Living Learning Communities

A page within Residence Life

What are Living Learning Communities?

Living Learning Communities (LLCs) at UWL are intentional living environments offered by the Office of Residence Life in partnership with academic departments and other campus offices.  

LLCs provide students with the opportunity to thrive both in and out of the classroom. We work to create environments that allow students to make social connections by engaging with peers around shared educational experiences and to improve students’ academic success through intentional programming, co-curricular learning experiences, and faculty engagement. 

Why Participate in an LLC?  

  • LLCs are a high impact practice that is proven nationally in increasing student success.  
  • Students who participate in LLCs report higher GPAs overall than students who live in traditional residence hall communities.  
  • LLC students can participate in special events and activities built around common interests. 
  • There is more access to faculty and staff that can help students network for future opportunities. 
  • Students gain a community of classmates and study group partners with similar academic interests that helps with academic success.  


The Education Community is for students who are in the School of Education. This community fosters a sense of belonging and care, creates connection to the broader La Crosse community through service, provides opportunities to network with faculty, staff and peers through intentional academic programming designed to support and harness your potential as a teacher. 

Location: Sanford Hall

Eligibility: First year students who are in the School of Education

Why Join:

  • Forge connections with your peers who are also about to embark on a teaching pathway
  • A curated program for potential teachers
  • Unique programs and events exclusive to students in the Education LLC
  • Intentional interaction with faculty and/or school and community partners outside of the classroom 
  • Opportunities to engage with young people through service

How to Join:

Students can select interest in the Education Living Learning Community interest page of the housing application.

Course Recommendations: EDS 203 enrollment is recommended

Partnerships: School of Education, campus and community partners as appropriate


This community is home to our 25 UWL First Scholars and is open to any first-generation student. Our goal is to help students build a strong community in their first year at UWL. Students will make lasting social connections and participate in programming provided by a range of support services available to first-gen students. 

First Generation is defined as: A student whose parents/guardians (or parent/guardian, if primarily supported by only one) did not complete a bachelor’s or 4-year college degree.

Location: Laux Hall 

Eligibility: The First Gen community is open to all first-generation college students. 

Why Join? 

  • Live in an environment and community for students who are also first-gen college students. 
  • Experience programs and opportunities that will allow you to refine leadership skills, connect to UWL, and help navigate the first year of college.  
  • Make connections with other campus offices and organizations and receive additional support. 

How to Join:

If you are interested in joining the First Gen Community, you can select it on the Living Learning Community page of the housing application. There is no secondary application. Students will be accepted into this community as space is available. UWL First! Scholar students will be automatically placed on the First Gen floor. 



The Health Professions Community provides students interested in the healthcare profession common academic and social experiences in close community of peers. This community fosters personal connections with faculty, staff, healthcare professionals, and peers through intentional academic programming designed to support your success as a student.  

Location: Orris White Hall

Eligibility: Any first-year student who has an interest in a pre-health major or track 

Why Join? 

  • Make connections with other students in your major and similar courses  
  • Opportunities for career exploration within the Health Professions field  
  • Unique programs and events exclusive to students in the Health Professions Community 
  • Intentional interaction with faculty outside of the classroom  

How to Join: 

Due to the popularity of the Health Professions Community, students fill out an application as part of their housing application. Students are notified if they have been accepted into the HPC prior to room selection. 

Courses: Students are required to take HP 106 in the spring semester.

Partnerships:  Pre-Health Advising Center  


The Outdoor Recreation Living and Learning Community is designed for students who have a passion and an interest for outdoor activities and the environment. They must be willing to be challenged, have a desire to gain skills outside of the classroom, participate in extracurricular activities and events relating to the outdoors. No previous experience is required for participation - just a willingness to participate, learn, and to have fun! Residents of this community will pay an additional $400 to cover the cost of the extensive programming provided by the Outdoor Connection.

Location: Eagle Maroon Hall


All students are eligible for the ORC. You do not need to have previous experience with outdoor activities.

Why Join?

  • Live in an environment and community for students who share an interest in the outdoors and in leadership.
  • Experience programs and opportunities that will allow you to refine your leadership skills, explore career opportunities in outdoor recreation and be part of an active and supportive community.
  • Help develop a community that is passionate about the outdoors and the environment.

How to Join:

Because of the popularity of the Outdoor Recreation Community, students fill out an application as part of their housing application. Students are notified if they have been accepted into the ORC prior to room selection.

