Professional Learning Communities

Professional Learning Communities

Professional Learning Communities

(Previously know as Faculty Learning Communities (FLC))

A Professional Learning Community (PLC) is a cross-disciplinary group of eight to twelve people who come together for a year-long adventure in active, collaborative, and dialogic learning. Participants become a community of learners, not a decision-making body, task-force, or committee.

A community of learners is distinct from other university groups in that it offers opportunities for:

  • Professional Development - developing, honing, and practicing the skills of life-long learning
  • Community Building - breaking down the barriers of specialization and engaging with interested individuals across the institutions
  • Reflective Learning - gaining a deeper understanding of the many ways of thinking about a phenomenon, experiencing cross-disciplinary dialogue

Are you interested in starting your own Personal Learning Community?

The guidelines will give you information on what is expected from a PLC. 

Previous FLCs/PLCs

The Faculty Center proudly supports the work of the following Faculty Learning Communities for 2021-2022: 

Academic Advising -- facilitated by Beth Rey, University Advising

Academic advising with professional staff advisors has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. While many of us are currently working remotely, when on campus, advisors are spread out in offices across the entire campus. This FLC brings together advisors that may not see each other often in order to engage in current advising literature, share best practices, and spend time together in a supportive environment. 

Coffee, Critical Conversations and Community -- facilitated by Susan Browne and Jill Perry, College of Education

This community sees the need for ongoing readings, professional development and conversation as we work towards enacting antiracist pedagogy.

The Writers in Our Classrooms: Reflecting On Our Practices — facilitated by Leslie Allison (allisonle@rowan.edu) and Celeste Del Russo, College of Communication and Creative Arts

No matter our field, writing happens in all shapes and forms in our classrooms. From the classic "research paper," to annotated bibliographies, to lab reports, to mathematical proofs, to ethnographies, to business proposals, to white papers, and even digital texts like podcasts, youtube videos, and slide decks, we expect our students to write a tremendous amount, for a tremendous amount of purposes. We know writing is important, but how do we make time for it? What should we expect students to "know already," and what should we teach explicitly? How can we design engaging, meaningful writing assignments that make our chosen field come alive for our students?

As the Writing Intensive requirement in Rowan Core undergoes revision, more faculty will be needing more support to build meaningful writing assignments in their courses. This learning community seeks to begin this conversation, particularly around new guidelines to the W course including emphasizing writing as a process, designing writing assignments that are specific to the discipline, and assessing writing for content over grammar. Even more importantly, this community seeks to build upon and grow a campus culture of writing based on trust, student-centeredness, and curiosity. This professional community brings together anyone interested in sharing their practices for teaching writing in their classrooms or exploring new ones. We'll learn about Writing Across the Curriculum as a field of knowledge, key principles for how students learn and develop as writers, and how we might adapt our practices to make more significant learning experiences for our students.

Math: Inquiry Based Learning -- facilitated by Beca Lufi, Mathematics

Many faculty members have expressed interest in learning more about active learning. Inquiry based learning is a wonderful example of how this can be done in mathematics! This learning community would be a series of four modules that the Academy of Inquiry Based Learning (http://www.inquirybasedlearning.org/) has recently produced, a shortened version of the week-long workshop hosted each summer for math faculty in higher education. An idea to consider: How to do this in our current online/remote teaching environment?

Supporting Working Mothers — facilitated by Kristen Barrett, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Data supports that the pandemic affected working mothers more than any other group. As a result many working mothers left the workplace. Ones that remain find it difficult to manage the ever changing circumstances that occur. As a campus community it is important to review ways that this group can be better supported and retained. As some examples, reviewing the need and potential for free and/or reduced childcare for faculty on campus; and a permanent allowance for virtual attendance to all meetings.

This learning community will explore current best practices with the goal of learning what methods are best at helping working mothers excel in the workplace. This learning community's goal is to review campus infrastructure to identify potential areas for improvement.

On-Campus Student Employment & Career Readiness — facilitated by Lauren Kuski, Associate Director, Student Center & Campus Activities, Division of Student Life

With hundreds of on-campus student employees, it is imperative that we as a University are able to provide student employees with the necessary skill sets for their future career that positively supplements their academic coursework. This PLC will hopefully connect on-campus student employers, faculty, and staff to create and share resources to positively impact on-campus student employees, supplement their academic coursework, and prepare them for their employment after graduation.

This proposed Professional Learning Community will focus on the impact of on-campus student employment to their career readiness post graduation. The Division of Student Life has recently begun utilizing Rowan GROW (Guided Reflection on Work), an initiative in which supervisors and students engage in conversations focused on transferring work and academic learning to a future career (https://sites.rowan.edu/studentaffairs/initiatives/grow/index.html). We hope to professionally develop our skill sets as on-campus employers, build a community of on campus employers who can create & share resources, and gain a better understanding of the connection of on-campus student employment to their career preparedness outside of college.

Maneuvering the Academic Workplace as an International Faculty Member/Employee in the USA — facilitated by Nina Krey, Marketing and Business Information Systems, Maria Hernandez, World Languages, and Mikkel Dack, History

The number of international faculty members/employees across Rowan campuses continues to increase. Sometimes, communications and policies discussed by the administration does not apply to these faculty members. This added stress can increase the feeling of isolation, especially if faculty members/employees had to leave most of their social support system behind in their home country. This PLC will assist in providing a place to discuss any issues individual faculty members/employees might face and organize a space to offer support.​

Junior Faculty — facilitated by Sarah Ferguson, Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education [This group is seeking a co-facilitator, please email if interested]

Junior Faculty are those who are pre-tenure or are in the first six years of service if in a non-tenure position. This PLC functions as a collective support group to help junior faculty through the challenges of their early years at Rowan through network building across the Rowan community. Some topics include: 1) Teaching – active-learning strategies, student interaction, engaging students; 2) Research – how to stay on top of research, how to secure grants; 3) Work and life balance – tips on how to be good at teaching, research, and service, but still have time for family; and, 4) Tenure & Recontracting – where to find information. 

 

 Updated 9/21/21