Living-Learning Communities, by design, help to facilitate conversation and learning far beyond the traditional classroom setting and allow students to engage in profound discussion, dialogue, and meaningful interaction in the place where students spend the majority of their time—in the residence halls. Studies show that students who participate in learning communities, in general, and in living-learning communities, in particular, have more frequent interactions with peers and faculty, higher classroom attendance rates, higher cumulative GPAs, a greater sense of engagement with the campus community, and higher participation rates in faculty and peer mentorship programs than their non-learning community peers. Living-Learning Communities promote a sense of “belonging”—to the campus, to others who share similar interests, and to the academic community of the University. Each Living-Learning Community has a dedicated Faculty Associate, who works closely with the course instructors and Resident Assistant to develop engaging extra- and co-curricular activities that expand and enhance learning in the associated courses.
Wilkes University has developed five Living-Learning Communities. Three of these communities, Learning Through Leadership, Cross Cultural Dialogue, and Topics in Urban Sustainability have welcomed first-year students for the past several years. Two are new for Fall 2012   Each Living-Learning Community has a dedicated FYF course as a central component and is paired with a course that students take together in the Spring 2013 semester.  
 
Learning Through Leadership
Leadership harnesses the talents and imagination of the group to deal with the important issues of community, nation or world.   This learning community is a unique opportunity for any student who has an interest in leadership. This learning community approaches leadership from the standpoint that anyone can effectively lead if they genuinely understand themselves, the situation, and the members of the group to be lead.
Requirements
Students interested in this LLC will be enrolled in the Leadership Studies FYF course. If you choose to live on-campus, you will be housed as a group. Space is limited and selection will be made based on FYF enrollment and responses to questions asked through Orientation Station
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Cross Cultural Dialogue
This unique community offers students an intercultural living environment that embraces all forms of diversity. Students will be encouraged to engage in dialogue about social justice, diversity, and inclusivity and develop tools to move beyond tolerance to understanding and empathy with people of different backgrounds or situations.  
Requirements
Students interested in this LLC must be enrolled in the Cross Cultural Dialogue FYF course. If you choose to live on-campus, you will be housed as a group.  Space is limited and selection will be made based on FYF enrollment and responses to questions asked through Orientation Station
 
Sustainable Living-Learning Community
Wilkes University’s Sustainable Living-Learning Community (SLLC) is an on-campus student residence focused on environmentally sustainable living. The SLLC will serve as a classroom and laboratory in support of student leadership and environmental stewardship. Students accepted into the SLLC will commit to reducing the university's carbon footprint, and community members will serve as role models for other students and take part in an active outreach program to promote sustainable practices on campus and in the local community. The SLLC will act as a tangible symbol of environmental responsibility for the Wilkes community. The SLLC relies heavily on Wilkes students to reduce their impact on the environment by changing the way in which they live from day to day, and participants will play a pivotal role in shaping the SLLC program through their own ideas, improvements, and initiatives.
Community members are obligated to duties, which include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Evaluate strategies for reducing their carbon footprint in order to adopt new or improve upon current practices.
  • Provide a working model of environmentally sustainable conservation that may then be expanded to other residence halls.
  • Write reflective journals at each midterm and at the end of each term, which will address changes in consumption, overall attitudes, and future goals.
  • Develop and implement educational outreach programs on campus and in the local community.
Community members will be supported in all activities and responsibilities by the FYF instructor, the SLLC Faculty Associate, and the SLLC Resident Assistant.
Requirements: 
Students participating in this Living-Learning Community will be enrolled in the “Topics in Urban Sustainability” FYF course.  If you are selected for this community and choose to live on-campus, you will be housed as a group.  Space is limited and selection will be made based on FYF enrollment and responses to questions asked through Orientation Station
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Intellection and Mystery
  As we know,
  There are known knowns.
  There are things we know we know.
  We also know

  There are known unknowns.
  That is to say
  We know there are some things
  We do not know.

  But there are also unknown unknowns,
  The ones we don't know
  We don't know.

 Donald Rumsfeld, Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

 
Our community first looks to the past, looking at how stories and paradigms reflect our thinking and finding in them the tension between the humanities and religion and the sciences today.  With these skills we will struggle to understand our world, which seems to be nothing like we have been taught.  Students will draw from their experiences and their knowledge of intellectual models to predict what the future will be like using modern technology to predict.  This course is pre – requisite. This learning community includes FYF 101 Intellection and Mystery in the fall semester and a special section of CS 115 in the spring.
Requirements
Students interested in this LLC must be enrolled in the Intellection and Mystery FYF course. If you choose to live on-campus, you will be housed as a group. Space is limited and selection will be made based on FYF enrollment and responses to questions asked through Orientation Station
 
Discovering Science Through Computers
What is like to create and manipulate models of molecules using computers? Or to use computers to travel through the human body, analyze patterns in music, or learn to model physical phenomena such as the spread of fire in the forest?  This course is intended to present the amazing role that computers play on learning and discovering science.
Requirements
Students interested in this LLC must be enrolled in the Discovering Science Through Computers FYF course. If you choose to live on-campus, you will be housed as a group. Space is limited and selection will be made based on FYF enrollment and responses to questions asked through Orientation Station