Journalism Learning Community

five members of Journalism Learning Community in the Des Moines Register newsroom

Journalism Learning Community

If you’re an incoming freshman majoring in journalism and mass communication and are exempt from or have transfer credit for ENGL 150, you may sign up for the Journalism Learning Community when you meet with an academic adviser during summer orientation.

Why Join?

The Journalism Learning Community will help you successfully navigate the transition to college life at the Greenlee School. This group of up to 15 Greenlee freshmen is one of the smaller learning communities at Iowa State University and its mission is to make a big campus feel more approachable. In addition to cheering on one another in your academic goals and exploring career possibilities together, you’ll receive support from a peer mentor – an upper-division journalism major who may also be a student media leader – and Lisa Oakes, faculty coordinator and Greenlee School lecturer.

How It Works

As a member, you’ll take Oakes’ JL MC 110 and JL MC 201 classes in fall and spring, respectively, so that you’ll have a relationship with a faculty member right away and recognize familiar faces in your classes. You and other community members will also take the same section of ENGL 250, another required course that focuses on written, oral, visual and electronic composition with a journalism emphasis. You also may take other classes together, as selected by Oakes.

Outside of the classroom, the peer mentor will organize a number of activities to build camaraderie and support academic success. Past activities have included brainstorming story ideas for JL MC 201 assignments, taking strengths assessment tests, creating dream resumes to help with goal setting, doing job shadows and going on field trips.


Contact faculty coordinator Lisa Oakes or academic adviser Jessica Hansen-Moench.

For more info, learn more about Iowa State’s Learning Communities program.