Athens, OH dd Month 2014 –
Back in Spring Semester, I was approached about being a Learning Community Leader. I only had a brief idea of what that actually meant, but my advisor, Dr. Bob, told me that he thought I would be good at it and that it would be a good opportunity for me. So, late last summer, I was trained as a student leader for the Learning Community program. This program seeks to give students a head start in some of their studies as well as the social aspect of being in college. It is a great forum for meeting new people that have similar interests.
This semester, I was the Learning Community Leader for a group of undecided engineers under Dr. Masel as the faculty leader. Because they were undecided students, we were able to show them the different engineering disciplines that they could decide to study. Beyond that though, I believe the new students were able to get a great head start in meeting other people and get acclimated to the new environment that they would be in for the next four to five years.
Personally, this experience was a great experience for me also. I was able to get exposure to helping plan classes and events that the students were able to go to, such as a hockey game and a night of jazz at one of the local places on campus. I also was able to lead study sessions to help students when they had upcoming exams or to review past assignments.
Finally, though, I think we all had fun. The classes were informative for the students but they were never dry or boring. We were able to do projects in class that were engineering related but also helped develop team working skills and friendships. One example of this was the class where we built towers out of simple sheets of paper and masking tape.
The objective was to build a tower to hold as much weight as possible with as few sheets of paper. We had a scoring system, but one team was able to build a tower that held every book, as well as 50 pounds of paper, that we had in the class room.
The learning community experience was a great growing opportunity for myself, as well as the students who took the class.