First Year Living Learning Communities (LLCs) and Themed Living Communities (TLCs)

Drury University > New Student Programs & First Year Experience > First Year Living Learning Communities (LLCs) and Themed Living Communities (TLCs)

Fall 2023 Living Learning Communities and Themed Living Communities Applications are now open!

Living Learning Communities

Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) and Themed Living Communities (TLCs) provide an easier way for students to transition academically and socially into the Drury’s campus. LLCs are organized around themes and coincide with an academic class. The Future’s So Bright, I’ve Gotta Wear Shades – Dystopian Futures, Pre-Health Sciences, and Wellness LLCs are linked to the students FUSE 101 courseThe  Leadership Excellence at Drury (LEAD) LLC is linked to a leadership PDEV course. Students who are accepted into an LLC will attend class together and live on the same wing in their Residence Hall. 

Themed Living Communities

Themed Living Communities (TLCs) are not linked to an academic class but will offer specialized programming throughout the first year. Students will have the opportunity to live on the same wing with a cohort of students with similar interests and participate in theme-based.  Students in the TLCs will be required to meet with a staff advisor monthly and will be encouraged to participate in campus activities related to their theme. As a result, LLC and TLC students quickly form social bonds with their peers and instructors, have a like-minded support group and access to staff and faculty mentors. LLCs and TLCs bridge the gap between in-class and out-of-class learning.

What are the Benefits of Joining a Living Learning Community or Themed Living Community?

Nationally recognized research has consistently shown a correlation between social wellness and academic performance. Students who feel comfortable with their peers are more likely to participate in class, have a higher rate of satisfaction with their class and are more likely to get involved in campus life.

LLCs and TLCs exemplify our commitment to creating an intimate learning experience and we wish that we could enroll all students in the program. However, due to size restrictions, LLCs/TLCs participants are selected through an application process and are capped at 15-20 students per section. Students are not selected on a first-come first-selected basis. Drury selects students based solely on the quality of the applications and short essay answers received. Please read below for a list of this year’s LLC/TLC themes and the online application.

**Please note that themes will be offered based on student interest.  The lowest ranked theme(s) may not be offered for the 2022-23 academic year.**

Faculty/Staff Mentors

Living Learning Communities encourage strong mentoring relationships between faculty/staff and students, as well as the value of developing communities of shared purpose. Nationally, research has consistently shown benefits of the interaction in Living Learning Communities and Themed Living Communities  to include:

  • Higher levels of student participation in class.
  • Greater student satisfaction with class.
  • Greater appreciation of the areas.
  • More involvement in campus life.
  • More time in group study (Pascarella and Terenzini, 2005).

The Arts (Sunderland Hall)

The Arts LLC is designed for those students interested in music, theatre, visual arts and architecture. The course will explore all facets of art in our culture, how we view and respond to art, and the value of art to our society and world. Free activities may include trips to art galleries, theater productions, concerts and opportunities to view local architecture. All majors are welcome to apply for this LLC section.

The Future's So Bright, I've Gotta Wear Shades – Dystopian Futures (Sunderland Hall)

In recent years, surveys of first year students indicate that they have great optimism for their individual futures, but a far more pessimistic, even dystopian, view of our collective future.  Environmental degradation, erosion of privacy in the digital age, political polarization, increased social and economic inequity, and the fraying of our collective sense of community suggest that we have work to do to build the future in which we seek happiness for ourselves and for the world around us.

This LLC will use a variety of dystopian novels/films (e.g., Handmaid’s Tale, Blade Runner 2049, Sanctuary, The Road, Hunger Games, etc.) to unpack the nature of dystopian societies, not simply for their own sake, but also in order to identify useful strategies for assuring a future in which dystopian fiction actually remains fiction.  The class will also be built around opportunities to engage with nonprofit agencies in the Ozarks that are committed to enhancing our shared quality of life, providing a tangible outlet for the theoretical and literary issues we’ll address.

