ERIC Number: ED434641
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Making Connections through Learning Communities: A Case Study in the Creation and Development of Learning Communities at Abilene Christian University.
Durrington, Colleen; Bacon, Cheryl M.
This case study describes the theory behind and the process of developing a learning community program at Abilene Christian University (ACU), Texas. The program, initiated in 1996, was developed to improve community and student retention and to provide opportunities for faculty renewal and professional development. Review of the research on learning communities indicates that learning communities have substantial positive effects on retention and can reinvigorate faculty, especially mid-career faculty. The process of creating learning communities at the ACU College of Arts and Sciences is described, including interest luncheons to inform faculty members about the concept of learning communities. Three learning communities that involved integrating three courses in a thematic approach were offered to freshmen in the fall of 1997. Problems encountered focused on such marketing errors as giving responsibility for program marketing to the admissions department and failing to integrate the learning community program into the registration procedure. These problems were addressed in the nine learning communities offered during the program's second year. Preliminary evaluation was mixed, although systematic tracking of 125 students has now begun. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A