Chapter 5: Building the Transfer Bridge
What's a Learning Community?
- Peer tutors help students learn. Students experience the opportunities of a large school in a small, supportive environment.
- Students participate in special activities and events.
- Learning Communities are linked or grouped classes taken by the same group of students.
- The classes are multi-disciplinary, often arranged around a theme or idea, the course work is integrated and the classes are sometimes team taught.
- The student receives credit for each course as if they were separate, traditional courses and the credits are transferable.
- Some Learning Communities include one or more developmental courses or are for ESL and/or international students.
Why should I enroll in a Learning Community?
- Learning Communities are at no extra cost!
- Students who participate in Learning Communities are more likely to do well in all their courses; they work together and support each other; the assignments from the different courses are related to each other and the faculty members work closely with all the students. (La Guardia Community College, Learning Communities)
- In a variety of institutional settings and in a number of forms, Learning Communities have been shown to increase student retention and academic achievement, increase student involvement and motivation, improve students’ time to degree completion, and enhance student intellectual development. (Washington Center, National Resource Center)
- Learning Community classes...
- Have coordinated learning objectives and assignments
- Are led by experienced instructors who cooperate in planning their courses
- Help you get to know other students
- Meet degree requirements or prepare you to take courses that meet degree requirements
- Make it easier to understand material by discussing it in a group with a peer mentor
- Give you a sense of belonging, providing peer and advisor feedback and support
Inver Hills Community College, Learning Communities
Benefits and goals for students in Learning Communities
MacGregor, J. & Smith, B. L. (n.d.). Frequently cited goals of learning communities. Goals for students. Retrieved from Washington Center, National Resource Center
- Improve retention
- Increase student learning and achievement
- Increase time on task, both in and out of class
- Promote active learning and teamwork skills
- Develop student leadership
- Increase the success rate for under-represented students
- Increase entry and completion in certain majors