The Learning Commons

To meet the growing needs of our student population, USD must increase not only the number of classrooms we currently have on campus but also the type of classroom.

The brand new Learning Commons will be a dynamic, flexible, contemporary venue for instruction, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

This new building will include interactive, accessible, flexible spaces in an atmosphere of collaborative learning and discovery. It will house thirteen all-purpose classrooms equipped with the latest technology. Modular furnishings will offer the flexibility that faculty and students need for multidisciplinary instruction, seminars, small-group work, and individual study. It will also house USD’s Honors Program and Writing Center.

The heart of the building will be the Town Square, an informal gathering space featuring stadium seating for up to 200 people, encircled by a second-story observation gallery to maximize opportunities for events, academic contests such as the “Global Social Innovation Challenge”, presentations, films, and impromptu socializing. An adjacent outdoor plaza will accommodate a wide variety of both scheduled and spontaneous events.

The Learning Commons will join Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, Copley Library and the new Knauss Center for Business Education to anchor the northwest corner of the university’s academic corridor.

The 13 additional classrooms that the Learning Commons will provide will go a long way in alleviating the classroom shortage that we currently face. It will allow USD to offer more classes to our undergraduate students during the day which will avoid large gaps in student schedules and allow additional sections of classes to be offered to ensure that students have the classes that they need in order to graduate on time. Likewise, the Learning Commons will create active learning classrooms and meeting spaces equipped with innovative technologies that will help faculty teach students more effectively and in the manner they are accustomed to.

The new facility will be a place for sharing viewpoints and experiences, cultivating awareness and compassion, making connections with classmates and the community, and developing problem-solving proficiencies.

USD is committed to addressing the classroom needs of our students and faculty. The Learning Commons is our first step toward this goal. It will be funded with institutional funding as well as generous gifts.

If you would like to contribute to this exciting new addition to USD, please click here.