Building and Sustaining Learning Communities: The Syracuse University Experience / Edition 1

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Learning communities are small, defined groups of students who come together with faculty and student affairs professionals to engage in a holistic and intellectually interactive learning experience. Building and Sustaining Learning Communities describes the theory and rationale for learning communities, particularly in a large university; the process for setting them up in various settings; and reflections on these unique environments.

Part I introduces the history and theory behind learning communities, then discusses various issues involved in planning and implementing a learning community on campus, including

  • Forging partnerships between academic- and student-affairs
  • Establishing an environment that supports learning communities
  • Finding strategies for collaboration to promote integrative learning
  • Developing a learning-community structure and curriculum
  • Assessing learning communities
  • Anticipating and meeting institutional challenges

Part II profiles experiences of faculty and students involved in some of Syracuse University’s learning communities, which represent a variety of pedagogies, including arts, citizenship, education, human services and health professions, leadership, management, and online learning. The authors share how each learning community’s structure was designed to meet the unique needs of a program’s and its faculty and students. This book guides administrators, faculty, and student-affairs professionals to understand why learning communities are worth considering and how to successfully create them.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"This book is a significant contribution to the learning community literature. It not only gives candid portrayals of how a variety of learning communities evolved, but also discusses the scaffolding that is essential for creating learning communities within a large university."
—Vincent Tinto, Chair, Higher Education Program, Syracuse University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882982684
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/15/2004
  • Series: JB - Anker Series, #43
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 265
  • Product dimensions: 0.75 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra N. Hurd, professor of law and public policy, currently serves as interim dean of the martin J. Whiteman School of Management at Syracuse University (SU). She participated in the development of the School of Management's freshman course in 1991 and served as it’s director from 1996-2002. Professor Hurd was the first coordinator of the management learning community and now serves as SU’s director of learning communities for academic affairs. Her primary area of research is international product liability and safety. Professor Hurd’s publication appear in such journals as the American Business Law Journal, the Journal of Product Liability, the Journal of Legislation, the International Journal of Technology Management, the Maryland Journal of International Law and Trade, and the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Economic Law. She is coauthor, with Ruth Federman Stein, of Using Student Teams in the Classroom (2000). Professor Hurd was named a master teacher by the Academy of legal Studies in Business and is a member pf the Syracuse University Gateway Fellowship. Recent awards include the School of Management Award for Excellence in Teaching (2000), the Tankersley Leadership Award (2001), and the Chancellor’s citation for Outstanding Contributions to the University’s Academic programs (2001).

Ruth Federman Stein is a teaching consultant at the center for Support of Teaching and Learning at Syracuse University. Her work includes organizing Focus on Teaching sessions for faculty, helping to coordinate Syracuse University's Vision Fund program, conducting teaching workshops, and teaching consultation. She also serves as a visiting faculty consultant for Syracuse University's Project Advance program. Dr. Stein coauthored Using Student Teams in the Classroom (2002) and is a past president of the Board of Education in Syracuse, New York. She currently is serving as the mayor’s Education Advocate.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors.




Part I: Learning Community Research,, Theory, and Practice.

1. Learning Communities: An Overview (Ruth Federman Stein).

2. Learning Communities at Syracuse University: A Strategy for Collaboration and Joint Responsibility (Michele Jachim, with Ronald R. Cavanagh and Barry L. Wells).

3. Strategies for Building Learning Community Relationships (Sandra N. Hurd).

4. Roles of and Structures for Writing Courses in Learning Communities (Rebecca Moore Howard and Vivian Rice).

5. Using Grids to Develop a Learning Community Curriculum. (Nance Hahn).

6. The Power of Faculty-Student Affairs for Promoting Integrative Learning Experiences in Learning Communities (Cathy McHugh Engstrom).

7. The Challenge of Assessing Learning Communities in a Collaborative Environment (Barbara A. Yonai).

8. Institutional Challenges (Sandra N. Hurd).

Part II: Learning Community Profiles.

9. The Management Learning Community: A Lesson in Innovation (Sandra N. Hurd and Steve St. Onge).

10. Leading for Change (Mariana Lebron).

11. Multicultural Living/Learning Community: By the Students, for the Students (James Duah-Agyeman).

12. Amazing Growth at SUNY ESF (Janine M. Debaise and Julie R. White).

13. Constructing Concentric Communities (Stacey Riemer and Leah Flynn).

14. From Theme Floor to Learning Community: The Wellness Experience (Terra Peckskamp).

15. Arts Adventure: A Work in Progress (Martha Sutter Interviewed by Ruth Federmann Stein).

16. A Lesson in Citizenship: The Maxwell Citizen Education Learning Community (Sandra N. Hurd with William B. Coplin, Rosalie Carpenter, and SaraKate Kirk).

17. The Education Living Learning Community (Amie Redmond).

18. Creating an Online Learning Community (Mary Ann Middlemiss and Maureen Thompson).

19. Interprofessional Learning Community (Mary Ann Middlemiss, Sudha Raj, Bruce Carter, Luvenia Cowart, Mary Lynne Hensel, Tanya Horacek, and Carrie Smith).

20. Lessons Learned: A Summary of the Learning Communities' Experiences (Sandra N. Hurd adnRuth Federman Stein).



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