First-Year Learning Communities

Seahawks Explore

Students on ropes course

Seahawks ExploreDesigned exclusively for first year students, UNCW's Seahawks Explore Learning Communities (SELC) motto is "Live to Learn...Learn to Live." If you participate in this program, you will live in Pelican Hall with the same small group of students. The three faculty members teaching the learning community courses will work together to teach different perspectives on a common theme. In Sehawks Explore, there are different, smaller learning communities; each community focusing on a particular theme developed by the faculty. Each SELC is made up of three University Studies courses, including the First-Year Seminar. University Studies courses are selected liberal arts courses that all students must complete in order to graduate, regardless of their major. Please see the FAQ page for answers to some of the most common questions.

Seahawks Explore Members will live in Pelican Hall if their application is received by May 15th, 2020

Here are the themes:

Click here to see the 2020 Seahawks Explore Learning Community offerings!

Overall, my experience in the Learning Communities was phenomenal. As a first-year student coming to college, I recognized that parts of my first semester could potentially be daunting; however, adjusting to classes and getting to know people in my building was made easier through my Learning Community. I attended three classes with the same 25 students who also lived in the building. A few of my favorite things about the Learning Community was that the classrooms were in our residence hall, our professors got to know us personally, and that it eased the transition from high school to college all while allowing us to get to know people throughout the building. Additionally, the Learning Communities have a Peer Mentor who is an undergrad student, who enjoyed their experience so much and wanted to help first-year students adapt and adjust to their new surroundings, classes, and extracurricular activities. The Peer Mentors hosted study sessions each week for the class, and programs/events once a month which allowed the class to get to know each other better and to discuss academics together. I evidently enjoyed my experience in the Learning Communities so much that I decided to return the following year to be a Peer Mentor so that I could assist the students in my class much like my Peer Mentor assisted me.

-Heidi Troxler                                                                                                                                                       Watson College of Education, 2018

Why Apply To Seahawks Explore?

  • The three learning community classes are smaller in size, allowing you to get to know your professors and classmates on a more personal level
  • Opportunity for field trips, service learning opportunities, movies, and social events related to the themes of the learning community
  • More interactive way to complete at least three of the University Studies requirements

For additional information or if you have any questions about this community, please email