Learning Communities Opportunities for Faculty
Every semester, Prairie State College offers our students a number of Learning Communities combinations. These are typically two "high-demand" courses taught by two professors but taken by a single cohort of students. A connective theme and integrated assignments (20-50% of the assignments in each class) are key features. Another key element is an intentional sense of community, which the professors encourage and develop through strategies that invite students to become full participants in their academic growth and learning.
Full-time and adjunct faculty are invited to learn about and teach our learning communities. Faculty are provided stipends for course development during the semester prior to that in which a new learning community first offered. In addition, faculty who choose to team-teach and receive one credit hour of compensation for time spent in each other's classes.
If you think you are interested in offering a learning community, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- If you know you want to teach a learning community, it's helpful to have a partner in mind.
- If you don't have a partner in mind, Sarena can assist your effort to find one.
- Learning Communities must be listed in the schedule, so plan far in advance (at least two semesters in advance).
For faculty who would rather integrate one project rather than committing to an entire semester, consider planning an interdisciplinary project.
Interdisciplinary projects provide an opportunity for faculty and students to work together on a integrated assignment that is similar to assignments used in Learning Community courses. The difference, though, is that two separate cohorts of students will be working together from two difference classes.
Interdisciplinary projects are encouraged for faculty who would like to experiment or try out some strategies that are commonly used in Learning Community courses, perhaps with an eye toward developing a Learning Community in the future. They are also encouraged for faculty who want to integrate assignments in two courses that would not generate sufficient enrollment to justify a Learning Community.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Interdisciplinary projects can be proposed/approved at any time.
- A small stipend is available for new interdisciplinary projects.
- Advanced approval is necessary to qualify for a stipend.