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Learning Community Faculty FAQs


What are learning communities?

Learning communities are linked courses in which students have the advantage of getting to know and work with a small group of peers and two professors for a full semester. The goal is to create a collaborative learning experience via an interdisciplinary pedagogical design.

Students in learning communities grow and learn as a part of a smaller social and academic group within the larger college community. Students will be guided to explore themes and topics from different perspectives. They will participate in special activities designed for the learning communities. These students will also work with a peer mentor as a "go to " person for advice and help inside and outside of the classroom.


What are the benefits of learning communities?

Students who participate in learning communities experience a higher rate of academic success.

When students have opportunities to work closely with faculty members, Peer Mentors, and their peers, they have a better chance of continuing in college.

Peer Mentors are an additional benefit of the learning community experience.  All students are assigned a mentor who will reach out to them, offer support, and provide helpful information related to thriving at SUNY Rockland.


Learning Community Faculty are asked to do the following:

Work with your learning community faculty partner to develop a common theme and an interesting title for your learning community.

Develop an assignment or assignments that foster learning community collaboration and help students experience interdisciplinary learning by incorporating these projects into your syllabus.

Participate in an orientation meeting at the beginning of the semester.

Attend monthly group meetings throughout the semester.

Communicate regularly with a team partner during the semester.

You may choose to have a Peer Mentor assigned to your learning community.  Peer Mentors add an interesting dynamic to the learning community experience.


How are learning communities taught?

Faculty collaborate to create an interdisciplinary experience for their students regarding one or several aspects in their course syllabi. The goal is twofold: to have students see how different subject areas often share similar fields of knowledge, and to have students apply the skills learned in one subject area in another. 


How do we assess our learning communities?

At the end of each semester, we ask students to complete a randomized, blind survey.   All parties involved are not identified.  Students are asked to respond to a number of statements about their experiences in learning communities, for example, after having participated in a learning community, whether or not they would register for another. The results have been very positive.  Survey results can be viewed on this site under "Resources."


What are Peer Mentors?

Peer Mentors are RCC students who have been chosen for their abilities to help their fellow students.  For more information about Peer Mentors and peer mentoring, please see the link below.

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