Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2 - 39

Courses for Credit
In a review of the research on learning communities, various definitions have been
employed for this type of campus initiative. Most noteworthy is the work of Lardner and
Malnarich (2009), who define learning communities as " a cohort of students
enrolled in two or more courses in which they experience at least one explicitly
designed opportunity for integrative learning " (p. 30). This definition aligns with
other research that characterizes these communities as cohorts of students who
take a series of at least two courses together, where learning across courses is
integrated, and learning extends beyond the classroom through residential and
cocurricular opportunities that advance course content and build community
(Andrade, 2007; Barnes & Piland, 2010; Dodge & Kendall, 2004; Keup, 2005;
Malnarich, 2005; Price & Lee, 2005; Smith et al., 2004; Tinto, 1997). For many
institutions offering LLCs, coursework is absent from the experience. Inkelas and
colleagues (2018) argue that courses for credit are essential to the academic environment,
strengthening the partnership between housing and academic affairs. These
researchers emphasize the importance of not simply offering academic courses,
but making sure that they are high quality, rigorous content courses connected to
the learning outcomes of the LLC as the avenue that augments and sustains the
student experience.
Each of Cabrini University's LLCs offers two first-year experience seminars:
a one-credit College Success Seminar (COL 101) rooted in metacognition to boost
student self-awareness and a four-credit first-year writing and informational literacy
seminar (ECG 100) that serves as the foundation of a 10-credit, multi-year sequence
that embeds all three pillars (academic excellence, leadership, and social justice) of
the institution's mission statement into the core curriculum. In addition to these
two courses, each LLC includes two to three other courses that span the first year.
Even if the courses count for a major or minor requirement, LLC courses typically
are a general education requirement, so students complete graduation requirements
regardless of their LLC and/or whether they change their major in their first year.
In the IMPACT community, courses are designed to meet general education requirements,
while simultaneously moving students toward the completion of a minor
in leadership studies, a course sequence designed to complement all academic majors
at the university. The ECG 100 course follows a unique pedagogy called Reacting to
the Past, where students take on various roles of leaders throughout history and learn
more about their decision-making as it relates to the ethical challenges they encounter.
This course also serves as the gateway for the minor in leadership studies. Additionally,
students take two more courses that are required for the minor-Metacognition
for Leadership and Foundations of Leadership-in their first year, alongside COL 101
and Public Speaking. At the conclusion of the academic year, students have the option
to continue into a second year of coursework to complete all the leadership studies
minor requirements by the end of their second year. Through this intentional design,
students meet this milestone early in their undergraduate experience and are primed
to take on more advanced leadership roles throughout the remainder of college.
Volume 48, No. 2 * 2022 39

Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2

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