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 participate in these communities.

Participation in some First-Year Communities requires an application. For Theme Communities and Living-Learning Communities, students apply through the housing application and pay all applicable fees. For the STEM Success Integrative Learning Community, students apply by completing the Intent to Participate Form. For Communities with classes, and for which an application is required, the Registrar will enroll students in the block of classes. For Learning Communities, there is no application and enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis in a co-requisite block of classes.

On Campus Alternatives

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. Most students are housed with other 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 is named for the celebrated Chicana author, Michele Serros, who was from Ventura County. For Fall semester, 6 units: CHS 100 Chicanas/os in Contemporary Society and UNIV 150 First Year Seminar. For Spring semester, 3 units: HIST 271 The United States Since 1877. 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 Advisor (RA) in housing to promote transition to University life for the LLC cohort. Fall courses satisfy two GE areas and two Graduation Requirements: GE A-3 (Critical Thinking) or E (Lifelong Learning) for UNIV 150 as well as GE D (Social Perspectives) and Multicultural graduation requirement for CHS 100. Spring History course satisfies Title V American Institutions Graduation Requirement.

International Mission Pillar

The International Living-Learning Community promotes academic success and students’ transition to college life through a 6-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 a Resident Advisor (RA) in housing to promote transition to University life for the LLC cohort. Students continue with ENGL 103 Stretch Composition II in the Spring. Courses satisfy GE areas A-2 (Written Communication) and A-3 (Critical Thinking) or E (Lifelong Learning).

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 courses 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 a Resident Advisor (RA) in housing to promote transition to University life for the LLC cohort. The SURF LLC involves travel to Santa Rosa Island and lasts the full academic year. The Fall courses satisfy GE Areas A-1 (Oral Communication) and A-3 (Critical Thinking). The Spring courses will satisfy A-2 (Written Communication) and E (Lifelong Learning) as well as the Title V American Institutions Graduation Requirement.

Community Engagement Mission Pillar

The Outdoor Adventure Living-Learning Community is about being grounded in the natural world and using it as both a lens and a mirror. Students will explore how dependent upon the natural world our society truly is and how understanding this has direct relevance for every aspect of our society - from social justice to enlightened self-interest. For Fall semester, 6 units: ESRM 100 Introduction to Environmental Science and Resource Management and UNIV 150 First Year Seminar. For Spring semester, 3 units: SOC 201 Social Problems. 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 a Resident Advisor (RA) in housing to promote transition to University life for the LLC cohort. Outdoor Adventure lasts the full academic year; ESRM and SOC courses involve off-campus community service and field trips. Fall courses satisfy two GE areas: either A-3 (Critical Thinking) or E (Lifelong Learning) for UNIV 150 and B-2 (Life Sciences) for ESRM 100. The Spring course satisfies D (Social Perspectives).

* Priority will be given to students housed with others in the Living-Learning Community. Late in the registration process, seats remaining in LLCs may be made available for students not living on the floor. See FAQs.

Theme Communities (TC)

Students with common interests engage community-building and in extra-curricular activities without a required class. Students living on campus who engage in a TC will be housed together in Santa Rosa or Anacapa Village.

Integrative Mission Pillar

  • Outdoor Adventures allows students to explore the outdoors at their own pace - to take a personal challenge, step out of their comfort zone, try something new. Outdoor Adventures lasts the academic year and is housed in Santa Rosa Village.
  • Geek Life is a Theme Community built around Gaming, Animation, Digital Adventures and all things "geek chic." Geek Life lasts the academic year and is housed in Santa Rosa Village.
  • Transfer Theme Community is an opportunity for students to navigate the University with their needs at the forefront, meet other students with a shared path to CSUCI and receive helpful resources. Transfer Theme Community lasts the academic year and is housed in Anacapa Village.

Living Off or On-Campus Communities

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 freshman students - commuters and those in housing - and do not require students to live in campus housing.

  • The Multicultural Learning Community students register in 6-unit course blocks, including the UNIV 150 First Year Seminar which covers topics such as social justice, intercultural communication or identity formation, 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 (Lifelong Learning) or C-3b (Multicultural) for UNIV 150.
  • The International Learning Community students register in 6-unit course blocks, including the UNIV 150 First Year Seminar which covers 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 E (Lifelong Learning) for UNIV 150.
  • The Integrative Learning Community students register in 6-unit course blocks, including the UNIV 150 First Year Seminar which covers 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 E (Lifelong Learning) for UNIV 150.
  • The STEM Success Integrative Learning Community engages incoming freshmen majoring in, or considering a major in, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. In the Fall, students register in a 4-unit course block, including UNIV 100 University Life and College Success and ENGL 102 Stretch Composition I. A Peer Academic Success Coach is embedded in the UNIV 100 course, and meets with students outside class in small Dolphin Interest Groups (DIGs). Students continue with ENGL 103 Stretch Composition II in the Spring. DIGs continue into the Spring semester. Course block satisfies GE Area A-2 (Written Communication) for ENGL 103 and partially satisfies Area E (Lifelong Learning) for UNIV 100.
  • The Community Engagement Community links ESRM 100 Introduction to Environmental Science and Resource Management with the UNIV 150 First Year Seminar, for a 6-unit course block in the Fall semester. Spring semester, the community continues with SOC 201 Social Problems. 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 and SOC courses involve off-campus community service and field trips. DIGs continue into the Spring semester. Fall courses satisfy two GE areas: either A-3 (Critical Thinking) or E (Lifelong Learning) for UNIV 150 and B-2 (Life Sciences) for ESRM 100. The Spring course satisfies GE Area D (Social Perspectives).