LEAP Learning Communities

Office of Undergraduate Studies
Implemented August 1995
Ongoing

LEAP is a two semester seminar that enables new students to transition more confidently to college and to play an active role in their own education. Students work with outstanding faculty in small classes and participate in social and service activities with other students and with Peer Advisors.

The heart of LEAP is a two semester seminar in which students stay with the same classmates and faculty member. The seminar is paired in the fall with writing classes reserved for LEAP students. In the spring, LEAP students are offered optional LEAP-only add-on classes in library research strategies and major selection.

The two semester seminar fulfills two general education requirements and the University’s diversity requirement for the cost of only two classes compared to three classes.

Health Sciences LEAP

Health Sciences LEAP is a four-year pipeline program for students from underrepresented communities (first generation, rural, or academically, socially, or economically disadvantaged) seeking careers in health or medicine. For eight successive fall and spring semesters, students take one HS-LEAP course along with their pre-med and major courses. In their first year, the HS-LEAP courses are in bioethics and in the literature of underrepresented communities encountering or training in the American healthcare system. In their second year, students shadow providers in their future fields and are introduced to the basics of qualitative and quantitative research. In their third year, they work in University research labs and qualify as University Research Scholars; and in the fourth year, they take a leadership role in a community engagement project. The program began in 2001 and is a partnership between the University of Utah School of Medicine and the LEAP Learning Communities.

Pre-Nursing LEAP

Pre-Nursing LEAP is a three-semester program for aspiring nurses, targeting students from communities underrepresented in the profession and enrolling them in one course each semester. In their first year, students fulfill three requirements for graduation while studying issues pertinent to the nursing profession, including bioethics and the healthcare experiences of minority patients. In fall semester of their second year, students take a course from College of Nursing instructors designed to make them more attractive candidates in a competitive nursing program.

Pre-Law LEAP

Pre-Law LEAP is a six-semester program for students from groups underrepresented in the law. In the first year, students fulfill three graduation requirements and take a special class on the role of law in society. The second year consists of two classes: Legal Professions and Reason and Rational Decision-Making. In the first, students hear from attorneys and judges about their careers, tour the state courthouse, state capitol, and federal courthouse, and sit in on real cases. The second class is on logic and helps prepare students for the LSAT. The third year begins with law-related community service, including opportunities with the Quinney Law School Pro Bono clinics and Salt Lake Peer Court. The final course provides help with personal statements, resumes, the writing portion of the LSAT, and legal memoranda, and fulfills the upper-division writing requirement.

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