Frequently Asked Questions About Freshman Learning Communities
What is a Freshman Learning Community (FLC)?
A FLC is generally a set of clustered courses linked by a theme and taken by the same small group of freshmen during the fall semester at UAB. Many FLCs include a Freshman Seminar anchor course on the FLC theme, an English composition class, and a core math or science class. Some FLCs link to a fourth or even fifth class. Faculty work together to create an integrated curriculum with some overlapping readings, discussions, and/or assignments on such themes as Code-breaking, Global Communities, Health Care Professions, and Exploring Birmingham. School-specific or major-specific FLCs vary more widely in their format and may simply consist of the same cohort of students in multiple classes, but they too ease the transition to college and provide community-building opportunities.
Who can take an FLC?
Freshmen in any major and freshmen who are undecided about the program they want to pursue can enroll in any FLC except a living-learning community or FLCs reserved for engineering majors or Global and Community Leadership Honors students.
Will students get academic credit for being enrolled in an FLC?
Absolutely. Freshman Seminars and English Composition are each 3-credit hour courses. The other linked course(s) generally are 3-4 credit hours. Some science classes require an additional lab or recitation class which may be 0-1 credit hour. Every FLC includes multiple courses that fulfill university Core Curriculum requirements. Check with your academic adviser to determine which FLC courses can be used to satisfy a school-specific requirement, a Core Curriculum requirement, or a program elective.
Are students required to enroll in an FLC?
No. UAB offers a variety of FYE options for students.
Why should students enroll in an FLC?
FLCs are a great way to begin your career at UAB because they
foster a community of friendships;
guarantee a more personal, early introduction to award-winning faculty;
offer special extracurricular activities;
feature collaborative and innovative learning opportunities;
are supported by a librarian, academic adviser, and Student Affairs person; and
are great fun.
Plus, national studies demonstrate that FLCs increase student achievement and decrease the time to degree completion.
Will all FLC classes be small?
Not necessarily. The Freshman Seminar and the English Composition class are limited to 25 students. The other linked course(s) may be small, medium, or large in terms of student enrollment. A large lecture class in your FLC provides an opportunity for students to meet new classmates or sit with the study buddies from the FLC "family."
Can students who have AP credit for English Composition enroll in an FLC?
Absolutely. Those FLCs that do not include any English composition course can be taken by both students who have AP credit for English compositiion and students who need to take English composition. Remember that an FLC does not constitute a full course load for a full-time student.
Do students have to take all courses linked together in an FLC?
Students must be concurrently enrolled in all courses linked together in an FLC, and cannot withdraw from one course without dropping all linked courses.
What if students want to take a course that is not part of an FLC?
No problem. Most FLCs consist of three courses which equal 9-10 semester hours of course work. A standard course load for a full-time student is 15 semester hours of course work.
How do students enroll in an FLC?
FLCs are offered only during the fall term so registration takes place during the summer at New Student Orientation. Since FLC enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis, sign up for an early New Student Orientation session so students can enroll in the FLC of your choice. Remember to review the FLC choices before you come to campus.
Who can answer my question about FLCs?
Contact Dr. Marilyn Kurata, Director, Core Curriculum Enhancement, at 996-6420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The links below explain the myths surrounding learning communities and detail invaluable learning outcomes the courses can provide.
FLC General Learning Outcomes