Community Psychology Learning Community (CPLC)

The Community Psychology Learning Community was created for new transfer students majoring in Psychology who are interested in making a difference in society. It is designed to help transfer students:

  • transition to UNC Charlotte and take steps needed to be successful here
  • access resources, including faculty, graduate students, and other undergraduates, and
  • develop the skills needed for graduate school or employment in a related field

Most students learn little to nothing about community psychology in their introductory psychology courses, and many community colleges don’t even offer a course in community psychology. The CPLC exposes students to this exciting field so they can see if it fits their interests.  The social justice orientation of Community Psychology is emphasized in the core courses that all CPLC members take their first semester. CPLC students also connect with faculty and graduate students to learn about graduate school opportunities, and steps they need to take to be successful when applying for graduate school or employment.

Students take 2-4 courses together during their first semester at UNCC, allowing them to get to know one another and benefit from the mutual support they provide. While some learning communities have a residential component, CPLC students do not have to live together or even on campus.

To be members of the CPLC, students must apply, be accepted, and enroll in two courses:

PSYC 2165 - Community Psychology, where students learn the key concepts of community psychology, which emphasize: 

  • prevention of problems, rather than treatment
  • building strengths, competencies, and assets; rather than focusing on deficits
  • the importance of social context, multiple causes of problems and solutions, and the diversity of human experience and culture
  • the sense of community and interdependence
  • promoting positive change


PSYC 3001 - The CPLC Course, which is a small, discussion-oriented class in which students:

  • learn about the local community and how to engage with it
  • learn to apply community psychology principles to address community needs
  • develop a sense of community at UNC Charlotte
  • connect with faculty and graduate students to learn about community research and graduate school
  • conduct a group project that serves the local community
  • attend a professional Community Psychology regional conference
  • learn to adapt to UNC Charlotte to be successful academically.

If you're admitted into the CPLC, we make sure you can enroll in these classes. Check that the posted times of these courses will work with your fall schedule - please go to Banner Self-Service at UNC Charlotte to view class times. Please do not apply if you have a scheduling conflict with PSYC 2165 or PSYC 3001 because you must be able to attend these two classes.

In addition, members are also encouraged to and can enroll in the following courses:

PSYC 2101 – Research Methods 1

PSYC 2130 – Social Psychology

PSYC 2160 – Health Psychology

In the second semester, students who have completed PSYC 2101 – Research Methods 1 are encouraged to enroll together in PSYC 2103 - Research Methods 2.  Another course that CPLC students should consider taking together in the spring is PSYC 2160 – Health Psychology. Students are also encouraged to become engaged in faculty research, perhaps enrolling in PSYC 3806 – Undergraduate Research Assistantship, and/or in community engaged practice through enrollment in PSYC 3405 – Practicum in Applied Psychology, to gain valuable experience.

This short video, created by students in the CPLC, tells you more about what you might expect if you were to join the CPLC.

Why should you join the CPLC?

There are multiple benefits of becoming CPLC members:

  • Connect with other students interested in social justice
  • Visit community programs and events
  • Join roundtable discussions on community topics
  • Participate in team building exercises
  • Develop skills to be successful in graduate school
  • Attend the Southeastern ECO-Community Psychology Conference
  • Connect with faculty and graduate students at UNCC and other universities
  • Become involved in faculty members’ research to develop skills to be competitive in applying for graduate school.
  • Learn about university resources and programs that can help you be successful here and beyond.
  • “Hit the ground running” in your integration into UNC Charlotte and the Department of Psychological Science, and getting the most out of your years at UNC Charlotte.

The 2016 CPLC after completing the leadership (ropes) experience. 

Who Can Join the CPLC?

The CPLC is only available to students who are new to UNC Charlotte (i.e., in their first semester), who have declared Psychology as their major, and who have sophomore or higher standing. Preference is given to students with junior standing.

To Join

Complete the online application, which involves answering the following, open-ended questions:

  1. Why do you want to join and what do you hope to gain from being in the CPLC?
  2. What strengths do you bring to the CPLC that will help make it a stronger learning community?
  3. Are there particular weaknesses or difficulties you anticipate that the CPLC could help you with?
  4. Describe a social issue that concerns you and then either explain how you have been involved in efforts to address that issue, or if you’ve not been involved in such efforts, how might you imagine yourself getting involved in the future to address that issue?
  5. One focus of the CPLC is helping students successfully apply to graduate school; thus, preference is given to students with 3.0 or higher GPAs. If your GPA is below that, please explain why you should be accepted, including circumstances that led to your low grades or why you think you would do better at UNC Charlotte. Explain why the CPLC is a good fit for you.

We recommend you thoughtfully write your responses and then, after carefully proofreading them, paste them into the application here.

Frequently Asked Questions About the CPLC

Q: Do you have to live on campus to be in the CPLC?

A: No, students can choose to live on or off campus.

Q: Is the CPLC a class or a club?

A: The CPLC is a group of students who take classes together. Class assignments include completing a group project and attending events in the community outside of regularly scheduled class times. They all take the CPLC PSYC 3001 course, which counts as an elective for psychology majors, and PSYC 2165, which counts as an applications course or as an elective.

Q: Does joining the CPLC require community service hours?

A: Although the CPLC doesn’t require specific community service hours, all students in the CPLC will participate in a service project and off-campus activities as part of the requirements of the CPLC course.

Q: Do you have to live on campus to be in the CPLC?

A: No, there is no residential component. CPLC students do not have to live together or even on campus.

Q: When should I apply and when will I hear back?

A: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the summer until a cohort of 12 students is selected, so apply now! Notifications of selection decisions will be sent via email by August 15th.

Q: What if I have other questions?

A: If you have any questions, contact Ms. Godly-Reynolds, Lecturer & Community Psychology Doctoral Student teaching the PSYC 3001 course.

Members of the 2016 and 2017 CPLC attending the ECO Psychology Conference in Atlanta and visiting the Dr. Martin Luther King National Historical Site with M.A. and Ph.D. Community Psychology students and faculty.