Faculty Learning Communities
A faculty learning community (FLC) is a cross-disciplinary group of 8 to 12 members, led by one or two facilitators, that engages in a year-long collaboration dedicated to exploring one theme or aspect related to teaching and learning within and beyond the university community. These are intended for full-time, teaching faculty whose participation will have direct effects upon student teaching and learning at Xavier. Normally no more than two members from any single academic department will belong to a single community. Each FLC will meet regularly (10-12 times per year), guided by key questions and directed towards self-defined results. Some FLCs incorporate off-campus retreats or visits to relevant sites, such as other universities. FLC members will present these results at Xavier and, in some cases, through external presentations and publications.
The CTE, supported in part by funding from the office of the President of Xavier University, will provide professional development funds to the FLC facilitators. Each FLC will also have a $10,000 budget, which may include up to $500 in professional development funds for each FLC participant. This budget may also be used to fund off-campus visits, retreats, visiting speakers, food, and other relevant expenses.
The Faculty Learning Communities program is modeled on the program pioneered by Dr. Milt Cox, a mathematician and the founding director of the International Lilly Conference on College Teaching and the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching at Miami University. FLC programs have since been established at numerous universities in the United States and in other countries, in part through a FIPSE grant directed by Dr. Cox. Dr. Cox also trained the facilitators of Xavier's first FLCs.
Proposing future FLCs
Each year, the CTE intends to announce an open call for proposed topics for FLCs. The CTE Faculty Advisory Committee will select from the proposals, after which the new FLC facilitators will help to issue an open call for participants. Some FLCs will begin in August, others in January.