Learning Communities: Creating Environments that Retain, Engage and Transform Learners

Registration Fee: $425.00

Learning Communities:
Creating Environments that Retain, Engage and Transform Learners

Available On-Demand

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“In this challenging and complex time in our history, more than ever before, students and faculty need to be co-creating learning environments that become spaces for authentic dialogue and places of inquiry that transform the learners and prepare them for real-world engagement and leadership.”
~ Jane Lister Reis
Webinar Presenter
In this unprecedented economic downturn, students report that a nurturing learning community that also expects rigorous investigation of important and timely issues is life changing for them. This integrated, team-taught model provides students with a social “container” in which to engage in a dialogic experience of critical thinking, writing, reading, and inquiry into the tough issues and areas of knowledge that are crucial for sustaining themselves and for their own success as global and local citizens.

This webinar will be a unique presentation because along with two faculty members, three thoughtful and well-educated students will share their voices as “experts” -- what they have taken away from this learning experience and what they need from the academy to sustain them in both future education, life and career paths.

Participants will:
  • Become familiar with community learning practices in an interdisplinary integrated studies course through the perspectives of students, TAs, and faculty.
  • Explore the concept of learning communities, especially the atmosphere of belonging, openness, and interpersonal exchange that creates an optimal learning environment, and ways to implement it.
  • Understand the curriculum of an integrated studies course.
  • Examine the skills developed and practiced in learning communities.
  • Explore personal narrative in education, as it supports diversity in the learning community and builds social awareness.
  • Learn how to develop community and intellectual intimacy by creating space for the sharing of personal stories and histories.
  • Examine implementation principles for learning communities:
    • how to stimulate scholarship, enhance each learner's ability to work as a group member, guide students to apply skills and thus experience relevant and meaningful learning, engage students in critical thinking skills through literary analysis and cultural interviews so that they can reflect on and evaluate group dynamics;
    • how to give creative space for students to develop a group success plan for carrying out a course project;
    • how to enable students to take leadership in the classroom--to develop tasks and timelines and form a group success plan.
    • a quantifiable and visible service to the community which gives the school value to the public and gives learners a sense of ownership to the school and their work.
  • Hear faculty testimonials about their shared 13-year history in teaching coordinated or integrated studies courses and what they have learned about what makes it work for students (and faculty) and for the college.

Who Should Attend?
Vice Presidents of Instruction, Deans, Faculty, Student Leaders

Who Are The Speakers?

Cam Basden attended academically rigorous private schools before coming to NSCC. He admits to dropping out of college because he wasn't intellectually ready. He came to the first coordinated class with a wicked sense of humor and ready to take on learning. He quickly became a leader in student seminars and seminar skills. He was invited to return the next quarter and serve as one of the two T.A.s in the class. His infectious and enthusiastic love of learning added vitality to the four-hour, twice a week evening class.

Cam’s educational goal is to complete a master's degree and become a high school history teacher in a small school.

Haley Gronbeck received her AA degree from NSCC in 2006 and then went on to complete her B.A from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. While a student at NSCC, Haley participated in a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) qualitative research project called Student Voices. The project looked at four different components in learning in school: individual learning, classroom environment, relationship with the instructor, and overall campus environment. The questionnaire and personal student interviews asked students questions about what they needed in these four different categories to succeed. This research was presented at both national and international SoTL conferences.

Haley is experienced in alternative learning environment because she completed her undergraduate degree at a college that stresses seminar-style and interdisciplinary learning.

Haley was a teaching assistant for two quarters with Jane Lister Reis and Carol Hamilton in different coordinated studies courses. She currently tutors in the Tutoring Loft at the college and is a director of an afternoon cooperative childcare center. Her long-term educational goals include a master's in teaching and ultimately a Ph.D.

Chris McCrae is a born student leader and community activist. Currently he either chairs or launches student clubs and/or projects. For example, the Phi Theta Kappa, Sustainability Club, Veteran's Club. He focuses a lot of his energy on outreach to different community projects and has his finger on the pulse of Seattle's community projects. Through his outreach efforts, he now rubs elbows with some of Seattle’s major political figures including the mayor of Seattle (they're on a first name basis), legislators and the president of the college. His educational goal to get a master’s in Anthropology of Globalization and ultimately a Ph.D. at the University of Washington.

Chris was a Ranger in the U.S. Army for eleven years serving in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan for over four years. Upon returning to civilian life and entering NSCC (and our class), he embraced the concept of his own privilege and agency as a white male and has not stopped since in terms of spreading kindness, support, critical thinking, and non-violent communication to all people he encounters.

Carol Hamilton just retired after 30+ years in the Seattle Community College District, Carol was both an English teacher (Development English, English Composition, and Literature) as well as founder and director of the English Tutoring Center and union activist. Over her career she has influenced literally thousands of students to delve into literature so that they could learn the importance of stories -- their own and others. She challenged her students to explore and understand their own story. She spent 20+ years as a member of the Integrated Studies Committee at the college fighting for this kind of learning community for students. For twelve years, she has taught integrated studies courses with a myriad of faculty and disciplines.

Jane Lister Reis has been a part-time communications faculty at the college since 1997. She also chaired the Integrated Studies Committee for six years, was the college’s assessment liason, and worked closely with The Washington Center for the Improvement of Undergraduate Education with their student learning initiatives.

Jane has taught many years with Carol and other faculty in integrated studies. Together with Carol, they offered courses such as: “Remembering the Roots of Our Voices”, “Beginnings: Sustaining Community, Identity and Stories”, and “Speaking of Success” (an integrated Developmental English and college-level Communication course).

Jane is trained in systems thinking and community development and is active in Washington and Oregon helping non-profits and community groups to come together in dialogue to systemic support change.

You can register online by adding this product to your cart. You can also register by emailing or faxing the completed paper-based form (at top of page). If you have any questions, please call 303-775-6004.

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