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Living Learning Communities

Black Hills State University offers students many different ways to connect what they're learning in the classroom to the world around them. Living Learning Communities (LLCs) offer a unique way to combine learning, living, and personal development in a unique environment where they all complement and strengthen each other.

Nursing students smiling at each other.

Health Care Professionals | Heidepriem Hall, Third Floor

Students with an interest in a science-based major or career in health sciences can participate in the Health Professionals Living Learning Community to assist in their transition to science at the university level and exploration of future health sciences careers. Must have a major related to the health care field. This LLC is capped at 20 Students.

Students spending time together in a residence hall.

Sustainable Living | Thomas Hall, Third Floor

Students from all majors and classifications who share an interest in learning more about sustainability globally and how to live a more sustainable lifestyle now and in the future would find a home in the sustainability Living Learning Community. Students, working with BHSU staff and faculty, will explore ways to live a more sustainable life in college, and after. It's more than just recycling! Student interest-based. This LLC has a capacity for 22 students.

Honors students sitting together.

The Honors Community | Wenona Cook Hall, Second Floor

This community is open to University Honors Students looking for ways to connect with and learn from other Honors students and our amazing Honors faculty. Wenona Cook Hall provides spacious single rooms, perfect for studying. While students do not have to be enrolled in one specific course together, they will have commonly shared classes. Must be enrolled in Honors Courses at BHSU. The Honor's community has a capacity of 20 students.

Resident Assistants taking a selfie.

Social Advocate | Heidepriem Hall, First Floor

Located in Heidepriem Hall, first floor. Students seeking an open and affirming community that promotes inclusion and acceptance for all students as well as cultural and social empowerment opt to participate in the Social Advocate LLC. Students who participate in Social Advocate should expect programming and activities designed to cultivate awareness of those in the world around them and how to advocate for themselves and others. Student interest-based. Social Advocate has a capacity of 20 students.

What you can expect when living in a Living Learning Community (LLC)?

Living Together

Research indicates that students who participate in LLCs are more likely to have higher first semester GPAs, form a greater connection to campus, enjoy greater access to faculty and campus resources, and are more likely to graduate on time.

Learning Together

All students who participate in our LLCs take GS100 together. This class helps prepare students for the rigors of collegiate life. LLC sections of GS100 utilize BHSU faculty and staff involved in our LLCs. Beyond the classroom, study groups and peer interactions increase the likelihood of making lifelong connections. 

Faculty Involvement and Connections

LLC participants enjoy a closer connection to BHSU faculty, those involved with an LLC, and those who are not. Students learn how to access faculty and how to make the most out of those connections. 


Adams, D. V. (1974). Residential learning opportunities. In D. A. DeCoster & P. Mable (Eds.), Student development and education in college residence halls. Washington, DC: American College Personnel Association.

Beckett, A. K. (2006). Relationship between participation in a residentially-based freshman interest group and degree attainment (doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses: Full Text database (UMI No. 3284760).

Garrett, M. D., & Zabriskie, M. S. (2003). The influence of living-learning program participation on student-faculty interaction. Journal of College and University Student Housing, 32(2), 38-44.

Hummel, M., Murphy, R., & Zeller, W. (2008). Principles for effective living and learning programs. In G. Luna & J. Gahagan (Eds.), Learning initiatives in the residential setting (monograph No. 48). Columbia, SC: National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, University of South Carolina.

Inkelas, K. K & Soldner M. (2011). Undergraduate living-learning programs and student outcomes. In J. C. Smart & M. B. Paulson (Eds), Higher education: Handbook of theory research (1-55). New York: Springer.

Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (1980). Student-faculty and student-peer relationships as mediators of the structural effects of undergraduate residence arrangement. Journal of Educational Research, 73(6), 344-353

Contact Info

BHSU Residence Life
Woodburn Hall, 124 Map
Hours: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Phone: 605.642.6464
Fax: 605.642.6095

Black Hills State University
1200 University St. Unit 9100
Spearfish, SD, USA 57799-9100