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First-Year Living Learning Community

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What is a Living Learning Community?

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A Living Learning Community is a group of students who live together and take courses that focus on a common theme.

This fall at Berry, a select group of first-year students will participate in Green Berry, a living learning community focused on the theme of sustainability and the environment. Students in this group will be housed together and will enroll each semester in one course focusing on the theme. In addition to sharing classes and a living space, students will engage in co-curricular activities that enhance classroom learning and foster connections.


ENV 150: Environment, Society and Culture
The range of complex environmental issues confronting humanity, not to mention the future of other biological occupants of the planet, can easily cause one to become overwhelmed or depressed. This course, however, provides empirical data and cross-cultural examples that enable rational discussion, reflection and empathy, which facilitates consideration of novel options and the development of innovative, sustainable approaches to resource management. The course prioritizes familiarity and engagement with the local watershed (bioregional approach) and threats to sustainability therein, and provides opportunities to explore the human-environment interface firsthand on the Berry campus and just beyond. Fulfills Foundations Outcome 3a

RHW 102: Rhetoric and Writing
This course is designed to transition students from topical to analytical writing by engaging them in a variety of readings and writing assignments related to the common theme of environmental sustainability. Writing assignments are designed to emphasize multiple modes of inquiry into the theme from rhetorical, historical, local and national/global perspectives. Fulfills Foundations Outcome 1a and 1b: Written Communication and Critical Literacy

ECO 170: Principles of Environmental Economics
A principles level course applying economic thinking to understanding environmental policy, natural resource markets, and factors influencing the adoption of “green” technologies. Includes coverage of how markets determine prices, the role of the price system in society, and rationales for and limitations to government regulation of human interaction in markets. Consideration of international trade and of factors influencing economic growth. Consistent with its inclusion in the College’s general education curriculum, this course emphasizes economic literacy for understanding historical and current events. Fulfills Foundations Outcome F4c: Social and Behavioral Sciences

EVS 104: Environmental Science
Introduction to Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary science course featuring outdoor and hands-on laboratories and travel to community organizations to learn about local environmental issues. Through lecture, students will learn about the biological, chemical, and physical processes that govern the natural world and how humans influence those processes. Fulfills Foundations Outcome F4d: Natural Sciences

ENG 201: Classics of Environmental Literature
This course will offer a historical survey of American writers who focus on issues of environmental concern. Some initial readings in ecocriticism will frame our discussions of the assigned readings and we will draw from a variety of disciplines in our interpretations of the texts in order to uncover the ways in which natural environments have shaped writers and how writers have shaped our perceptions of those natural environments. Fulfills Foundations Outcome F3a: Cultural Self-Awareness and F4a: Humanities

Why participate?

A Living Learning Community maximizes the benefits of both residential living and academic learning:

  • Living among your classmates creates opportunities for shared learning, from organized study groups to casual conversations on the hall and late night paper-writing sessions.
  • Sharing classes with your residence hall neighbors facilitates relationship-building, which eases the social transition to college.
  • Co-curricular activities designed to take you out of the classroom and into the campus and community will enhance your classroom learning and allow you to test theories in the real world.

What are the requirements for participating?

Course Requirements
One LLC course each semester. Choose from ECO 170, ENG 201, ENV 150, EVS 104, RHW 102.

Housing Requirements
LLC students will live in Central Dana.

Co-Curricular Requirements
Fall Semester 
Work Days: In the fall semester, members of the Living Learning Community agree to participate in three work sessions at the Davies Shelter Garden, One Community United One Table, or Mountain Campus Orchard. Total time commitment: 6—8 hours
Community Meetings: There will be three community meetings in the fall to establish ground rules, build community and plan for spring projects. Total time commitment: 6 hours
Assessment: LLC members will be asked to assist with assessment efforts, including a focus group discussion at the end of the semester. Total time commitment: 2 hours

Spring Semester 
Project: Working as a whole or in small groups, members of the LLC will design and complete a project relating to the theme of the learning community. This may involve working in the local community or raising awareness or initiating change on campus. Total time commitment: 6—8 hours
Community Meetings: There will be three hall-wide meetings in the spring to maintain community, share ideas and provide support. Total time commitment: 3—5 hours
Assessment: LLC members will be asked to assist with assessment efforts, including a focus group discussion at the end of the semester. Total time commitment: 2 hours

Other Requirements

  • Comply with all requirements of the Viking Code
  • Enroll in 12 or more hours per semester

How do I apply?

Complete a brief online application before May 15. Students will be notified of their placement in the LLC prior to SOAR in June.

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