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Building A Learning College



Principle #1- Create substantive changes in learners



                                                               i.      Other cultures and civilizations

                                                             ii.      Different views of the world


·       How to deal with a world of exploding information availability


                                                               i.      Writing

                                                             ii.      Listening

                                                            iii.      Speaking

                                                           iv.      Reasoning

                                                           v.      Analyzing


    * Acquire occupational training


Any where,  Any time




Principle # 2- Engage Learners As Full Partners With learners Assuming Primary responsibility For Their Choices


Step 1.  Construct a personal student profile:


*What the learner knows- abilities, achievements, prior assessments, certificates, diplomas, etc.


*What the learner wants to know

          -needs (external or internal)




*What the learner needs




                    -independent study


Step 2. Develop a contract that outlines the learner and college’s responsibilities


Step 3. Build a student portfolio (may be done electronically)

                    “Smart Card”- resume


Step 4. Follow the students progress through an advisor system that may include several advisors including instructors, specialists, administrators, staff.


Actions required to accomplish the above:


*Provide a continuing or longer orientation program for students (CC’s have generally short orientations because of student logistics)


*Provide orientation and experimentation for learners unfamiliar with the learning college concept and their role in the process. (Specialists may be needed here)


-         Help students develop collaborations and work collaboratively

-         Help students locate resources

-         Train students in the use of technology resources available to them

-         Help students navigate the learning systems



*College provides clear and easily accessible information


-         Guidelines for key decisions

-key dates

-learning options

-resources available


-employment opportunities

- financial aid



          +Self guided print materials (catalogues)

          +Video modules

          +Group based activities (face to face and through the internet)

          +Classes and laboratories

          +On campus consultation with specialists

          +Off campus advising

                    -At the work place

                    -At Malls through kiosk and info desks

                    -Through the internet to SSCC web page

                    -House calls


Principle 3- Provide Many Options for Learning


* Learners learn best when individual differences are addressed

-Learning styles

-Learning rates

-Prior knowledge


* Learning options need specific goals and competency levels for entry



-Demonstration of life experiences

-Prior certificates


·       and outcome measures of competency levels needed for exit.




-Standardized assessments (i.e. nursing certification exams)

-Demonstration of occupational competencies



          +Regular credit courses

          +Stand alone technological systems that guide students

          +Opportunities for collaboration in learning

                    =In class cooperative learning techniques

                    =Problem Based Learning

                    =Learning communities

                             -cohort development

                             -Paired courses

                             -team teaching

                    =Tutor led groups

          +School to work

          +Service learning


          +mentoring programs

          +Course challenge opportunities

          +Credit for life experiences


* College Makes available a complete inventory of options for students to chose from working with advisors and/or specialists


Principle 4- Assist learners to Form and Participate in Collaborative Activities


*Change the philosophy from a Community Of Scholars to a Community Of learners


*Cooperative learning research indicates that it leads to better content mastery plus it has the added benefit of helping students build social and workplace skills. (See the following website for a more complete list of the benefits of cooperative learning




          +Structure student cohorts and engage them in common experiences



                    -Coordinated studies

                    -Integrated studies


          +Venues for cooperation

                    -In class


                    -Service learning

                    -Synchronous and asynchronous communication

                    -Study groups


          +Training in cooperative techniques is essential for both teachers and students



Principle 5- Define Roles of Learning Facilitators By The Needs Of The Learner


*Everyone at the college will be a learning facilitator



          -Clerical personnel

          -Maintenance personnel


*Specialists (full and part time) may be contracted by the college to deliver specific services

          -May work on campus

          -May work at home via the internet

          -May be from around the world


*Services provided by specialists

          -Assess learner abilities, achievements, values, needs, goals, expectations, resources,

and environmental/situational limitations

          -Create personnel profiles and personal learning plans

          -Negotiate learning contracts and assist in developing a personal portfolio

          -Design and create learning options in a variety of formats based upon the latest

                    learning and adult development theories

          -Design and create expert systems to manage and track the activities and progress

of learners

          -Select, update, and repair hardware and software

          -Assist in creating and convening collaborative networks of other learners

          -Access, synthesize and update expanding databases of knowledge

          -Establish and clarify skill levels, competencies, goals and outcomes

-Establish and maintain a clean attractive environment for those who participate

in learning “on location”

          -Guide and coach individual learners needing individual assistance

          -Arrange new options for new needs

          -Challenge learner assumptions, question their values, and encourage their  



Roles for learning facilitators (faculty and staff)

          -Encourage and facilitate enrollment

          -Assess student needs

          -Encourage attendance and participation

          -Design learning experiences

          -Locate resources

          -Provide technical assistance

          -Provide content expertise

          -Develop feedback mechanisms


          -Lead discussions

          -Coordinate field trips

          -Arrange work based learning

          -Arrange service learning

          -Create connection activities

          -Guide, tutor, coach

          -Create standards and outcomes measures

          -Conduct research

          -Maintain an attractive environment

          -Coordinate systems

          -Provide vision

          -Award credentials





Principle 6- Improved and Expanded Learning Must Be Documented


·       All learning options will include competencies for entry and exit.

                                                             i.      May reflect state and/or national standards for certification

                                                           ii.      Be developed by specialists, staff, or by special contract


·       Learners will negotiate and sign contracts for overall programs to include

                                                             i.      General education core

                                                           ii.      Basic skills

                                                        iii.      Workplace skills

                                                         iv.      Further education- transfer guidelines


·       Learners are encouraged to add competencies as they progress through their program and expand their understanding of learning and their needs


·       Portfolio assessment is the primary means for documenting learning

                                                             i.      Systematic and organized collection of evidence of what the learner

knows  and what they can do

                                                           ii.      Portfolio is to be in constant use through updates and revision

                                                        iii.      The learner will be a full partner in developing the portfolio


Smart Card input


·       Initial assessment information

·       Learning contract

·       Competencies achieved

·       Samples of Work

·       Experiences logged

·       External evaluations by employers, supervisors, and collaborators

·       Grades and test scores

·       Self and peer evaluations

·       Log prepared by the learner analyzing the portfolio process


Materials on this page were excerpted from:

“A Learning College For The 21st Century”, by Terry O’Banion

AACC- American Association of Community Colleges

American Council on Higher education series on Higher Education

ORYX Press, 1997



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