Learning Communities

people talking in a circle


Community is often missing in higher education, where connections across disciplines and institutional units are overlooked. Faculty and Professional Learning Communities (FLCs and PLCs) help establish these connections and encourage and support faculty and staff to investigate, develop, and adopt new methods of teaching and mentoring. Research assessing the impact of faculty development interventions has noted that professional learning communities are among the most effective means of influencing positive outcomes for those involved in such project-based communities of practice (Chism, Harris & Holley, 2011). FLCs and PLCs are typically comprised of 6-12 multidisciplinary faculty, staff, and community members who meet frequently (e.g. monthly or every 2-3 weeks) over a one-year period to engage in an active, collaborative series of seminars and activities that provide deep learning and development, scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL), and community building.

Outcomes: Increased teaching and learning interest, retention, active learning, rate of intellectual development, and civic contributions to the common good represented by a tangible product, such as a presentation or publication about the findings that participation in the community generated.

2019-2020 FLC: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Building Skills and Sharing Experiences

Sponsored by the Center for Educational Excellence

This FLC is open to full-time faculty, adjuncts, and teaching professors in any discipline who are interested in exploring the framework, methods and design of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) projects. Do you have a pedagogical project you can’t get off the ground? Have you implemented a new pedagogical approach to your courses and want to see if it is improving student learning? Are you interested in measuring student attitudes, values and beliefs of various topics in your class? If you have these and other similar questions – then next year’s FLC is for you!! 

A $500 stipend is available at the end of the time period for all participants who meet the requirements of each Learning Community.

Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2019-20 academic year. Please check back here in Spring 2020 for the 2020-21 Faculty and Professional Learning Community options. 

2019-2020 PLC: The Practice and Scholarship of Community Engagement

This PLC is no longer being offered.

Previous Professional Learning Communities

  • 2018-2019 FLC: The Search for What Matters: Exploring Vocation in our Contemporary World
  • 2017-2018 Professional Learning Community - Envisioning 2024
  • 2016-2017 Professional Learning Community - Universal Design Learning
  • 2015-2016 Professional Learning Community - Just in Time Teaching
  • 2013 – 2014 Faculty Learning Community – Flipping Your Classroom
  • 2012 – 2013 Professional Learning Community – Changemaking at USD
  • 2012 – 2013 Faculty Learning Community – Diversity as defined by Sexuality: Investigating Curricula Options at a Catholic Institution
  • 2011-2012 Professional Learning Community- The Spirit of the Academy: Investigating the Traditions and Practices of Diverse Spiritualities