Professional Learning Communities 2023-2024

Professional Learning Communities 2023-2024

Professional Learning Communities

For the 2023-2024 Academic Year, there was not an open call for proposals.
The Faculty Center sent focused invitations to potential facilitators to propose or continue a PLC. 

What is a Professional Learning Community?

A Professional Learning Community (PLC) is a cross-disciplinary group of Rowan Community Members who come together for a year-long adventure in active, collaborative, and dialogic learning. Professional staff, librarians, faculty (full-time and part-time), and administrators may participate. 

Participants in a PLC 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 lifelong learning;
  • Community Building — breaking down the barriers of specialization and engaging with interested individuals across the institutions; and
  • Reflective Learning — gaining a deeper understanding of the many ways of thinking about a phenomenon and experiencing cross-disciplinary dialogue.

What are this year's PLC offerings?

Below you will find proposed Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) for the 2023-2024 academic year and the names and email addresses of their facilitators. Please read the descriptions carefully to see which PLC might interest you. If you have questions about a particular PLC, please contact the facilitator(s) directly.

PLCs will meet approximately once a month, or about eight times per academic year (September through early May). Please note the dates and time provided in the descriptions.

For all PLCs except the Junior Faculty Mentoring PLC and International Faculty PLC, we ask that you sign up only if you anticipate being able to attend at least 7 of the meetings. It's the continuity of the community that makes the community work. We ask that you participate in at most 2 PLCs.

If you have general questions, please contact the Faculty Center (



Academic Year 2023-2024 Professional Learning Communities

Academic Advising — facilitated by Beth Rey (, Associate Director, University Advising Services

Academic advisors provide proactive, academic support to students from entrance through graduation. Advisors assist students with exploration of career and personal goals, academic interests, and much more. They also regularly make referrals to other offices and departments for additional services and support. Thus, the role of an academic advisor is robust. The Academic Advising PLC will meet monthly and provides a supportive opportunity to engage in current advising literature discussions, share best practices and seek support, discuss advising approaches and more! The advising PLC is open to anyone interested. From those just starting to those experienced and seasoned, all are welcome.

We will be meeting on the following Fridays from 12:00-1:15:

  • Fall: 9/22; 10/13; 11/10; 12/8
  • Spring: 1/12; 2/23; 3/15/; 4/19; 5/3


Cross-Institutional Collaboration to Remove Barriers for Transfer Students in STEM Majors — facilitated Cristine Mason (, Undergraduate Advisor, Rowan University Glassboro Campus and Edem Tettah (, Dean of STEM, Academics, Rowan College of Burlington County

We welcome everyone in the larger Rowan community to join the HHMI IMPACT STEM Transfer Cluster (Rowan University, Rowan College of Burlington County, Rowan College of South Jersey- Cumberland, and Rowan College of South Jersey-Gloucester) as we collaborate to identify and implement solutions to remove barriers and create equitable and inclusive transfer experiences for students from diverse backgrounds throughout their educational experiences. Our goals for this PLC are to: 1) Create connections among our RU & RC faculty and staff; 2) Focus on specific STEM and STEM transfer student issues to inform the creation of supports and removal barriers; 3) Find ways to increase the number of students who transfer into STEM majors. 

All meetings will be virtual to support this multi-campus collaboration.

  • In the Fall 2023 semester, we will be meeting on these Tuesdays from 10:00-11:15: 9/12; 10/17; 11/14; 12/12.
  • Spring 2024 meeting times are TBD.


Excellence in Graduate Student Research Mentoring — facilitated by Tabbetha Dobbins (, Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Stephanie Lezotte (, Assistant Dean, School of Graduate Studies

Do you mentor graduate student research? Do you serve on graduate committee? Are you a member of graduate education support structure (e.g., library, advisors, etc.)? If you answered YES-- then this PLC is for you! We will work together to explore the literature and develop a concise and clear list of best practices for graduate student research mentors. Research mentorship is a key part of the experience of the graduate student. However, very little time is dedicated to helping faculty members to develop as excellent mentors. This PLC will serve to fill this gap in knowledge, understanding, and values surrounding graduate education for our facul mentors.

