National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Spring/Summer 2016).


Copyright © 2016 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


Honors programs at colleges and universities provide academic and developmental opportunities for high-ability students. Learning communities, defined as a group of students who live together, are connected through membership in a common organization, and take classes together, are often a component of honors programs. Learning communities provide an academic and social community that complements curricular requirements. At the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK), a higher education institution in the Midwest, ninety percent of the freshman honor students live together and ninety-five percent take an honors class in their first semester on campus. The honors program at UNK is classified as a learning community; however, the term has varying definitions based on the classification of upper- and lower-division students at different institutions. Most research on learning communities focuses just on first-year students and the first-year experience. Very little research focuses on learning communities that include upper-division students.