Learning Communities

Appalachian Learning Communities (AppLC's) are trans-disciplinary groups of people who share a common interest and through a process of collaborative inquiry, learn, develop, and share ideas relevant to a specified topic and goal. For more information, please visit our AppLC website. 

The Center for Academic Excellence is committed to supporting learning communities that integrate knowledge, experience, identities, curiosity, and goals among and between all sectors of the academic community.


Cohort-based learning communities are distinguished by the identity, experiences, or needs of a group. For example, a team of adjunct or international faculty may constitute a cohort-based faculty learning community (FLC).


Topic-based learning communities are distinguished by a specific common theme, such as new and emerging instructional technologies, global learning, social justice, or sustainability.


While faculty learning communitiesprofessional learning communities (PLC), and student learning communities (SLC) are traditionally distinguished by their respective membership populations, some learning communities have deliberately overlapping memberships. Such hybrid groups thrive by virtue of their diversity and help participants enhance their knowledge and engagement across key populations on campus. In the spirit of inclusion and in furtherance of forging new and dynamic pathways in teaching, learning, and leading, the Center for Academic Excellence is committed to supporting all types of learning communities.


Learning communities exist for a variety of purposes. Some may be institutionally driven, organizing learning communities to enhance global learning, civic engagement, social justice, and sustainability, while others may spring from the collective interests of different populations on campus to explore innovative teaching methods, shared scholarly interests, or learning environments. Regardless of type or topic, learning communities provide wonderful opportunities to enrich knowledge, build community, and attain goals. Indeed, many learning community efforts result in shared knowledge in the form of scholarship, workshops, and transformations in institutional culture and policy.

To learn more about learning communities, visit the Learning Communities JournalGet in touch with us to collaborate on developing learning communities or to learn about existing communities on campus.