What are learning communities?

A learning community is a small group of first-year students who take classes together and share some common interests. Arts and Science learning communities are designed to ease the transition into university by providing our first-year students with extra opportunities to make friends, study and explore ideas together, and work together to develop the academic and personal skills to succeed.

Learning communities are what a university education is all about—students and faculty from many different backgrounds come together to explore big ideas and a wide range of perspectives on the world. Through this experience, students grow personally as they advance intellectually, and make lifelong friendships.

Arts and Science learning communities have three main goals:

  1. Building community: Learning communities allow first-year students to begin university surrounded by students who have the same interests and goals. Through learning communities, students build connections to people and places across campus that will help support them on their academic journey.
  2. Making connections and exploring careers: University is a great place to come and improve what you know, but who you know counts too. Learning communities will help introduce students to programs and colleges across campus that are related to their interests and connect them to professionals who turned similar interests into exciting careers.
  3. Enriching academics: University is a whole different ballgame than high school. Learning communities will connect peer mentors—our team of expert learners—to first-year students to help them build on and improve their academic skills to successfully navigate their way through the first year.

Arts and Science learning communities

The College of Arts and Science is the largest and most diverse college at the University of Saskatchewan. To meet the different needs of our first-year learners, we offer the following Arts and Science learning community programs:

96% of FLEX students would recommend FLEX Learning Communities to a sibling or friend.


Frequently asked questions

FLEX Learning Communities sign-up opens, May 1, 2023 at Noon.

Go to our website —  FLEX Class listing — and choose one of our FLEX LC’s. All registration is done through the website (click on the name of the LC to expand it; there will be a link to register at the bottom of the box). Once you register for an LC, it is that same as registering for courses through PAWS: you are responsible for paying for and attending each class, or dropping the courses if you do not plan to attend.

You can drop LC courses through PAWS just like any other course after after the first year registration window in June (students should be aware of drop deadlines throughout the term). If you do not take all the courses attached to an LC, you will not get the full benefit. Students who drop LC courses or the LC hour before the start of the term may be asked to withdraw from all their LC classes to make room for other students who wish to enroll in that LC.

If you want more advice on LC selection, you should email us at aslc@usask.ca and we would be happy to chat with you about the LC that meets your needs.

No, you do not. However, you need to sign up for a Term 1 LC to be enrolled in FLEX. Once you have signed up for your Term 1 LC, you may be interested in choosing one of our Term 2 LCs. Don't wait too long to decide, they will fill up fast!

You can sign up for a Term 2 LC starting May 1, 2023 at Noon right after you sign up for your Term 1 LC.

Yes. After you sign-up for an LC, you will be sent a confirmation e-mail with further information about LC block registration, class registration, and when/how to access the early registration window for LC students.

Absolutely! You can add more classes to your schedule when the LC Registration Window opens for LC students in June. You need to ensure these courses fit within your LC schedule (LC classes in your Block will have to be registered for first before you can add more courses to the LC). Five courses per term is the maximum for first year students.

Attendance is taken at each LC hour. There are no academic consequences for missing LC hours, but students who do not attend the LC hour will be missing almost all the benefits of the program.

Yes, you will! We understand the demands on your time as a university student. You should consider the time you dedicate to your FLEX Learning Community as an investment, by attending the weekly 50 minute sessions you will learn the academic skills necessary to successfully navigate your courses; the developmental skills to establish a healthy school-life balance; and, the personal skills to create meaningful friendships that will continue well beyond your time in FLEX!

No. Your Peer Mentors are students in their third- and fourth-year of study. They facilitate your weekly sessions, some of which will focus on developing academic and learning skills such as note-taking, study skills, exam preparation and making connections . In addition, your Peer Mentors act as a resource for you as you navigate your way through your first year.

The LC hour is not for credit and will not have any assignments. It is purely for students’ benefit. Courses attached to LC’s are the same as any other Arts and Science course for grading.

No. We appreciate your enthusiasm for the program, but students are restricted to one LC per Term.

Students are encouraged to choose the LC that is right for them. Our team of advisors is happy to help with LC selection. Once you register for an LC the only way to switch to another LC is to contact the LC team at aslc@usask.ca. There is no guarantee that the LC you want to switch to will have space, so choose wisely!

Not directly, no. We hope that the interaction LC students have with academic advisors, staff from other colleges, upper year students, professionals, and faculty members will improve their chances of reaching their academic and career goals. However, registration in an LC does not guarantee enrollment in any program or college, or special consideration when applying.

Once an LC is full, registration for that particular LC is closed. However, we have many FLEX LC’s with 24 seats each, for a total of over 500 LC  seats. Some of the LC’s (such as the Nursing and Biomedical Sciences LC’s) are duplicated to allow for higher enrolment. If a student wants to be in an LC, there will be one available that can suit their interests.

Finalizing room scheduling usually happens later than LC signup. Therefore, room numbers will not be posted on your LC schedule. You will be able to check your detailed student schedule (with room numbers) after the first year registration window opens in June through PAWS. To do this, log into PAWS and select “Academics” (on the left of the screen), then “My Courses”. From here you can select either “Class schedule” or “Class locations” to view the room numbers of your courses. First year courses in Arts and Science are scheduled in handful of different buildings, all of which are located in a relatively small area. Getting from class to class (or lab) on time is very rarely a problem.

A few of our Learning Communities have more than one possible time for either the History seminar or chemistry laboratory. This is due to the number of seats available for each time slot. You will be able to view which seminar you have been registered for in your PAWS account after the first year registration window opens in June (log into PAWS and select “Academics” on the left of the screen, then “My Courses”. From here you can select “Class schedule”). We understand that many students will want to know what seminar or laboratory they are enrolled in before June, so feel free to email us at aslc@usask.ca.

Yes, you will have time! Classes at the University of Saskatchewan are scheduled to allow for 10 minutes for class change movement, this leaves you ten minutes to travel between classes.

There are no extra fees for the Learning Communities. The LC Hour with the Peer Mentors is a free non-credit course however, when you sign-up for a Learning Community you are responsible for the fees and tuition associated with the classes within that Learning Community.

When you sign-up for a Learning Community you are responsible for the fees and tuition associated with the classes within that Learning Community. If you change or mind or say you get accepted at a different university, then you MUST email our team at aslc@usask.ca so we can remove you from the LC(s) that you signed up for PRIOR to registration into the classes.

If after reading this list of FAQ for the FLEX Learning Communities, you still have questions, email your question(s) to aslc@usask.ca

Contact us

Learning Communities team