The WSU WIDER Science Learning Community (LC) is for WSU students who are taking foundational Science and Math courses. The community supports students as they learn how to succeed in science. LC peer mentors facilitate study teams of LC members in the affiliated courses, and facilitate activities during discussion sessions and lectures. The community also has events to help students connect with other science students in the community, build their professional skills and resumes, and find out about opportunities on campus, such as undergraduate research.


Peer Mentors have been hired for fall semester. If you are interested in becoming a peer mentor for Winter 2018, please see Become a Peer Mentor for more information, and email to be added to our mailing list.


Why should I join?

You should join to:

  • Improve your grades
  • Meet other science and math students at exciting events
  • Connect with campus and career opportunities at exciting events
  • Build your resume

Data from assessments, including a randomized controlled study, show that the final course grades of team members are one letter higher than non-members, on average. Students with academic team experience are sought out by professional and graduate schools. Many past members and peer mentors have talked extensively about their LC experiences on applications and at interviews.


How do I join?

To join the learning community, first register for one of the supported courses. Supported courses are listed below and are indicated in the WSU class schedule. For some courses, such as those in Biology and Chemistry, you will be able to decide how much to participate. You will find out more in your course Blackboard site and in class on the first day. In physics, the learning community activities are integrated intothe discussion sessions and some lectures.


What happens once I join?

First you will find a team for your course, on the course Blackboard site, that meets at a time you will attend. Once you select the time and sign up on the cours Blackboard site, you will be added to the WIDER Learning Community Blackboard site. As a member, you also will receive invitations to attend special events for members.


  Peer Mentor Mateusz Silenski leading a discussion session.


Supported Courses

The WIDER Learning Community supports classes at the request of the instructor. The purpose is to support the instructor in enhancing the learning experiences of the students. Often this means having more activities during lecture, and training the peer mentors to help the students get the most out of the activities. To see which courses have been and will be supported by the WIDER Learning Community see the Courses page. If your course is an introductory science or math course that is not a part of the WIDER Learning Community talk to your instructor. More instructors will join the program, if their students ask for it.



The Bio 1510 Learning Community was piloted and run in some sections of introductory biology from Fall 2012 through Winter of 2014, with great success. It was popular with students and raised their grades one letter grade on average. In Fall of 2013, WSU received funding from the NSF for the WIDER project. One of the parts of the WIDER project was to support the expansion of the Bio 1510 Learning Community into other sciences and math. The NSF WIDER Learning Community was piloted in Winter of 2014 in one physics and one chemistry class. Starting in Fall of 2014, the Bio 1510 Learning Community and the pilot WIDER Learning Community will be combined into the WIDER Science and Math Learning Community.



The WIDER Science and Math Learning Community is supported financially by the Learning Community Programs at WSU, the WSU NSF WIDER Grant, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), and the Physics and Astronomy Department. The Learning Community is also supported in many ways by the Biological Sciences, the Math and Chemistry Departments.

The faculty director is Dr. Karen Myhr, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences (

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