About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 2862
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

THE FACULTY AS LEARNER: LEARNING COMMUNITY, CARE AND SUPPORT

E. Rojas Elgueta

City University of New York (UNITED STATES)
For almost a decade, the Learning Communities at New York City College of Technology (City Tech), City University of New York (CUNY) have played a unique role in creating community at the college and in the classroom. Many students have been challenged and supported on their journey from college to career.

While most learning communities are implemented on a small scale at Liberal Arts Colleges, City Tech has created learning communities designed for a college of technology. We have career based learning communities in which the curricula of two or more liberal arts and/or career courses have been revised to bring out the connections to particular degree programs. In addition, we have theme-based learning communities consisting of a group of courses organized around a common topic appropriate to the career cluster.

The Learning Communities Project at City Tech is a comprehensive approach to the learning process that constantly is challenging and transforming our understanding of education. Gabelnick, Matthews and Smith indicate “learning communities are attractive because they address, in a myriad of ways, issues of curricular coherence, civic leadership, student retention, active learning, educational reform, and faculty development.” The project at City Tech has a very strong faculty development component since its faculty plays a crucial role in achieving the positive effects of the learning communities. Faculty development is addressed through The Summer Institute: Faculty as a Community of Learners which put emphasis on the importance of the teaching and learning strategies used in the classroom, prepare faculty to create a sense of community and collegiality among the faculty, to improve the understanding of the learning process and to create integrated assignments.

To address issues of fragmented learning in an environment of isolation, faculty is trained to implement cooperative (group) learning, alternative assessment in the classroom, emotional intelligence, work on writing assignments to be used throughout the semester, and critical thinking activities to ensure success. In addition, faculty learn how to use the support of counseling, library resources, educational resources and technology in the learning process. Faculty from different disciplines learn to work together to produce new curricula that connect career and liberal arts courses. These joint curricula give students enrolled in the learning communities the opportunity to reflect and make connection between different disciplines. Our focus group study indicated that students in our learning communities benefited from the curricula and new pedagogy both socially and academically. Our retention rates for freshmen enrolled in our learning communities have been in average 8% higher than for freshmen in non-learning communities. There have been significant improvements in the degree to which students feel connected to the college and the way our faculty operate in the classroom.

The learning communities at City Tech are unique in the sense that teachers and students understand that to be emotionally competent is important in the learning process and in their professional lives. This presentation will put emphasis in this aspect of our learning communities as well as in the advances of our institution by improving pedagogy, enhancing our curricula, and providing more successful academic experiences for our diverse student population.
@InProceedings{ROJASELGUETA2009THE,
author = {Rojas Elgueta, E.},
title = {THE FACULTY AS LEARNER: LEARNING COMMUNITY, CARE AND SUPPORT},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {2862}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Rojas Elgueta
TI - THE FACULTY AS LEARNER: LEARNING COMMUNITY, CARE AND SUPPORT
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 2862
EP - 2862
ER -
E. Rojas Elgueta (2009) THE FACULTY AS LEARNER: LEARNING COMMUNITY, CARE AND SUPPORT, ICERI2009 Proceedings, p. 2862.
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