Living Learning communities summer 2013 29 “We’ll be sitting there, like, ‘All right, did you do that paper yet?’ It’s really nice, both being nursing majors. We help keep each other on track,” Ms. Rodríguez said. But it’s not all work, as evidenced by the outings to a Louisville Bats baseball game and the Louisville Zoo – events students said they hope learning community organizers will expand next year. And community mates often found themselves forming basketball and ultimate Frisbee teams. There were educational outings, too. One professor took a group of 50 Galileo “It’s really nice, both being nursing majors. We help keep each other on track.”—Alison Rodríguez sometime stretch to 10 p.m. “They’ll drop in all hours with registration questions, wanting me to read through a paper for feedback, or to just say hi and tell me what’s going on – maybe they got a job or something,” she said. “I’ve had students just roll in in their pajamas and they’re able to tell me, ‘I’m really sick, I can’t make it to class.’ ” Anecdotally, she said, she’s heard that the program has had a positive impact on grades and on students staying with their majors. “They’ve had a tremendous experience,” she said. In fact, many of the students want to serve as mentors or otherwise get involved with next year’s group of Galileo freshmen, who will live in Petrik Hall. And while a second year wasn’t planned, some of the students from the first year are being grouped together unofficially in dorms next year. Dr. Ellis said the university plans to study the impact the learning communities have on retention, graduation rates and grade-point averages over the summer and report the findings. But Mr. Helton is among those students who say it’s already a success, calling it a “huge benefit.” students to Cave Hill Cemetery for a course on death and dying, while others visited the Body Worlds exhibit at the Kentucky Science Center as part of an interdisciplinary course that studied themes of the body. Another group held a late-night study session before a test in the dorm that ran until almost midnight, a rarity outside of Galileo. Instructor Jessica Hume, who began working in Galileo last fall and teaches English and freshman courses, said she also acts as a mentor to students. She keeps office hours right in the dorm that Freshmen Miranda Sikorski, left, and Alison Rodríguez walk back to their dorm together after attending an end-of-the-year gettogether for the Galileo Learning Community.
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