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Faculty Learning Communities

Announcing the 2017-2018 FLCs!

We are supporting three groups for the 2017-2018 academic year. If you're interested in joining one of these FLCs, please apply before August 1st by emailing us cte@usfca.edu. Early application is encouraged as space is limited.

  • Mindfulness for Faculty Well-Being: facilitated by Kevin Lo (Organization, Leadership and Communication).
  • Teaching Controversial Issues: facilitated by Candice Harrison (History) and Judy Pace (Teacher Education).
  • Sustainability Across the Curriculum: facilitated by Gerard Kuperus (Philosophy, Environmental Studies).

Mindfulness for Faculty Well-Being

Facilitator: Kevin Lo

How can faculty engage in mindfulness practices for better health and well-being? How can faculty incorporate mindfulness into their teaching so that students' overall health and well-being are enhanced? This FLC will explore with other faculty how they might integrate mindfulness practices in their teaching through looking at mindfulness as 1. a practice in itself and 2. a pedagogical tool, and exploring methods for utilizing mindfulness in our classes.

Teaching Controversial Issues

Facilitators: Candice Harrison and Judy Pace

At USF our Jesuit mission sets the expectation that faculty teach students to examine significant moral, social, and political questions from diverse perspectives. Our politically turbulent climate makes this expectation even more urgent. This Faculty Learning Community will explore the challenges and opportunities embedded in teaching controversial issues, and a variety of strategies to navigate them. Led by two facilitators grounded in research and practice, the FLC will explore different approaches; contextual factors such as race, class, immigration status, gender/sexuality, and religion; and dilemmas such as conflicting rights. Participants will reflect on our own and our students’ positionalities in regard to power and identity as these shape our facilitation of classroom inquiry and discourse. And we will draw on our different areas of expertise to learn from one another about controversial issues teaching informed by democratic values.

Sustainability Across the Curriculum

Facilitator: Gerard Kuperus

This FLC will explore ways to incorporate sustainability in courses taught across the university. We will examine literature and examples at other universities (such as the Piedmont Project at Emory, or the Ponderosa Project at Northern Arizona). Faculty can develop (or improve) a sustainability module to be included in the syllabus of one of their courses (for example by generating ideas for lectures, assignments, and texts that incorporate the theme of sustainability). In addition the FLC will also attempt to develop (interdisciplinary) strategies to implement sustainability throughout the university (e.g. through workshops and/or curriculum related materials) as well as to connect to sustainability projects on campus. Whatever the major, our students need tools to think about solutions to environmental issues. The global crisis we are facing is depressing and we should certainly not sugarcoat things. Yet, discussing sustainability can be an uplifting experience that will strengthen a course, and the education and job prospects of our students.

About FLCs

Our Faculty Learning Communities (or FLCs) bring together small, inter-disciplinary groups of faculty (6 to 10), who meet twice a month each semester for an academic year to address a pedagogy or academia-related problem of mutual interest.

"FLCs are like freshman seminars for faculty"
… EJ Jung (Computer Sciences)

"I regained my addiction for learning."
… Shawn Doubiago (Comparative Literature and Culture)

At the end of the year, each group shares its findings with the university community in some way, as appropriate.

How do they work?

Participation in an Faculty Learning Community is a commitment to a deep process of learning through a diverse, intentionally-created community. Under the guiding direction of a faculty Facilitator, each group identifies a convenient time for bi-weekly meetings for two consecutive semesters, determines a method for sharing their work with the university as appropriate, and discusses a division of labor for the work to be done together over the year.

Each Facilitator gets one course load release for the year (probably best taken in the fall semester). The group is given up to $300 per person for materials and food expenses.

One key to a successful FLC is to make a topic broad enough to invite participation across disciplines and schools, but narrow enough to lead to significant benefits for faculty and students. Please see our post about FLC frequently asked questions. If you have any further questions about FLCs, please don't hesitate to email us at cte@usfca.edu.

Here's some resources that explain the general ideas behind FLCs in greater depth:

When are they offered?

We support several Faculty Learning Communities each year. Applications for these communities are accepted each spring. Each year applications are due by mid-April. We’ll select a new set of FLCs at the beginning of May.

What other FLCs have been offered?

Listed below are the Faculty Learning Communities for previous academic years.

2016-2017 FLCs

  • Accessible Pedagogy and Universal Design for Learning: facilitated by Emily Nusbaum (Learning & Instruction).
  • Field Study Courses: facilitated by Melinda Stone (Media Studies, Urban Agriculture).
  • Best Pracitces in Hybrid Learning Experiences: facilitated by Susan Prion (Nursing and Health Professions).

2015-2016 FLCs

  • Student Engagement in the Classroom: Best Practices facilitated by Marjolein Oele (Philosophy)
  • Practical Strategies for Working with International Students Facilitated by Melissa Dale (Center for Asia Pacific Studies)
  • The Innovation Lab: Teaching & Technology Facilitated by Eugene Kim (Law)

2014-2015 FLCs

  • Teaching at Branch Campuses Facilitated by June Clausen (Psychology)
  • Community Engaged Pedagogies Facilitated by Kevin Lo (Organization, Leadership and Communication)
  • Teaching First Year Students & Information Literacy facilitated by Marilyn DeLaure (Communication Studies)

2013-2014 FLCs

  • Flipped Classrooms Facilitated by Susan Prion (Nursing and Health Professions)
  • Qualitative Research Methods Facilitated by Genevieve Leung (Rhetoric and Language)
  • Ignatian Pedagogy Facilitated by Kimberly Connor (Public and Nonprofit Administration)