Signature Learning Communities
Signature Learning Communities
Signature Learning Communities are a way to enhance your living experience on campus. While there will be lots of opportunities for you to get involved on campus, these communities bring a group of students together and allow them to live with others who share a common passion. These communities are meant to make your entire Mines experience better by supporting you in your academic endeavors, not taking time away from your academic work.
Residence Life provides three types of Signature Learning Communities:
Theme Learning Communities, Living Learning Communities, and Affinity Communities.
Check out the rest of this webpage to learn more!
We're changing our name!
Residence Life is undergoing a name change for these communities! The term Signature Learning Communities is an umbrella term that references
- Theme Learning Communities,
- Living Learning Communities, and
- Affinity Communities!
Thank you for your patience as our staff works to change their own language, and as we continue to update our website and housing applications to reflect this change.
What's a Theme Learning Community (TLC?)
Theme Learning Community are residential-based communities comprised of students with a
shared co-curricular interest.
Explore Theme Learning Communities:
Theme Learning Communities (TLCs) are comprised of 20 – 50 students living together in a residential community. TLCs are supported by at least one Resident Advisor (RA) who focuses on incorporating the community theme with the Residential Learning Model (i.e., general learning activities facilitated across all on-campus residential communities).
Students in the community will partner with at least one Faculty Friend, various campus organizations and offices, and/or local businesses/non-profits to ensure a well-rounded experience with many opportunities for students to participate in a variety of programming efforts on-campus and in the local community (Golden and Denver). Students in first-year TLCs will also participate in a common CSM101 course section(s) with fellow members of their TLC.
What's a Living-Learning Community (LLC)?
Living-Learning Communities are residential-based communities comprised of students with a
shared curricular interest.
Explore Living-Learning Communities:
Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) are comprised of 20-80 students living together in a residential community who all share membership in a common curricular experience (i.e., scholars’ program, academic major, career aspirations). LLCs connect classroom learning experiences with co-curricular activities in the residence hall and the surrounding community. The communities are supported by at least one Resident Advisor (RA) who focuses on incorporating the community theme with the Residential Learning Model (i.e., general learning activities facilitated across all on-campus residential communities).
Students in the community partner with at least one Faculty Friend, various campus organizations and offices, and/or local businesses/non-profits to ensure a well-rounded experience with many opportunities for students to access tutoring and participate in other programming efforts on-campus and in the local community (Golden and Denver).
What are Affinity Communities?
Affinity Communities are residential-based communities composed of students connected around a
Explore Affinity Communities:
Affinity Communities are comprised of 20-40 students living together in a residential community who share connection around a shared identity. This connection could be holding the specific identity or allyship to the associated community. Affinity Communities are supported by at least one Resident Advisor (RA) who focuses on creating a welcoming environment and providing opportunities for connections among community members. Affinity Communities have learning outcomes, community goals, or objectives focused to support unique needs and expectations of the community.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the benefit of participating in a Signature Learning Community?
Students who participate in a Signature Learning Communities report higher satisfaction with their on-campus experience and stronger connections with peers in their community. These connections have been linked to higher academic performance and graduation rates.
How do I join a Signature Learning Community?
Admission into Signature Learning Communities** is based on successful application and selection into the Signature Learning Community. The application is embedded in the Residence Halls application, located in the Housing Portal (during designated application periods). Applicants will be asked to write a few short essays (3-5 sentences) that share about their interest in the community(s) they are applying to, what they hope to learn from the community, and what they can bring to the community.
All Signature Learning Communities are designated for first-year students, except for the Environmental Justice community. Environmental Justice is a sophomore-only community. First-year students will apply to Signature Learning Communities in the Residence Halls application process within the First-Year Housing Application timeline (April 1 – May 2). Rising sophomores will apply to Environmental Justice during the Second-Year Housing application timeline (February 1 – February 3).
**Placement in the Gender Inclusive Housing (GIH) Community does not require a Signature Learning Community application. In the Residence Halls application under the ‘Gender Inclusive Housing’ page, students can opt into living in the GIH community and will have the opportunity to select their room on GIH’s floor during their timeslot.
Do I have to live in the designated Signature Learning Community floor/ building to participate?
Yes. Living in a designated community is a central experience for Signature Learning Communities, and participants must live on the designated floor or building. The location of each program is available on each community’s page. Please note that year-to-year Signature Learning Communities may move locations to best match community needs.
Can I request a roommate who has not been admitted to my Signature Learning Community?
Due to limited space in Signature Learning Communities’ floors/buildings, we are unable to accommodate roommate requests for students who have not been admitted to your Signature Learning Community.
What do I do if my preferred roommate is not in my Signature Learning Community?
How do I find a roommate in my Signature Learning Community?
Once admitted to a Signature Learning Community, you will receive instructions to return to the Residence Halls Application in the Housing Portal to search for possible roommates. After admission to a Signature Learning Community, you will only see other Signature Learning Community participants in your specific community in the Roommate Groups search tool in the Residence Halls Application.
Are Signature Learning Community only available for first-year students?
What are the requirements for participating in a Signature Learning Community?
First-year students participating in Signature Learning Communities must live in the designated floor/building and attend Oredigger Camp 3 (except Gender Inclusive Housing). Please note, participation in Oredigger Camp 3 requires participants to move in early (see NeST website for the most up-to-date details about Oredigger Camp 3). Most Signature Learning Communities require participants to take CSM101 together, a required course for all first-year students. Some Signature Learning Communities also require additional courses to participate; please see individual Signature Learning Community pages to learn more about what each community requires.
Environmental Justice participants will not attend Oredigger Camp 3; however, participants must live on the designated floor and attend a fall retreat (dates TBA).
What is the time commitment for participants in Signature Learning Communities?
Beyond Oredigger Camp 3 and course requirements (vary by community), participation in all programs and events for the community is encouraged but not required. When planning events and experiences related to the Signature Learning Communities, our staff do their best to avoid academically heavy times. Even with thoughtful planning, we understand not all students can attend everything. Students are responsible for deciding what events to attend. Like any experience, the more you put into the Signature Learning Community experience, the more you will get out!