“You can always make a big university smaller, but you can never make a small university bigger,” an LSA senior reminded a group of first-year students recently. LSA is remarkable in the breadth of opportunities that come with a very large college. There are now more than 18,000 undergraduates earning their degrees in LSA, with more than 85 majors and sub-majors and over 100 minors available. And students find their smaller communities in a range of places, from clubs to sports teams to academic departments to fraternities and sororities to MLCs. What’s an MLC? Let me explain with an example.
One of the joys of walking through East Quad is hearing students speaking French, Spanish, Russian, German, and Japanese in the communal spaces. The multilingual exchanges highlight the well-rounded education that LSA students receive, as well as the benefits of being a student in a Michigan Learning Community (MLC).
In this instance, the MLC is the Residential College (RC), one of LSA’s most well-established living-learning communities. Students in the RC must meet a level of foreign language proficiency, among other requirements. RC students live and learn together, taking many classes down the hall from their dorm rooms. It’s a supportive environment, with a far-reaching interdisciplinary education, and these combine to make RC students and alums enthusiastically loyal—to the RC, LSA, and the university.
The RC is just one of our many MLCs. LSA’s other learning communities include: the Honors College; the Global Scholars Program; the Health Sciences Scholars Program; Lloyd Scholars for Writing and the Arts; the Living Arts (Engine) program; the Max Kade German Residence; the Michigan Community Scholars Program; Michigan Research and Discovery Scholars; and the Women in Science and Engineering Residential Program.
While they have different missions, all of the MLCs share certain goals: to build community among people with shared interests; to make a large university feel smaller and more welcoming; to provide a home base and a place for connection; to support students.
We’re excited to add a new MLC to our roster. Earlier this year, we announced the Bridge Scholars Plus (BSP) living-learning community, which will better support high-achieving students from a variety of backgrounds. It is part of the Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP), which also administers the groundbreaking Summer Bridge Scholars Program. This year, we are also celebrating the 40th anniversary of CSP, which was forged out of decades of organized, direct action led by the Black Action Movement. The program serves 3,000 undergraduate students by empowering them to take ownership of their learning and be leaders in and beyond the university.
This is one example of our commitment to creating an environment where students from all backgrounds and experiences can thrive and feel valued.
I could continue to sing the praises of our MLCs and all that they bring to LSA’s culture and to students’ lives. Instead, though, I’ll close with this quote from an alum of the Lloyd Scholars program. When asked their favorite thing about the program, the alum said, “Well…where do I start? Have you ever heard a song and thought to yourself, ‘everything about this song makes me want to explode into thousands of happy pieces?’ [Lloyd Scholars] is that song that makes me want to explode into a thousand little bits.”
Anne Curzan, Dean
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Cassidy is proud to be the first in their family to go to college.
Scholarship support made it possible for Cassidy to attend LSA. It also lets them explore everything else the university has to offer outside the classroom, like doing academic research and creating editorial cartoons for The Michigan Daily.
Your generosity helps students find their place at LSA.