Faculty Learning Communities

FLCs are  small groups of faculty who come together regularly over the course of a year to discuss various aspects of their teaching, support each other, and/or work together to solve a shared pedagogical problem or question.  FLCs can range from informal to quite structured, depending on the needs and goals of the group. The CTL is currently supporting 3 FLC’s and is always willing to form more, based on faculty interest.

What are some examples of FLCs?

A learning community might be formed to:

  • Support a cohort of faculty at a similar point in their careers
  • Share ideas for improved teaching of a particular pedagogical approach (like service learning or problem-based learning)
  • Investigate the potential of a new classroom practice or tool (like “flipping” or student response systems)
  • Build community and support for teaching a common course (like First Year Seminars or Intro to Biology)
  • Discuss scholarship on issues of concern to faculty and their classrooms (like diversity or campus climate)
  • Connect faculty in more intentional ways with people and services that might improve student learning

What are the advantages to joining an FLC?

Well, just to name a few, an FLC can provide: new ideas for teaching, opportunities to slow down and reflect, scholarly camaraderie, intercollegiate connections, emotional support, potential avenues for publication, and, often, a free lunch! Above all, an FLC is a safe place to challenge yourself to grow as a teacher and life-long learner.

First 5 FLC

This group of faculty who are in their first 5 years in the Claremont Colleges generally meets monthly. Some of the topics this FLC have discussed are:

  • What does teaching look like in a liberal arts school and how do I take advantage of it?
  • Tenure criteria:  Pomona tenure criteria includes diversity, inclusion in the classroom.  How to do right by that?
  • Mentoring and advising relationships.  How do we do office hours?  How do I keep professional boundaries?
  • Nuts and bolts related to the time in the semester.  Syllabi / evals / assessments / self-eval report. Templates?  Regular check ups on end-of-year eval progress.
  • Support of students outside the classroom — what is the appropriate response to student meltdowns?  How can we help but not become in loco parentis?

If you’d like to join this ongoing FLC, please email jessica.tinklenberg@claremont.edu

Diversity in Higher Ed FLC

This group of faculty focus on having some shared material (like an article) each meeting to provide a common basis for discussion. Some of the topics this FLC have discussed are:

  • Literature on best practices in inclusion and diversity
  • First-gen and socio-economic concerns
  • The psychological burden of undertaking contentions conversations
  • 5C and 7C resources for discussion on gender, sexuality, and disability

If you’d like to join this ongoing FLC, please email jessica.tinklenberg@claremont.edu

Justice Education FLC

This is a group of faculty who have taught, will teach, or are interested in teaching “inside-out” courses. They generally meet monthly.  Some of the topics this FLC have discussed are:

  • What are the teaching strategies that folks have found to work well?
  • Dealing with expectations both “inside” and “outside” students have about each other, and faculty expectations of these students.
  • What other opportunities are there to participate in justice education?
  • Logistics of teaching inside-printing, materials, travel, registration, etc.
  • Managing stress of requirements of dress, behavior, etc. when going inside, and of leaving half your students behind, responsibility for student safety.

If you’d like to join this ongoing FLC, please email jessica.tinklenberg@claremont.edu

The CTL encourages faculty to nominate an FLC.  If you have an idea for a group that is focused on issues in teaching and learning, please email Jessica at jessica.tinklenberg@claremont.edu with the type of group, a main contact person, and what interest already exists for it.

Important Note about Confidentiality

Evaluation of faculty for the purpose for reappointment or promotion is very different from evaluation of teaching and learning for the purpose of improvement. Therefore, while faculty may share information about their interactions with the CTL with others, CTL staff will keep all conversations with faculty about their teaching and learning in strict confidence. CTL staff will politely decline writing a letter on behalf of a faculty member’s employment, reappointment, or promotion, even if asked to by that person.