Pre-Health Sciences: Health, Wellbeing, and Happiness in a Modern American Culture (Sunderland Hall)

Only those freshmen planning to pursue a career in a health-science field should apply for this Living-Learning Community section. The majors and programs in the following areas must be of interest to students interested in applying:

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Exercise and Sport Science
  • Pre-Dental, Pre-Med, Pre-Nursing, etc.

In Health, Wellbeing, and Happiness in a Modern American Culture, we explore the role of health-care professions in American culture. In particular, we will consider the emotional and psychological aspects of healing, for both practitioners and patients alike. We will also examine how health-care professionals communicate with patients across racial, gender, and religious boundaries and how health-care workers can practice at the highest level of professional competence in a system that can be inefficient and fail some patients. Students will develop a research project on some aspect of patient care.  

Wellness (Sunderland Hall)

How are you doing? Are you well? After living through 2020, people across the globe are seeking wellness, but first they have to define it, and different cultures define wellness very differently. Norwegians say friluftsliv, or “free air life,” which means being outside as much as possible for work, play, meals, everything, regardless of the weather. Hawaiians say nana i ke kumu, or “look to the teacher,” meaning you can only be well when you know yourself, spending time in reflection and alone. In this class, we will explore different versions of wellness by learning about how different cultures around the world define wellness.  We will weave in some thoughts on wellness at college and practical applications of the ideas we discuss.  

Fanatics (Sunderland Hall)

Calling all Fans!  Do you love all things sports? From watch parties for the big game, participating in fantasy competitions to participating in intramurals , this TLC is for you!  We will collaborate with Campus Rec/Intramurals and our campus Fanthers group to help students engage in campus athletics as a participant or fan!

From the Outside In (Sunderland Hall)

From the Outside In explores healthy, active living and the love of nature. If you love taking nature walks, hiking, and camping or if you are interested in living a healthy lifestyle this is the place for you. This TLC will focus on exploring the Ozarks and living well.  From healthy eating and mental wellness, students will be given resources to create safer coping habits. Residents will have opportunities to partner with Panthers for Prevention, Drury’s student organization that encourages peers to make well-informed decisions regarding their overall health and wellness.  

Here We Are Now, Entertain Us (Sunderland Hall)

Film buffs, music junkies, and pop culture aficionados alike, come as you are and apply to live with those who share your passions in all things entertainment. Whether you prefer Scorsese or Tarantino, feud over Marvel vs. DC, or are the first to weigh in on a Stones or Beatles argument – we have a place for you! Apply to be a resident in the Here We Are Now, Entertain Us TLC and live among others who share your appreciation for popular culture and the music and movies that shape who we are. You will never have to watch the Oscars alone again!

Exploring Majors ( Wallace Hall)

The Exploring Majors TLC is for students who are still exploring majors, minors, or certificates. Partnering with the Career Planning office, students will explore various career paths through personality assessments, campus events, and hands-on experience. The goal of the TLC is to assist students in finding programs that align with their skills and interests.

Panther's First (Wallace Hall)

Are you the first in your family to attend a four year university? If so , let us celebrate this accomplishment with you!  The Panther’s First TLC is designed to help first generation students navigate their way through the first year of college. Students in this TLC will have access to peer mentors and staff leadership will provide programing to help get students engaged on campus.

D.I.V.E (Diversity Inclusion Values Everyone) (Smith Hall)

First year students in this TLC will live together in a shared residence hall. Students will have the opportunity to participate in cultural connectedness and social justice issues; such as By Stander intervention training, cultural diversity training, and community outings.


  • Student’s overall educational experience will be enhanced
  • Group discussion along with activities through reflection writings will foster deeper learning experiences
  • Respect and support for self and community

How to Apply: 

  1. Apply and be accepted to Drury University.
  2. Complete your online  2023-24 Housing Contract to the Drury Admission Office with Freshman Living Learning Communities and Themed Living Communities marked as your first residential hall choice.
  3. Pay the $200 enrollment deposit (refundable through May 1, 2023).
  4. Submit the online Living Learning Community application. 
  5. All requirements (online application, deposit and housing contract) must be received by 11:59 p.m. on April 15, 2023

Apply for the LLC/TLC Program

If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Stewart, Director of New Student Programs, at You can also review our Frequently Asked Questions.