First Year Freshmen have a variety of options to live the CI mission through academic success and integration into the life of the university, both inside and outside of the classroom. Participating in these communities is shown to improve student learning, persistence to the second year, time to graduation, and stronger relationships with peers and faculty. Our goal is student success. There is no additional cost to participating in these communities.

Participation in First-Year Communities requires an application. Students planning to live on campus must also complete a separate housing application and pay all applicable fees.

On Campus Alternatives

Living in campus housing is REQUIRED

Living-Learning Communities (LLC)

Students share a common intellectual and residential experience with an academic focus. Two or more General Education courses are paired to promote student success and align with a CI Mission Pillar. Students are housed with students in their learning community. Activities are aimed at blurring the boundaries between living and learning, and improving students’ transition to college life.

Multicultural Mission Pillar

The Michele Serros Multicultural Living-Learning Community links CHS 100 Chicanas/os in Contemporary Society with the UNIV 150 First Year Seminar, for a 7-unit course block. The Community is named for the celebrated Chicana author, Michele Serros, who was from Ventura County. A University Experience Associate (UEA) peer mentor is embedded in each First Year Seminar, meets with students outside of class in small Dolphin Interest Groups (DIGs) every other week, and works with the faculty and Resident Assistant (RA) in housing to promote transition to University life for the LLC cohort. Course block satisfies two GE areas: A-3 (Critical Thinking), C3b (Multicultural), D (Social Perspectives) and/or E (Human Psychological and Physiological Perspectives).

International Mission Pillar

The International Living-Learning Community promotes academic success and students’ transition to college life through a 7-unit course block, including UNIV 150 First Year Seminar and ENGL 102 Stretch Composition I. A University Experience Associate (UEA) peer mentor is embedded in each First Year Seminar, meets with students outside of class in small Dolphin Interest Groups (DIGs) every other week, and works with the faculty and Resident Assistant (RA) in housing to promote transition to University life for the LLC cohort. Students continue with ENGL 103 Stretch Composition II in the spring. Course block satisfies GE areas A-2 (Written Communication) and A-3 (Critical Thinking) or E (Human Psychological and Physiological Perspectives or C3b (Multicultural).

Integrative Mission Pillar

The Student Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) Living-Learning Community is all about curiosity, inquiry, creativity, and discovery with an interdisciplinary focus on Santa Rosa Island. Students enroll together in 3 course each semester. For Fall semester, 9 units: UNIV 198 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research, ENGL 102 Stretch Composition I, and COMM 101 Public Speaking. For Spring semester, 10 units: UNIV 150 First Year Seminar, ENGL 103 Stretch Composition II, and POLS 150 American Government. A Research Ambassador peer mentor is embedded in the community, meets with students outside of class in small Dolphin Interest Groups (DIGs) every other week, and works with faculty and the Resident Assistant to promote transition to University life for the LLC cohort. SURF involves travel to Santa Rosa Island, and lasts the full academic year. The Fall course block satisfies GE Areas A1 (Oral Communication) and A3 (Critical Thinking); the Spring Course block will satisfy A2 (Written Communication) and C3b (Multicultural or E (Human Psychological and Physiological Perspectives) as well as the Title V American Institutions Graduation Requirement.

Service-Learning Mission Pillar

The Outdoor Adventure Living-Learning Community links ESRM 100 Introduction to Environmental Science and Resource Management with a UNIV 150 First Year Seminar, for a 7-unit course block. A University Experience Associate (UEA) peer mentor is embedded in the First Year Seminar, meets with students outside of class in small Dolphin Interest Groups (DIGs) every other week, and works with the faculty and Resident Assistant (RA) in housing to promote transition to University life for the LLC cohort. ESRM course involves off-campus community service and field trips. Course block satisfies two GE areas: either A-3 (Critical Thinking), C3b (Multicultural) or E (Human Psychological and Physiological Perspectives)for UNIV 150; either B2 (Life Sciences) or D (Social Perspectives) for ESRM 100.

