Living and Learning

Learning Communities

The Assistant Director, the Resident Directors, and the Resident Assistants are all deeply involved in the living-learning concept. We all agree that "learning" is not limited to the classroom or to work for courses - learning is something that happens throughout a student's life and often the most important learning occurs where the student lives. That's what our Living-Learning Community is all about.

International Relations and Cultural Exchange

The new CIW International Relations and Cultural Exchange (IRCE) learning community will bring together in a shared residential setting first-year students who are interested in international relations—both diplomatic relations featuring state actors and formal international organizations such as the United Nations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focusing on critical global issues such as human rights, humanitarian efforts for refugees and other displaced peoples, the environment, and world health. It will also serve as a vibrant community for those who interested in cultural exchange for themselves (ie. study abroad) or as a means toward peaceful dialogue and mutual cultural understanding (ie. Fulbright and Carnegie programs). The IRCE learning community will feature courses just for community members in philosophy, political science, history, geography, and writing. Moreover, special classes will be offered every year that accentuate new key themes or involve current events. The 2017-2018 special class will be “World War I and the Origins of Humanitarianism” taught in the spring semester by Prof. Stephen Ortiz, CIW Collegiate Professor and Associate Professor of History.

By melding academic preparation and residential life, the CIW International Relations and Cultural Exchange learning community promotes interaction among students who have overlapping academic interests, but divergent career goals.

For more information, email Collegiate Professor, Stephen Ortiz. Applications are available through our on-line housing application.

Politics, Law and Society

The CIW Politics, Law, and Society learning community brings together first and second-year students who are interested in electoral politics, public policy, public administration, and the legal professions in a shared residential setting. All first-year students will be assigned a returning student member as a peer mentor. It will feature courses just for community members in philosophy, political science, history, and writing. Moreover, special classes will be offered every year that accentuate new key themes or involve current events. The Fall, 2017, special class will be “American Politics and War, 1917” taught by Prof. Stephen Ortiz, CIW Collegiate Professor and Associate Professor of History.

By melding academic preparation and residential life, the CIW Politics, Law, and Society learning community promotes interaction among students who have overlapping academic interests, but divergent career goals. 

Please note: it is not solely a pre-law community.

For more information, email Stephen Ortiz, at sortiz@binghamton.edu. Applications are available through our on-line housing application.

First Year Required Classes:

Students enrolled in a learning community are required to take at least two courses in the fall semester along with the associated learning community course for the enrolled learning community (Fall, 2016: US Presidential Elections for the Politics, Law, and Society learning community; Spring 2017: Feeding a Hungry World).

Example of courses from Fall, 2016:

  • CDCI 395 – Feeding a Hungry World: a 2-credit service-learning course, taught in a CIW classroom, limited to 18 students. It carries Harpur W credit, and is a great way to get involved in the local community, and help to feed a hungry world.
  • HARP 180 - Presidential Elections

Signing Up for a Learning Community

First year students: you will be able to enroll in the Learning Communities when you have paid your housing deposit and request housing online. If you choose learning community and put CIW number one on your preferences, you should expect an email  on your BINGHAMTON.EDU account regarding the learning community. Returning or second year students - contact Collegiate Professor, Stephen Ortiz to express your interest.

Other Living-Learning Opportunities in CIW:

There may be spaces available in some of these courses when you come for July registration; if you are housed in CIW, be sure to look for those sections.

For students in Chemistry 107 and Biology 117 (the normal first-semester courses for pre-health students) we have special study group opportunities, available to all CIW residents.

College-in-the-Woods has a Faculty Fellows program which connects University faculty and staff that are eager to work with students and participate in the academic life of CIW. We have events throughout the year that provide an opportunity for CIW students to meet with Faculty Fellows including the Fresh Start program during opening weekend and Student-Faculty Dinners during course registration.

The CIW RA's sponsor programs to enhance residents' learning experiences; programs often focus on areas that have immediate relevance for student interest and life.

Last Updated: 10/27/16