November 23, 2010 3:30 - 5 p.m. E-501
Presentation by Dr. Phyllis Van Slyck, Professor of English and Learning Communities Coordinator
What We Know About Learning Communities and Student Learning:
- Learning Community students have higher retention at the college and pass their courses with higher grades.
- Same group of students attend same group of classes.
- Promotes social community; support network.
- Students have better schedule, more likelyto stay in college.
- Faculty bonding, pick teams and work together, share assignments.
- Courses clustered around a common theme.
- Shared readings; integrated assignments.
- Complete courses and succeed academically at a higher rate.
A question was raised by Loretta Capuano: How does Kingsborough have
such a high rate of students in the learning communities? How do they
reach every student?
At LaGuardia, Learning Communities are only required for students in
the Liberal Arts Social Science & Humanities major and options.
Loretta also suggested that Learning Communities be offered to students
who are beyond ENG101, a forgotten population.
Bernard Polnariev brought up the question of Retention tracking. (10 clusters per semester, 1 pair running, 3-4 Academies.)
Marina Nechayeva spoke about certain students who benefit from
Learning Communities. She suggested pairing Statistics with other
courses, such as MAT120/SSY (developmental math does not fit into
The topic of students resisting basic skills cluster was raised.
Luke Cardaio responded to this: More freedom to take classes alone, vs.
not being able to drop one class of a cluster (but can withdraw from
a component of a cluster). Luke also suggested that Learning
Communities clusters be offered to evening students.
Luke Cardaio and Alex Abramov presented several role-plays
displaying dialogue between student and advisor regarding Learning
In a Liberal Arts Cluster, there are several classes that are
offered together at different levels, but taught by same instructor and
the work is inter-related (ENG101/ENG103, SSY101/SSY230).
Some students cannot make a schedule with Learning Communities and
must ask for a waiver from the Director of Academic Support Services,
Luke Cardaio also suggested Professional Development Day Workshops
for departments, advisement for new majors, including staff and
students as well.
Bernard Polnariev suggested a Majors Fair: Faculty and Staff event.
Loretta approached the subject: Do we do enough advisement for our
students? Suggested a "Roadmap to Advisement." Clarify fragmented
issues and misconceptions. Make information available to colleagues
and each other.
Professional Development Days:
Mitchell Levy and Danielle Insalaco-Egan invited the DAC members to
consider whether the DAC should sponsor two days of professional
development in the spring as has been two during the last few years.
In addition, they proposed the possibility of having an extending
"special programs fair," providing members of the campus community the
opportunity to learn more about the specific cohorts and services in
Group 4. There was ensuing discussion regarding whether such a fair
would be staff only, or for staff and students.
Danielle and Mitchell stated that they would send the members a
professional development needs assessment which will afford members the
opportunity to share their ideas and concerns.