What is a Learning Community (Cluster)?

The goal of General Education (GE) coursework is to give you a broad sampling of different academic areas. This sampling exposes you to varied disciplines, increasing the value and breadth of your total undergraduate education. G.E. coursework allows you to discover new interests that may open a whole new range of opportunities for further study or career choice.

The G.E program at California State University, East Bay goes beyond these conventional goals. Knowing that many students come into college having already identified areas of academic interests, Cal State East Bay groups G.E. courses together within common themes.

This linking of courses gives you the opportunity to complete G.E. requirements by taking classes that all relate to a topic of your choosing. We call this grouping of coursework "GE Clusters." Instead of an endless, confusing list of courses, our freshman students choose from over a dozen clusters of thematically linked courses in the natural sciences, arts and humanities, or social sciences.

Cluster classes meet two or three times a week. Every course in a cluster group fulfills a G.E. requirement and helps to fulfill prerequisities for your major. The program is designed to ensure timely completion of the lower division G.E. requirements and rapid progress toward completing your degree. Freshman cluster courses include classes in English composition, speech, and information literacy to build your basic skills in these critical areas while delving into the subjects you are studying. A quarterly G.E. activity course ties it all together.

Freshman in the G.E. program work in learning communities. You, your classmates, and your professors work closely together for the entire year, which helps to ensure a rewarding experience that positions you for further academic success. As you move through the program together, you can build lasting connections and friendships with your fellow students.


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