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20 Years of Learning Communities

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Jack Mino

on 13 May 2017

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Transcript of 20 Years of Learning Communities

Learning Communities at HCC
1993-2014 ... and Counting
LC On...
1st Inter-Institutional LC:
Mary Orisich (HCC) & Preston Smith (MH)
2nd Inter-Institutional LC:

Mark Clinton (HCC) & Frank Couvares (AC)
HCC team attended the National Learning Communities Summer Institute at Evergreen State College to create a "linked course" pilot for developmental students (Summer, 2013).
Panel of Judges for the Swimsuit Competition:
Mark Lange, Kate Maiolatesi & Gerry L'Heureux

Maura Henry Pam Kennedy Irma Medina
"Strike the Pose"
Kate Douglas & Xian Liu debate the size of the "LC Difference" - Jane Vecchio looks on in disbelief.
How Long is the Coast of Holyoke Community College?

Our LC "Creation Story" by Jim Dutcher
2012 – Kathleen Maiolatesi, Sustainability Studies
2011 – Diane Beers, History
2010 - Deborah Fairman, English
2009 – Jane Vecchio, Psychology
2008 – Kim Hicks, English
2007 – Eileen Kelly, ESL & Pamela Kennedy, ESL
2003 – Anne Potter, Business
2002 – Candida Johnson, Business
2001 – Mark Clinton, Government & Political Science
2000 – Gerard L'Heureux, Science
1999 – Kathryn Holmes, English
1998 – James Dutcher, English
1997 – Phyllis Barrett, English
1996 – Linda Meccouri, Computer Technology
1994 – Jack Mino, Psychology & David Ram, English
1992 – Marion Copeland, English
1991 – George Ashley, History
Course planning using their heads, hands & feet!
"The Play's the Thing: Embodying Integration Live, On Stage"
Monica Perez, Laura Christoff, Irma Medina, Michele Snizek, Linda Scott & Steve Hilbun
Pat Kennedy Mark Clinton Diane Beers James Dutcher
Gerry L'Heureux (SCI) & Kim Hicks (ENG)
Sun Goddesses:
"Holyoke Community College Builds on Its Transfer Tradition"
The Chronicle of Higher Education
, December 13, 2009
HCC LC Program Highlighted

Elaine Marieb Chair for Teaching Excellence
National LC Dissemination Project Team [1996]:
Mary Jane O'Conner, Phyllis Barrett, Allen Forsythe,
Rashna Singh, Gerry L'Heureux & Jim Dutcher
We must being doing something right because this is what we do:

Learning Communities help under-prepared students prepare, prepared students to advance, and advanced students to excel, while providing a transformational professional development opportunity for faculty and staff.
For LC Faculty the Relationship Is the Thing...

"I am in total awe of my teaching partners. They look so ordinary when I pass them in the hallway but in the classroom I've learned that they are like Jedi warriors. I am trying to learn from them about mastery of content, how to be brutally honest about a student's work while simultaneously being helpful and encouraging, and how to think in ways that are different than how I usually think."
Let's take a glimpse inside the annual LC Retreat:
"Sharing Knowledge, Celebrating Community"
Lesson 3:
LC Students Learn Better, Together
[Fall-2013 Course Completion Rate - highest in the history of the program]
The "Outstanding Achievement Award" in LCs goes to.....
Featuring: Raul Matta & Irma Medina, Director of Pathways
Founding Fathers: Jack Mino & David Ram
75% of Awardees = LC/Honors Faculty:
"Learning Beyond Cognition: From Seminar to Stage" in
Integrative Learning: International Research and Practice
, Routledge, August 2014.
"Link Aloud: Making Interdisciplinary Learning Visible and Audible"
"Washington Center’s Online Student Survey Validation Study: Surfacing Students’ Individual and Collective Understanding of Their Learning Community Experiences"
So, what lessons have we learned about "how" and "what" students learn in LCs?
"Reuniting the Arts and Sciences Via
Interdisciplinary Learning Communities."
President Messner & the HCC Administration
HCC Faculty & Staff
The Integrative Learning Committee
Tony Sbalbi & others in Student Affairs
Linda Scott & others in Advising
Michele Leary & others in the Registrar
Irma Medina & others in Pathways
Frank Johnson & the Writing Center
Gail Hilyard & the Math Center
Liz Golen & others in Student Activities
Michele Riberdy & others in Institutional Research
Fred Cooksey at the
Erica Broman & others in Institutional Development
Chris Yurko, Writer & Photographer Extraordinaire
Jack Scanlon, Graphic Artist Extraordinaire
Joanna Brown in Alumni Affairs
& Special Thanks to:
Kimberly Wilson, ILP Program Associate

Exhibit B: Leigh-Ellen Figueroa on the "Children’s Garden Project"
This program is based on the idea of teaching sustainability to urban children in after-school programs, by using an education garden as a teaching tool. I wrote a curriculum and taught classes all summer in West Springfield and Holyoke. I taught an average of 70 kids per week...the majority of these children had never planted anything in their lives. Most were from low-income families. My "hidden curriculum" is about empowering and increasing self-efficacy in the most dis-empowered group I can identify: poor children, primarily girls. The Children's Garden Project tagline:
No one is too young to change the world.

Lesson 1: Students are Producers of Knowledge
not Consumers!
Exhibit A: "The Latino Community Mural" - Kamil Peters and others
LC Students Learn More
78% of LC students reported that they were more likely to engage in higher order thinking, e.g.,
critical thinking
, compared to their stand-alone courses (25% higher than the national cohort).
Lesson 4:
Exhibit C: LC Poster Conference - Making Learning Visible
Pat Kennedy mesmerizing her colleagues, Xian Liu & Jack Mino
Lesson 2:
In conclusion, what are the skills and competencies most highly regarded by employers?

Recent studies by Northeastern University and the American Association of Colleges and Universities found that a large majority of employers are looking for college graduates with broadly applicable skills like oral and written communications, a capacity to think critically, solve complex problems, take responsibility, and innovate, as well as people who demonstrate ethical judgment and integrity. Specific industry experience ranks much lower.

["College is Still for Creating Citizens," Marvin Krislov & Steven Volk,
Chronicle of Higher Education
, April 7, 2014]
Fruits of their Labor:
New Curricula
New Courses
- Publications
- Conferencing
[Kate Maiolatesi]
Diane Beers
Deb Fairman
Maura Henry
Jane Vecchio
[Kate Maiolatesi & Xian Liu]
According to most student, faculty and staff accounts,
the LC Program is one of HCCs ongoing success stories.
But you don't have to take my word for it...
Now let me turn to the Faculty & Staff in action!
Conferencing since 1996 at local, state, regional, national and international venues.
Matthew LaPete
It takes a whole college to support a Learning Communities Program:
Sustainablity Studies Students at HCC Organic Garden
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