Theme Communities (TC)

Students with common interests engage in extra-curricular activities without an intentional academic focus. Students living on campus who engage in a TC will be housed together in Santa Rosa Village.

Integrative Mission Pillar

  • Outdoor Adventures allows students to explore the outdoors at their own pace. Take a personal challenge. Step out of your comfort zone. Try something new. Outdoor Adventures lasts through the entire academic year.
  • Geek Life is a Theme Community built around Gaming, Animation, Digital Adventures, and all things "geek chic." Geek Life lasts through the entire academic year.

Off or On-Campus Alternatives

Living on campus NOT REQUIRED

Learning Communities

Taking two General Education courses together, students share a common intellectual experience to promote academic success and students’ transition to university life with an academic focus aligned with a CI Mission Pillar. These Communities are open to all freshmen students—commuters and those in housing—and do not require students to live in campus housing.

  • The Multicultural Learning Communities students register in 7-unit course blocks, including UNIV 150 First Year Seminars with topics such as intercultural communication or the history of love, and an English composition class. A University Experience Associate (UEA) peer mentor is embedded in each First Year Seminar, and meets with students outside of class in small Dolphin Interest Groups (DIGs) every other week. Some cohorts take ENGL 102 Stretch Composition I in the Fall, and continue with English 103 Stretch Composition II in the Spring. DIGs continue into the Spring semester. Course block satisfies GE areas A-2 (Written Communication) for ENGL 103/105 and A-3 (Critical Thinking) or E (Human Psychological and Physiological Perspectives) or C3b (Multicultural) for UNIV 150.
  • The International Learning Communities students register in 7-unit course blocks, including UNIV 150 First Year Seminars with topics such as international relations or immigration, and an English composition class. A University Experience Associate (UEA) peer mentor is embedded in each First Year Seminar, and meets with students outside of class in small Dolphin Interest Groups (DIGs) every other week. Some cohorts take ENGL 102 Stretch Composition I in the Fall, and continue with English 103 Stretch Composition II in the Spring. DIGs continue into the Spring semester. Course block satisfies GE areas A-2 (Written Communication) for ENGL 103/105 and A-3 (Critical Thinking) or C3b (Multicultural) or E (Human Psychological and Physiological Perspectives) for UNIV 150.
  • The Integrative Learning Communities students register in 7-unit course blocks, including UNIV 150 First Year Seminars with topics such as sustainability or the psychology of learning, and an English composition class. A University Experience Associate (UEA) peer mentor is embedded in each First Year Seminar, and meets with students outside of class in small Dolphin Interest Groups (DIGs) every other week. Some cohorts take ENGL 102 Stretch Composition I in the Fall, and continue with English 103 Stretch Composition II in the Spring. DIGs continue into the Spring semester. Course block satisfies GE areas A-2 (Written Communication) for ENGL 103/105 and A-3 (Critical Thinking) or C3b (Multicultural) or E (Human Psychological and Physiological Perspectives) for UNIV 150.
  • STEM Success Integrative Learning Communities engage incoming freshman majoring in, or considering majoring in, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields (STEM). Students register in a 4-unit course block, including UNIV 100 University Life and College Success and ENGL 102 Stretch Composition I. Students continue with ENGL 103 in the Spring. Each STEM Success Community includes a peer academic coach. Course block satisfies GE Area A-2 (Written Communication) for ENGL 103 and partially satisfies Area E(Human Psychological and Physiological Perspectives) for UNIV 100.
  • The Service-Learning Community links ESRM 100 Introduction to Environmental Science and Resource Management with UNIV 150 First Year Seminar, for a 7-unit course block. A University Experience Associate (UEA) peer mentor is embedded in the First Year Seminar, and meets with students outside of class in small Dolphin Interest Groups (DIGs) every other week. ESRM course involves off-campus community service and field trips. DIGs continue into the Spring semester. Course block satisfies two GE areas: either A-3 (Critical Thinking) or C3b (Multicultural) or E (Human Psychological and Physiological Perspectives) for UNIV 150; either B2 (Life Sciences) or D (Social Perspectives) for ESRM 100.