To support Clark’s commitment to student learning and faculty development, and to expand the community of learners to faculty and staff participants, the TLC is facilitating dynamic, focused learning communities called “Professional Learning Communities” in which interested faculty and professional staff can learn and grow together.
Description and Purpose
“Professional Learning Communities” are cross-disciplinary groups of 15 faculty and professional staff engaged in a fulfilling nine-month-long program designed to enhance teaching, learning, student success and retention.
Evidence shows that learning circles, like our Professional Learning Communities, increase college employee interest in teaching and learning and provide safety and support for college employees to investigate, attempt, assess, and adopt new (to them) methods in their classes, programs and services.
Learning communities provide a number of innovations to current faculty/staff development practices:
- Use local input to define the topics to be studied.
- Create sufficient time for depth and application of learning in a safe environment.
- Support application of the best practices, assessment of that application, and refinement of the practice.
- Improve cross departmental collaboration.
-Edited version of material written by Cox, M.D. (2001b)
Attendees of Everett Community College's Learning Circles commented that prior to joining a learning circle they spent a lot of time alone reflecting on their own development. Being part of a learning circle helped them reach higher professional goals and accomplish a greater depth of achievement. The relationships they built with each other helped them break down barriers and tackle common goals (10/18/2007 Video Conference).
“Professional Learning Communities” at Clark College will
Build college-wide community through teaching and learning.
Investigate and incorporate ways that diversity can enhance teaching, learning, and student success.
Nourish the scholarship of teaching and its application to student learning.
Broaden the evaluation of teaching and the assessment of learning.
Increase collaboration across the college.
Encourage reflection about education and the coherence of learning across disciplines.
- Create an awareness of the complexity of teaching, learning, and student success.
"Although effective learning circles alone will not transform a college into a learning organization, over time they can produce a critical mass of key individuals and leaders plus the network necessary to connect campus units."
-Gabelnick et al. (1990)
For more information, contact:
Mail: 1933 Fort Vancouver Way MS LIB 112
Vancouver, WA 98663