Academic Support

Academic Support Programs      

Learning Community Mentoring Program


A Learning Community is a group of people who are actively engaged in learning together and from each other. We at CCSJ, believe that success in college depends on having a positive support group and a Leaning Community helps to create such a group. A Learning Community program is a support program for first time freshmen to help them adjust to and succeed in college by providing them guidance, support and a greater understanding of the resources and opportunities available to them. The Learning Community program includes several components to provide our freshmen with extra academic and social support they need to ensure success in college.



During orientation, the students are first introduced into the Learning Cmmunity. Among other things, the orientation process throughly prepares the student with the specifics and goals of the program. It is there that the student is first introduced to their very own mentor. A CCSJ mentor is someone who is a trusted and reliable role model and one who supports the student in reaching his or her own personal potential. Mentors are trained staff who share their own experiences, familiarity and knowledge of the college process. Mentors contact studnets regulary, monitor their progress and help them overcome a variety of obstacles that may prevent them from a successful college experience. Through periodic meetings with Learning Community professors, the mentors keep instructors appraised of the home, work and life challenges the student faces, especially those students who may need the extra help navigating their first year.

Linked Courses

Starting with the first week of classes, the Learning Community begins where several groups of students move together much like a cohort group (approximately 20 per group) through a required sequence of three linked courses each semester. Professors collaborate to build interconnected learning units and assignments for the students' specific courses which reinforce and enhance each other's individual class goals. The linked courses are designed to ensure that early in the in their college careers, students will develop the foundational knowledge, skills, abilities and charater they need to succeed both in college and in the workplace.

First Semester
Second Semester

(GENL 100) College Survival
(ENGL 103) English Composition
(HUM 110) Humanities
(GENL 110) Master Student
(RSTL 110) Religious Studies

(CMIS 115) Computer Literacy
(ENGL 103/104) English
(HIS110/115) History
(MTH 095/096/102) Math


One of the favorite features of the Learning Community are the monthly socials or in-class activities. Monthly socials are designed specifically with the students in mind. They allow the students to interact with each other, along with their mentors and professors in a setting out the typical classroom structure. The students are encouraged to mingle with the various groups while enjoying a delicious meal and participating in extra-curricular activities such as: ice-breakers, guest speakers, thought provoking documentaries which are all designed to stimulate critical thinking and intellectual conversation. Students are often encouraged to work together in both large and smaller group settings. Additionally, once a year, the student has hte unique opportunity to attend a carefully planned field trip that is specifically designed to further the students' linked course learning. Past trips included The Art Institute of Chicago, Pullman Neighborhoods Tour and The Chicago History Museum. The specific trip givse students the opportunity to take their in-class discussion to another level. When asked in a survey, most studnets agreed that the social was relatable to their linked course. During these trips, students are encouraged to participate in a range of activities such as ascavenger hunts, essay writing and journaling. Some students responses to the trips have been:


"It allowed us to see how our class material applieas to my class and the real world."

"It was great that we were able to take our learning outside of the classroom."

"It was nice to have an opportunity to talk to our instructors outside the typical classroom."


Academic Support Resources

Academic Resources

Disability Services

Learning Communities


PACE Program

Student Success Center

Student Support Staff


Twenty-First Century Scholars



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Contact Information Student Success Center

Monday - Thursday 9:00A.M. - 7:00 P.M.
Friday 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

Room: 166 (in the library)
Telephone: (219) 473-4287 (Indiana)
                      (773) 721-0202, Ext. 352 (Illinois)
                      1-877-700-9100 (Toll Free)
FAX: (219) 473-4277