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Home > News & Events > Press Releases > 2008 > Achieving the Dream Learning Communities Planning Workshop

Press Releases

Achieving the Dream Learning Communities Planning Workshop

December 9, 2008

John Scalea (LO) records ideas for integrated assignments discussed with group members Kitty Deal (MA), Jill Indugula (AN), Marjorie Kinnaman (AL) and Patricia Gary (MA).

As part of the Achieving the Dream (AtD) Implementation Plan, there will be 11 Learning Communities in spring 2009 that link MTH 3 with SDV 100. There will also be one BUS 100/SDV 100 Learning Community through the Extended Learning Institute (ELI).

In preparation for the spring courses, Learning Communities instructors met November 14 for a planning workshop. The AtD Coordinator of Learning Communities Jane Serbousek (LO) presented the data that led to the selection of Learning Communities as a strategy. George Gabriel (CS) outlined the AtD assessment plan for Learning Communities. Alison Bisson (AN), Ray Jones (AN), Tanya Ingram (WO) and Sue Staudt (WO) shared experiences from their fall 2008 Learning Communities, and Josh Richey (AL) discussed classroom assessment techniques. The workshop concluded with small groups designing integrated assignments as the teams worked towards incorporating pedagogy that builds community.

Also participating were Bruce Wahl (AL), Marjorie Kinnaman (AL), Jill Indugula (AN), Karen Walters (AN), Courtney Palmer-Sales (AN), John Scalea (LO), Patricia Gary (MA), Kitty Deal (MA) and Dan Riley (MA).

One type of Learning Communities links two or three courses that students typically take in their first year of college or that provides different approaches to a common theme. By taking the same classes, Learning Communities students have more opportunities to make connections with classmates, form study groups, participate in group discussion, complete integrative assignments and get to know faculty. Research shows that the more connections students make to each other and the college, the better they do academically and the more they enjoy their college experience.

For a complete listing of the Learning Communities for spring 2009, go to page 111 in the printed Spring 2009 Schedule of Classes.

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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America’s largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College’s Web site,