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New APSU communication department program focuses on student success

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Earlier this fall, the Austin Peay State University Department of Communication launched its Living Learning Community program to build support and guidance for freshman communication majors. The idea behind the program is to provide a transitional atmosphere for students and prepare a path for their next four years.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Earlier this fall, the Austin Peay State University Department of Communication launched its Living Learning Community program to build support and guidance for freshman communication majors. The idea behind the program is to provide a transitional atmosphere for students and prepare a path for their next four years.

“The program is eternal and organic; it builds community, initiates support groups and increases graduation rates,” Mike Dunn, communication instructor, said.  

The students in the program are enrolled in combined courses—APSU 1000 and Introduction to Mass Communication—and they also have the opportunity to live in the same residence hall on campus. This allows the Living Learning Community to create a comfortable atmosphere for open discussion in and outside the classroom.

“I like being able to see the same people multiple times throughout the week,” Amanda Wall, APSU freshman, said. “I feel more comfortable to talk in class and can ask my classmates questions outside of class about an assignment.”

The communication students enrolled in the program will follow similar academic paths throughout their college careers at APSU.

The Living Learning Community is different from the transitional course all freshmen are required to take at Austin Peay. Freshmen in those traditional transition courses are divided into multiple APSU 1000 classes that meet once a week. Professors from different academic fields teach the courses.

The communication department’s transitional program is designed for the students to meet four hours a week inside the classroom with professors from their major. Trusting relationships between the students and professors are created, which will lead to future success, Carah Aleasha, a peer mentor with the program, said.

APSU’s communication department plans to extend the program to include sophomores next year.

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