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Experience improves student involvement

The Global Learning Community, which began this semester at Coman Hall, brings the world to Pullman.

The goal of this unique melding of learning and living with an international focus is to meet one of the university’s most important challenges: student retention.

“How do we keep students at Pullman? One answer may be to provide them with a more cosmopolitan experience,” said Andrew Appleton, director of global studies for International Programs.

In addition to helping retain students, the program is designed to introduce undergraduates to university research, Appleton said. It also aims to acquaint students with WSU’s international research and development programs and increase student participation in studying abroad. 

The Global Learning Community is a partnership between International Programs, the Office of Undergraduate Education and Residence Life.

A total of 137 students are registered for the coed program. About 60 percent are freshmen. The freshmen are enrolled in one of two different Freshman Focus class pairings. For more on Freshman Focus, see ONLINE @

The Freshman Focus courses will cover common themes, like sustainable international development and the impact of WSU research worldwide.

Some of these classes will take place in the newly remodeled lounge in Coman Hall, and residents will have access to new technological resources associated with the Global Learning Community.

In addition, Appleton expects to bring in international business and political leaders to speak to the students.

“We want to show the students how they can make a difference here or around the world by completing their education,” he summarized. “We want to give them a reason to graduate.”

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