"Purpose: To explicitly test the relationship between First Year Student engaged learning initiatives ("learning communities", service-learning, residential interest clustering, and community service) and their short-and long-term effect on student engagement, alcohol use, mental health, and civic engagement.
How: 1) Six linked seminars (Learning Communities), including one service-learning seminar cluster and one fieldwork-based seminar cluster; 2) Eight additional seminars forming a "cluster" organized around a shared theme, "globalization and global issues", which also links to five of the six learning communities. The students in the clustered seminars will also be grouped residentially; 3) Three additional individual seminars linked to the Clarke Forum theme, "A Gendered World." The students in these seminars will not be grouped residentially, to test the effect of the absence of the residential shared experience; 4) Five "engaged living communities", small cohorts of residentially grouped students sharing common interests (leadership, gender, health, and diversity issues are among the topics) who will interact with each other and with Student Life professionals in informal educational activities.
<a href="http://www.dickinson.edu/academics/first-year-programs/learning-communit... Learning Communities Website</a>"