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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of the Galileo Learning Community?

Studies show that students are more successful when their academic experiences are integrated with other aspects of their lives. A learning community allows for interaction with others who share similar interests, thereby developing a common commitment to each other's personal and academic success.

In addition, ongoing interactions with peers and faculty members assist students in making personal meaning of their academic experiences. A learning community is geared to make a student’s transition from high school to college easier. As students experience new freedoms along with new routines and challenges, a learning community helps them get on the right footing and provides ongoing support to make any necessary adjustments through the first year.

The Galileo Learning Community doesn't cost anything extra and is a great way to make friends quickly and easily.

What are the expectations of students that participate in the Galileo Learning Community?
In the five core classes of the Galileo Learning Community, students will be expected to explore and make connections focused on the theme of Mind, Body, and Spirit. What’s so exciting about being a part of the Galileo Learning Community is that in addition to the normal class requirements, students will also participate in a number of out-of-class activities that will integrate their classroom learning with real life experiences. Perhaps even more exciting will be the opportunity for students to design and lead some of these out-of-class events based on their own interests. The activities offered will not only focus on the theme of the Galileo Learning Community but will also provide a variety of social and educational events to support a student’s first year transition to Bellarmine.

If I am coming to Bellarmine as a student-athlete and/or I have signed up for the Pioneer Scholars Program is being in the Galileo Learning Community too much to manage?
Not at all! In the past four years Bellarmine has had a large number of student-athletes involved with the Pioneer Scholars Program, a voluntary program for first year first-generation students. What we have found is that multiple connections like these are of tremendous benefit to participating students and together they create a more extensive support system. The same benefits will apply for students in the Galileo Learning Community. Our goal is not to place additional burdens on the student but rather to craft a more comprehensive, coherent, and enjoyable experience that will ease the transition to university and provide the foundations for a successful academic experience.

Can I be in any other learning community?
We’re afraid not except if you are a first-generation student and want to be part of the Pioneer Scholars Program (see above). The Brown Leadership, Eureka, and Honors communities have similar structures and hence overlap with Galileo. In addition, each community has a different focus which will appeal to different students.   

I'm a commuter student – can I participate in the Galileo Learning Community?
Absolutely! Commuter students interested in the health sciences (nursing, exercise science, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, and medical lab sciences) and/or a career in the medical sciences can be a part of the learning community. Other than not residing on campus, commuter participants in the Galileo Learning Community will have exactly the same experiences as their residential counterparts.

Special information on roommate requests.
If you are interested in the Galileo Learning Community and you and a friend are making a roommate request to live together, each of you must have a health science interest (nursing, exercise science, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, and medical lab sciences) in order to be roommates in the learning community. If your friend doesn’t have a health/medical science interest you will be paired with another student who has expressed interest in being a part of the learning community.

If I am a resident do I have to live in the residence hall where Galileo is housed?
Yes, you must live in the designated residence hall in order to be a participant (exception for commuter students and those needing special accommodations). Studies show that students who take classes together but don't share the same housing assignment do not gain the same benefits from this type of program.

Will my roommate be a member of the Galileo Learning Community?
Yes, all students living in your suite will be members of the Galileo Learning Community. Petrik Hall will also be housing the Brown Leadership Community so you will have opportunities (formally and informally) to interact with students in that community.

Do I have to take all of the classes assigned to the Galileo Learning Community?
Yes, all five classes are required of Learning Community participants. Additionally, these five classes meet both major and general education class requirements for students with health science majors and those interested in a career in the medical sciences. The five classes also meet the requirements for all non-health science majors if you decide to change your major while at Bellarmine.

Can I take any classes other than those in Galileo?
Yes, in the fall semester students will be taking three classes together: Human Anatomy & Physiology (BIOL108) or Principles of Biology (BIOL 130), Expository Writing (ENGL101), and Freshmen Focus (IDC. 100) for a total of eight credit hours. Generally, students enroll in 14 to 17 hours of classes per semester. Therefore you could register for to two to three additional 3-credit hour classes in the fall semester depending on your major and other considerations. In the spring semester there are currently two 3-credit hour classes required; Freshmen Seminar (IDC. 101) and an art, music, or theatre class designed specifically for the Galileo Learning Community. This allows you up to three or four additional 3-credit hour classes to take independent of the learning community. We will work with you to ensure that you have the appropriate schedule of classes.

I am not sure about my major but am interested in the health sciences – should I still think about participating in the Galileo Learning Community?
Definitely! If you are interested in the health sciences and/or a career in the medical sciences but still not sure about your major or potential career interests being a part of the learning community is a great way to answer those questions. A major focus of the learning community is helping students determine what major best suits them, health/medical science related or not.

I requested the Galileo Learning Community, but I wasn't placed in it – why not?
The Galileo Learning Community is geared towards students with interests in the health sciences or careers in the medical sciences. The most common reason why students are not placed in the Galileo Learning Community is that their interests don’t mesh with the community’s focus on the health/medical sciences. Separately, there are only 100 (75 residents, 25 commuters) spaces for the Galileo Learning Community. If you expressed interest in the learning community after those spaces were filled we will put you on a waiting list and keep in contact with you should a space open up.

Students are given priority for placement in the Galileo Learning Community based on the date their request for joining the program is received by the Coordinator of the LC (Andrew Schroeder, aschroeder@bellarmine.edu), Admissions, and/or Residence Life Office. It's important to apply for this program as early as possible.

Another reason why a student may not have been placed in the Galileo Learning Community is due to ACT/SAT scores. In advising first semester nursing and health science students, Bellarmine reviews a student’s academic transcript and ACT/SAT scores. Students with standardized scores and/or high school grades in sciences below our recommended level will be advised to wait until the spring semester of their first year to take Human Anatomy & Physiology I (Biology 108). Since Biology 108 is a key component of the fall semester of the Galileo Learning Community it would inappropriate to place these students in the learning community.

How will I know if I was accepted into the Galileo Learning Community?
Students will receive confirmation by mail from the Galileo Learning Community Coordinator within two weeks after their requests have been received. This confirmation will provide information indicating if the student has been officially accepted into the program or if they will be placed on the waiting list contingent on a space becoming available.

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