Trip Information : Outdoor Recreation Community Trip Offerings

Partnerships: The Outdoor Connection


The Pride Center Community is a collaborative partnership between the UWL Pride Center and Residence Life to create a Living Learning Community within a residence hall environment. Our goal is to create a housing community in which LGBTQIA+ students feel a sense of belonging and are affirmed, empowered, and celebrated. 

Location: Wentz Hall (beginning Fall 2024)


Open to all new and returning college students who identify within the LGBTQIA+ community as well as those who are supportive individuals or those who have family members who are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community.  

Benefits of being in the Pride Center Community: 

Residents within the Pride Center Community will build relationships with each other as well as actively engage in UWL Pride Center events and initiatives. Options include participating in the many events put on by the Pride Center, joining student organizations (Rainbow Unity and/or Transform), attending an annual conference (MBLGTACC) with other UWL students, facilitating trainings for the campus community and participating in various panel discussions.   

How to Join:

Within the housing application process, new and returning students may indicate an interest in the Pride Center Community. Students are then selected and placed within the Pride Center Community.   

Course Recommendations: Students should enroll in or have taken Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies (RGS 100).

Partnerships: UWL Pride Center

For questions regarding the Pride Center Community or to talk to someone about your interest in being a part of this community, you can contact Will Van Roosenbeek or Patrick Heise.


The Transfer Experience Community is designed to support transfer students in their transition to UWL through shared common experiences. Residents will be connected to faculty, staff, and students dedicated to a successful transfer experience.  

Location: Eagle Gray Hall

Eligibility: New entering transfer students of all backgrounds, majors, and experiences. 

Why Join?

  • Engage with a community of transfer students to navigate through the UWL experience together
  • Develop social connections through residence hall and campus events specifically tailored with transfer students in mind
  • Develop relationships with faculty and staff as you transition to UWL

How to Join:

Students can select interest in the Transfer Experience Community on their housing application. Students will be placed directly into the community as space is available. No secondary application process is required.



The Women in STEM Community is for students interested in careers in Science, Engineering, Technology or Math. This community fosters personal connections with faculty, staff and peers through intentional academic programming designed to support your success as a student.  

Location: Hutchison Hall

Eligibility: Students who plan to major in STEM

Why Join? 

  • Make connections with other students in your major and similar courses  
  • Opportunities for career exploration within STEM fields  
  • Unique programs and events exclusive to students in the Women in STEM Community
  • Intentional interaction with faculty outside of the classroom  

How to Join: 

Students can select interest in the Women in STEM Community on the Living Learning Community interest page of the housing application. 

Courses: Students are registered for the same First-Year Seminar course.

Partnerships: College of Science and Health

Learn More about our Scholarship Based Communities:

Scholarship Based LLCs

The Multicultural Validation Program (MVP) is a collaborative effort with the Office of Residence Life and Multicultural Student Services to increase retention and persistence of multicultural students on campus and living in the residence halls by connecting students with peer mentors, professional staff advisors, and on-campus opportunities. The program consists of peer mentors who have at least one year of experience at UWL and incoming first-year students. The incoming first-year students reside in Laux Hall and have regular meetings with their peer mentors and professional advisors.

All individuals participating in MVP (mentors and mentees) are required to: 

  • Monthly connections with their mentor or mentee 
  • Attend monthly MVP social/development events 
  • Be involved in at least one multicultural student organization
  • Participate in at least one opportunity in their residence hall on campus

For more information about applying please visit the Multicultural Validation Program page.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the Office of Multicultural Student Services at 608.785.8225 or the Office of Residence Life at 608.785.8075.



The “UWL First! Scholars Program” is designed to assist first generation/low income students to succeed academically through a coordinated system of support, integrating college readiness, financial aid, advising and career development. The program hopes to address the social and economic barriers to higher education for select students who demonstrate intellectual promise and financial need.

Who are they?

UWL First! Scholars are high performing, first generation students who have been hand selected to participate in this scholarship and retention program. First! Scholars have a bright future at UWL and this program helps establish firm roots here.

Benefits to the Scholars

Each cohort of up to 25 first generation students will have the unique opportunity to enroll in this scholarship program. Whereas this program is to benefit the retention of the student, the student receives the most benefit from the program. They are offered a scholarship for the first and second year enrolled. The student will also receive hands on and tailored assistance for a variety of tasks that may come easier for non-first generation students. Through camaraderie, students will develop a sense of belonging, which will assist with their transition to the university. Scholars will also have the opportunity to develop work experience through on-campus internship opportunities.

For more information about applying, please visit the UWL First! Scholars page.