We will be meeting on the following Fridays from 11-12:15:

  • Fall: 10/20; 11/17; 12/15
  • Spring: 1/19; 2/16; 3/15/; 4/19; 5/3


Junior Faculty Mentoring PLC — facilitated by Mahbubur Meenar (, Associate Professor, Geography, Planning, and Sustainability

This PLC will function as a collective support group to help junior faculty through the challenges their early years at Rowan through network building across the Rowan community. Potential 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 how to be good at teaching, research, and service, but still have time for family; and 4) Tenure & Recontracting – where to find information.

  • We will be meeting on the following dates in Fall 2023:
    • Thursday 09/28 - 2-3 pm (Introductions + An overview of teaching, research, and service + Project proposals)
    • Thursday 10/26 - 2-3 pm (Tips for teaching and navigating Canvas + Project updates) Thursday 11/16 - 2-3 pm (Work-life balance + Project updates)
    • Wednesday (Reading Day) 12/13 - 2-3 pm (Tips for writing proposals for research and teaching support + Member presentations)
  • Spring 2024 meeting times and topics are TBD.


Maneuvering the Academic Workplace as an International Faculty Member/Employees in the USA — facilitated by Nina Krey (, Associate Professor, Marketing and Business Information Systems and Mikkel Dack (, Assistant Professor, History.

The number of international faculty members/employees across Rowan campuses continues to increase and this PLC helps to bring them together. Our PLC provides a place for international faculty to discuss issues individual faculty members/employees might face and organizes a spa to offer support. We work together to understand how Rowan's communications and policies do and do not apply to these faculty members so that we can reduce added stress and feelings of isolation, especially if faculty members/employees had to leave most of their social support system behind in their home country. If you identify as an international faculty member/employee please join us.

We will decide prior to our first meeting (during the week of September 18th) whether we will be meeting monthly on

  • Wednesdays 10:00 - 11:00 in person or zoom
  • Tuesdays 3:00 - 4:00 via zoom


Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) — facilitated by Lisa Abrams (, Assistant Professor, Psychology and Jill Perry (, Associate Professor, Content Area Teacher Education

The Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) is a scholarly approach to teaching that uses research to answer questions about teaching and learning and to address problems educators observe in the classroom. This PLC invites you to explore how SoTL fits into your current teaching practice and/or research agenda. This group is for anyone who is interested in learning about how they can incorporate SoTL into their work and start to engage in systematic inquiry of student learning. PLC members will spend the Fall 2023 semester learning and brainstorming about SoTL with the goal of producing a resource for others who are interested in learning about SoTL. In the Spring 2024 semester, each participant will apply their new SoTL knowledge to make progress toward a small SoTL project of their own.

  • In the Fall 2023 semester, we will be meeting on these Mondays from 12:30 - 1:45: 9/25 10/23, 11/13, & 12/11.
  • Spring 2024 meeting times are TBD.


Supportive & Equitable Tenure, Recontracting, and Promotion Practices — facilitated by Kaitlin Mallouk (, Associate Professor, Experiential Engineering Education

Tenure, recontracting, and promotion are processes that affect all of Rowan's faculty and librarians. While Rowan's TRP processes are more transparent than many other schools', there is still opportunity for more equitable approaches to TRP. This PLC will work to understand evidence-based TRP practices that promote equity and lay the groundwork for those to be implemented on campus.

  • We will be meeting on the following Mondays in Fall 2023:
    • 9/25 9:30 - 10:45
    • 10/23 3:00 - 4:15
    • 11/20 9:30 - 10:45
    • 12/11 3:00 - 4:15
  •  We will be meeting on the following Mondays in Spring 2024:
    • 1/22 9:30 - 10:45
    • 2/26 3:00 - 4:15
    • 3/25 9:30 - 10:45
    • 4/22 3:00 - 4:15