Receive extra support for a strong mathematics foundation
  • Learn to think critically about STEM issues
  • Participate in co-curricular activities such as film discussions (e.g. Hidden Figures, Imitation Game), and hands on-activities in class (e.g. analysis of media portrayals, field-trips, etc.)

Learning Through Stories

Stories are at the center of human life and experience. We learn of our origins, beliefs, and values through the stories others tell, define ourselves through stories, and get to know others by placing ourselves in their stories. This learning community will invite students to deepen their understanding of others and themselves, and to become storytellers themselves. Students will listen to the stories others tell; question the official stories they have heard; discuss who benefits from a story and who is hurt; and discern how to tell the difference between a good story and an authentic story? Students may be scheduled into this learning community based on major or interest. However, this learning community is also open to any student – and may be of particular interest to students interested in writing, literature, communication, anthropology, history, or any major in the humanities and social sciences.

  • Connect with other students interested in the topic
  • Form study groups and get extra support from your assigned peer mentor
  • Participate in co-curricular activities such as film discussions, field trips and other hands on-activities in class
  • Course in this learning community count towards the writing and social and behavioral sciences requirements in the core curriculum

Cultures in America

This learning community is designed for anyone interested in exploring and learning about cultures in America, in particular the African American culture. Students will take a course together on African political thought as well as a course that explores the black woman experience. Because one course meets the university’s core requirement for technology intensive courses, students in this community will have the opportunity to find and evaluate online content and create a web-based presentation. Courses in this learning community also meet the university’s philosophical perspectives requirement. This learning community is a good choice for any student interested in the topic.

  • Meet other students with similar interests and goals
  • Get a head start understanding the role technology will play in your college career
  • Form study groups and get extra support from your assigned peer mentor
  • Participate in co-curricular activities such as film discussions, field trips and campus events

Diversity and Society

This learning community is designed for anyone interested in establishing a foundation in understanding social justice issues. From the perspective of anthropology, you will study the development of uniquely human traits and examine the immense diversity of human culture, past and present. While acknowledging differences, you will develop an appreciation for the unity of modern humans as a result of our shared ancestry. In addition, you will have an opportunity to examine in depth how societies, identities and social relations are shaped by sex, gender and sexuality. We will explore how gender is a socially constructed concept that affects men and women in different ways and shapes social relations, how gender is related to " race", class, age and disability, and how social institutions reproduce gender inequality. The courses in this learning community meet the University Core Curriculum Social and Behavioral Sciences requirement.

  • Meet other students with similar interests and goals
  • Take classes that meet the university’s Social and Behavioral Sciences requirement.
  • Form study groups and get extra support from your assigned peer mentor
  • Participate in co-curricular activities such as film discussions, field trips and campus events

Civic Responsibility

Civic participation is the cornerstone of democracy. This learning community is designed for students interested in learning more about how government and policy is made; you will also gain an understanding of the historical landscape necessary to interpret current events. If you have spent time volunteering to help your community in high school, then you may enjoy learning more about civic responsibility and ways that you can further impact your community. The courses in this community meet the University Core Curriculum Historical Perspectives and the Social and Behavioral Sciences requirements.

  • Meet other students with similar interests and goals
  • Form study groups and get extra support from your assigned peer mentor
  • Practice civic responsibility by participating in civic engagement activities on and off campus
  • Participate in other related activities both in- and outside of the classroom

Law and Society

This learning community is designed for students interested in working in fields that require an understanding law and society. Students in the criminal justice and legal studies majors may be placed in this learning community based on their major. However, students from any major can join if you think you might in interested in law school in the future or if the topic simply interests you. The courses in this learning community meet the University Core Curriculum Personal Well-Being and Social and Behavioral Sciences requirement.

  • Meet other students with similar interests and goals
  • Form study groups and get extra support from your assigned peer mentor
  • Participate in co-curricular activities, field trips and campus events with your classmates