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

Grant, CLA First 2010-2011, Psychology major:

“Thanks to the program, I know more people here at UMass Boston than other students who have been here longer!”

Paul, CLA First 2011-2012, Psychology major:

“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.”

Berta, CLA First 2012-2013, undecided CLA major:

"CLA First! has made my first year in college so much better, easier, and more memorable!"

Nick, CLA First 2012-2013, Anthropology major:

"CLA First! has helped me get the majority of my General Education classes done, thus giving me the ability to start to work on my major requirements."

Monica, CLA First 2012-2013, undecided CLA 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."