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Model for Learning Communities Development

All Learning Communities at Bergen Community College strive to provide an intentionally integrated learning experience for our students and faculty. Faculty collaborate to engage students in cross-curricular exploration of a common theme and common SLOs while supporting students in developing the critical thinking, communication, and interpersonal skills vital to their academic and professional success.

Hallmarks:

  • Two or three linked classes
  • Common cohort in all classes
  • College & Community connections
  • Academic, Technological, and Plant Resources
  • At least three Integrated Experiences: Assignment, Project, and/or Trip
  • At least one co-graded assignment
  • At least one community-specific SLO
  • Five meetings during a 15-week semester
  • Administration of a student survey and/or other evaluation
  • Integrated Academic Support Services

Process:

  • Attend an Informational Meeting
  • Complete a proposal form and submit to the LC coordinators
  • Submit proposal to your dean and chair to start the scheduling process after proposal is approved
  • Participate in a two part workshop
    • Part 1: Theoretical Frameworks & Best Practices
    • Part 2: Practical Applications & Design
  • Design & Implement your community
  • Access ongoing support and professional development
  • Revitalize your teaching and scholarship!

Faculty Compatibility Survey

A successful learning community requires the instructors to collaborate closely. Instructors may have different styles and methods of teaching. Before you start an LC, it is best to learn about the differences and similarities between you and your potential teaching partner and decide if you are professionally and personally compatible. The following questions might help to structure an open dialogue, often the first step in ensuring a successful partnership.

1. What is your teaching philosophy or your teaching style? What teaching approaches do you use? (e.g. lecture, group work, discussion, etc.)

2. How open are you to suggestions? Are you comfortable with change?

3. How flexible are you regarding your curriculum and course outline? With what degree of integration of the courses are you comfortable?

4. What are your course requirements? How much and what kind of reading/writing/other work do you require? What is the difficulty level? What are your testing/grading methods? Are you envisioning one grade for the learning community or separate grades?

5. What enrichment activities do you use to help students learn? (e.g. field trips, speaker events, service learning, etc.)

6. How often do you use technology in your courses? What types? Do you consider technology integral or optional in your classroom?

7. Are you interested in integrating an in-class tutor or other type of supplemental instruction?

8. What type of time commitment are you willing to make for this learning community? How many hours per week can you dedicate to planning, meeting with your partner(s), etc.?

9. How do you prefer to communicate? (e.g. work/personal email, office/home phone, face-to-face)