UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Learning communities – How you can help

Laura Pipe, director of learning communities, tells how faculty and staff can participate in the growing “learning communities” initiative at UNCG:

The Office of Learning Communities (OLC) is always looking for faculty partners, either in communities already established or in the development of new communities. The OLC is currently working with groups wishing to propose communities for fall 2013. (It is about a 12 month to 18 month long process.) Any faculty or staff members interested in proposing a new community or working with a current community should contact me directly (lmpipe@uncg.edu, 256-8599). My position was developed to assist planning teams in creating their proposal, researching current best practices and avoiding common challenges associated with new learning communities.

  • The OLC can help faculty or staff develop a proposing group or planning team if they don’t have one already. I urge faculty to consider not only first-year student opportunities (for which UNCG will still need several communities), but to also consider the needs of sophomores and upper division students.
  • UNCG will also have two new classrooms open in the Quad this fall (open to departments for use after all learning communities are scheduled – departments may contact me if they would like to schedule a course in any of the classrooms in the residence halls), and new classrooms open in the Glenwood Mixed-Use Village the following year.
  • UNCG will have two new Faculty in Residence apartments available in the Quad this fall, with two additional Faculty in Residence apartments opening in the Glenwood Mixed-Use Village the following fall (2013). These are both great spaces to develop creative and engaging learning community opportunities for our sophomores and upperclassmen.
  • Moreover, faculty and staff support will be helpful in filling the communities offered this fall. The enthusiasm and encouragement from everyone on campus interacting with our students is essential in creating a culture where learning communities are a part of the student experience. With over 1,100 potential learning community spots available (between the Residential Colleges, Living-Learning Communities and non-residential Learning Communities), having faculty and staff discuss these options with potential students can really make the difference in filling these communities.

Also, OLC is accepting applications from faculty and staff to participate in a yearlong Faculty and Staff Learning Community on Learning Communities. This will be a yearlong study on why LCs, how to create LCs and best practices. This is ideal for folks proposing LCs for fall 2014. It will include national experts (such as Vince Tinto and Jean MacGregor), faculty currently coordinating LCs and logistical planning. There is a stipend for those who participate, with the expectation of an LC proposal for fall 2014 or a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning project. Contact Laura Pipe for more info.

Faculty and staff may learn more here.