Learning Communities

Approval Process   |  Proposal Form  |  Time Log Document

Learning Community Expectations

Learning Communities group two or more classes and faculty into a cohort with integrated projects common to these linked courses.  Instructors work together to connect course content, activities, and assignments.Penner with two students

Rationale:  Students can integrate ideas, think critically, learn collaboratively, and act responsibly. In addition, studies show that learning communities greatly help to increase student retention.

Proposal Requirements   
Faculty members who are interested in teaching a learning community must complete a proposal form and submit it the Learning Communities Committee for approval.   The committee will work to determine if the LCOM meets the needs of San Juan College students and meets adequate enrollment requirements.   This LCOM must also be approved by the appropriate deans.

Curricular Expectations
There are many different models for learning communities.  The models we have found to be most successful at San Juan College are linked courses.  There are also many different ways to create successful LCOMs.  Faculty aren’t required to meet all of the following guidelines, we do expect they will meet 5-6 of the following requirements:

  • Learning communities faculty meet prior to the start of the semester to plan their LCOM, spending ample time discussing shared content and assignments, as well as assessment possibilities
  • Learning communities may have a common theme
  • Learning communities include 2-3 linked or shared assignments (common to both courses)
  • LCOM faculty attend each others classes regularly
  • LCOM faculty meet outside of class once a week to discuss curriculum possibilities and classroom issues 
  • LCOM might include a service learning component or project
  • LCOM includes active learning or collaborative learning as part of their central focus
  • Learning community focuses on helping students make connections to each other, their instructors, and San Juan College.

Participation Requirements
Faculty members who teach LCOMs will be expected to complete the following activities prior to or during the semester that they teach a learning community:

  • Attendance of training and planning sessions with their co-teacher and a LCOM mentor
    •    Maintenance of an hourly log, showing the time you spend planning your LCOM, meeting with your co-teacher, and attending his/her class
    •    A beginning of the semester marketing survey
    •    A mid-semester small group feedback conducted in your LCOM (if desired by teachers)
    •    LCOM evaluation conducted at the end of the semester
    •    Participation in a 15-30 minute discussion  at the end of the semester with the LCOM coordinator or your LCOM faculty mentor about the results of your LCOM 

Faculty Compensation for Teaching LCOMs
Faculty who participate in a LCOM and keep an hourly log will be compensated.  Please request a copy of the time log if you don’t already have one.