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Fall 2013 Communities

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Academic Excellence at St. Ambrose University: Learning Communities

Ambrose Learning Communities offer terrific advantages to first-year students by allowing you to take a cluster of courses suited to your interests and needs, and to do so with a group of your peers with similar interests.

Learning Communities include two general education courses, a New Student Seminar, and Information Literacy. Some communities are designed to introduce you to your major, while others focus on current issues and events on campus and around the world.

The benefits of taking courses in a Learning Community include the opportunity to learn about ideas from more than one perspective, learning with a familiar group of your peers, and having professors who are working together to help you connect your learning, research, and the transition to college in a meaningful way.

Contact information: Sherri Erkel, Director, First Year Experience, 563-333-5829 or

Take a look at the list of Learning Communities below, and then talk to your advisor about the community that will be best for you!

Course Descriptions

Note: All Learning Communities include IL 101 which satisfies the Information Literacy requirement and New Student Seminar (NSS 101) counts toward graduation and helps you make a smooth transition to college life.

ACE 101A/B: The Art of Science
The foundational skills for a scientist include asking interesting questions, formulating hypotheses, designing experiments, analyzing data, and communicating new knowledge. In this learning community, students develop all of these abilities as they work in teams to conduct original research at Nahant Marsh in Davenport, one of the few remaining large wetlands along the upper Mississippi River. BIO 199 satisfies a science general education requirement and STATS 213 satisfies a mathematics general education requirement.

ACE 101C: Be the Change: Learning and Serving in the Community and the World
This community will explore human rights issues that impact people around the world and will teach students about inspirational activists. Students will also partner with service agencies in our community. WMST 201 satisfies a Humanities general education course, ENGL 101 satisfies the written communication skills requirement.

ACE 101D: Business Thinking and Speaking
This community offers students a unique opportunity to learn to think like a business person and to speak effectively in both informal and formal (business) settings. Accounting Principles introduces students to the basics of financial accounting and its way of organizing information with the purpose of communication, while Principles of Public Speaking teaches students to organize and verbalize ideas, as well as to effectively communicate in group settings. ACCT 201 satisfies a major requirement for Accounting, COMM 129 satisfies the oral communication skills requirement.

ACE 101E: "Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk"
Ever wonder why some people and teams are more successful than others? Might it have something to do with them possessing greater leadership and communication skills? In "Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk" you will discover what makes one an effective leader while you become a better communicator. PSCI 104 satisfies a social science general education requirement and COMM 129 satisfies the oral communication skills requirement.

ACE 101F: Diversity Matters
The learning community will investigate the construction of race, particularly in the United States by investigating the contributions of theologians and authors from Latino/a, African American, American Indian, and Asian communities. Human diversity will be reflected upon in reading and writing exercises. THEO 160 satisfies a theology requirement, ENGL 120 satisfies a humanities general education requirement.

ACE 101G: Violence, War, and World Religions
"Violence, War, and World Religions" investigates roles of world religions in different forms of international violence and conflicts around the world in the 21st century. PSCI 130 satisfies a social science general education requirement; THEO 250 satisfies a theology requirement.

ACE 101H: The Hero's Path
Storytellers, artists, and filmmakers have repeatedly revisited certain themes, depicting and recreating symbols based on myths, legends, folklore, and fairy tales. In The Hero's Path students will be presented with tales and archetypes representing a broad range of Western and non-Western civilizations, from the Classical world to contemporary pop culture. AH 120 and HIST 102 satisfy the humanities general education requirement.

ACE 101I: I Beg Your Pardon? Ethics and the Limits of Reconciliation
Through film and interviews with peace-activists, those who've committed violent acts and those who've survived them, this learning community will examine such questions as: What are the limits to forgiveness? What qualifies as a legitimate grievance? Are we obligated to reconcile with someone who has wronged us? PHIL 207 satisfies a philosophy requirement, THEO 160 satisfies a theology requirement.

ACE 101J: Creating Success in Business
This community provides an excellent opportunity for students to prepare for success in the business world by understanding how businesses execute marketing and applying these concepts to themselves. Principles of Marketing presents the key elements of a marketing program while Survey of Human Communication teaches students to organize and verbalize ideas, as well as effectively communicate in group settings. MKTG 209 satisfies a major requirement in Business, COMM 132 satisfies the oral communication requirement.

ACE 101K: Sustainable Futures
What struggles does our world face? What is the relationship between human society, the natural environment, and the built environment? What social solutions are necessary for a sustainable future for human society and the larger ecological environment? ENG 101 satisfies the written communication requirement, SOC 101 satisfies a social science general education requirement

ACE 101L: Introduction to Creative Arts: Text as Image, Image as Text
Students in this community will gain an introduction to the Creative Arts, focusing on the interrelationships between narrative test and visual image. Students will explore ways by which the two can work together and create a handmade book containing original writing and observational drawings that collaborate with each other to form a unified narrative. ENGL 101 satisfies the written communication requirement, ART 100 satisfies a creative arts general education requirement.

ACE 101M: Heart, Mind, and Soul
To engage in the Catholic intellectual tradition is to be part of a 2,000 year dialogue between faith and reason seeking truth where it can be found. This learning community will explore matters both sacred and secular related to love, sacrifice, and devotion, offering students opportunities to reflect upon the meaning of their lives. CATH 201 satisfies a humanities general education requirement, ENG 101 satisfies the written communication requirement.

ACE 101N: Speaking Truth to Power
Words are powerful tools. They can persuade or threaten, illuminate or deceive, inform or obscure. They can be used to advance the cause of justice or to excuse injustice, to inspire the betterment of lives or to condone oppression. The words we choose can be a key to effectiveness and success, or to get us into trouble with the powers that be. PSCI 120 satisfies a social science general education requirement, COMM 129 satisfies the oral communication requirement.

ACE 101O: Order in the Universe; Clarity in the Mind
Astronomy studies the order of the universe; logic is a way of ordering the mind. In this Learning Community, you will study both of these and see the interesting and important connections between clear perceptions of space and clear perceptions of our world. ASTR 201 satisfies a natural science general education requirement, PHIL 201 satisfies a philosophy requirement.