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“Learning Communities” Help Students Succeed

“Learning Communities” Help Students Succeed

Barbara Benitez and Jamila Grampus, Rockland Community College students, prepare to provide peer mentoring for students enrolled in RCC’s “Learning Communities.” Photo by C. Fournier/SUNY Rockland.

"Learning Communities" Help Students Succeed
at SUNY Rockland Community College


Registration to join a Learning Community is underway — space is limited


Ramapo, NY - In an effort to increase student achievement and retention, Rockland Community College launched "Learning Communities," a program where students work collaboratively and move together as a group through two linked courses.


Studies show that students who bond to a college, a faculty member, or a group of students have a better chance not only of staying in college, but also in succeeding at that college as well. Learning Communities can help in establishing that all-important bond. RCC is expanding its successful "Learning Communities" pilot program launched in Spring 2010 from three communities to eight in Fall '10.


The three learning communities available last spring consisted of three English Skills courses, each linked with a course in another discipline. Taking both courses as one group gave students the opportunity to work more effectively with each other on assigned projects. In addition, peer mentors were trained and then assigned to the learning communities.


The student mentors were required to meet personally with their mentees twice a month and to maintain weekly contact through e-mail, text or phone. Mentors created and presented workshops in areas such as time-management, study skills and essay writing.


Dr. Cliff L. Wood, College President, said, "Mentoring, including peer mentoring, can dramatically help students be more successful and achieve more."


Examples of learning communities available in Fall 2010 include the pairings of English Composition with American History; English as a Second Language with Sociology; and English Skills with Psychology.


To register for a Learning Community, or to learn more about the program, contact Martha Rottman, Division Chair, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Science, at (845) 574-4166 or


Enrollment is now underway for the Fall 2010 Semester, which begins September 1. For more information, visit or call Admissions at 845-574-4224. Financial aid and child care available.




Rockland Community College, a unit of the State University of New York, is located 25 miles northwest of NYC. The majority of its students transfer to four-year colleges, and many find immediate employment upon earning their associate's degree or certificate. The College also offers others, from preschoolers to senior citizens, the opportunity to simply learn something new. Quality a price you can afford.

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