Academics

Learning Community

What is a learning community? CLA First! students working on a survey during a Start Smart workshop.

A small group of students who have something in common, and who take courses together is the best definition of learning community.  All members of CLA First! are first-year students who are planning to major in a program offered by the College of Liberal Arts. At a school as large as the University of Massachusetts Boston, having a smaller group to connect and learn with can make a big place feel a bit smaller!

What are the advantages to belonging to a learning community like CLA First!?

Besides the chance to work with a smaller group of peers who have similar interests, the learning community of CLA First! will give you a chance to do something interesting and unique during your first year of college.  The program has full-time advisors to work with students on academic advising and course selection, and also to provide a series of social and educational programs outside the classroom. Students also have access to experienced student Peer Mentors who act as additional resources for the program. Students in CLA First! will be able to participate in special activities designed to enhance their college experience, like speakers, campus programs and opportunities to connect with faculty, staff and other students at UMass Boston.

How will I meet other students besides those in my learning community cohort?

Your CLA First! classes will only make up a part of your schedule, so there is plenty of opportunity to explore all courses offered, and to meet a variety of people who are members of the University community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Testimonials

Anny, Class of 2016

Women's and Genders Studies & Anthropology major

“Transitioning to college was an exciting process thanks to the CLA First! program. I felt supported by my CLA First! mentors and advisor at all times and I left the program with a great sense of belonging to my school as well as self-confidence and drive to make the best of my years in college.”

 

Berta, Class of 2016

Sociology and Anthropology major

“As a first generation college attendee, CLA First! provided a welcoming and supportive environment where I could succeed, learn, and grow to my fullest potential!”

 

Monica, Class of 2016

Psychology major

“The CLA First! program helped me learn how to handle the transition from high school to college classes. I also got to meet a lot of great people who became my friends.”

 

Paul, Class of 2015

“The best thing about CLA First! is knowing that each week isn’t just another week of classes; it’s another Start Smart session, another study group, another trip to the CLA office, and another week of getting to know my classmates more.”