Living Learning Logo

Mission and Goals

Living & Learning Communities offer a unique residential experience for groups of up to eight students to develop an in-depth understanding of a societal issue they are passionate about. In addition to living together, members of these communities are expected to collaborate with each other and a faculty/staff advisor to create, implement and evaluate a year-long learning experience that is focused on exploration, action, reflection, and the education of others.

  • Exploration of a topic through personal efforts, peer-to-peer learning and the faculty/staff advising relationship.
  • Action plan to address issues and concerns that arise from researching the group's topic and applying this knowledge to a service-learning project.
  • Reflection of experiences and integrating lessons learned into future research and action.
  • Educating others about the group's topic by presenting major issues, sharing personal experiences, and suggesting opportunities for individual and collective action.

Program History

The first Living & Learning Communities at Cornell College began in the fall of 2001 and opened in the newly renovated Merner residence hall. In its inaugural year, more than 150 students in 21 groups participated. The first living and learning communities engaged in a wide variety of activities including community beautification through original art, raising cultural awareness, mentoring boys and girls in the community, tutoring and fundraising for charitable causes.

Currently housed in Smith Hall and some of our surrounding houses and apartments, today's students continue the tradition of excellence in the Living & Learning Communities program by serving as advocates on women's issues, working to raise awareness and understanding regarding personal identity and expression, teaching others how to live healthy and more environmentally friendly, and much more. 

Getting Involved

While you may not be a live-in member, we strongly encourage you to get involved with one of the current communities this academic year. If there isn't a group offered that fits your needs, we hope you'll consider creating a new Living & Learning Community, or reviving a past community. A list of important dates, plus details on how to apply to be a part of a Living & Learning Community program, can be found on the charter process page.