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High Impact Practices (HIPs)

Learning Communities

"The key goals for learning communities are to encourage integration of learning across courses and to involve students with “big questions” that matter beyond the classroom. Students take two or more linked courses as a group and work closely with one another and with their professors. Many learning communities explore a common topic and/or common readings through the lenses of different disciplines. Some deliberately link “liberal arts” and “professional courses”; others feature service learning."  --George D. Kuh


What are Learning Communities?

Learning communities means two or more classes that are grouped together. These classes - though they may be different subjects - teach on common themes and values and emphasize the relationships between all the people involved in the academic process - students, faculty, staff - giving everyone the opportunity to strengthen their partnership skills. LC promotes "...ongoing interaction, interplay, and collaboration among the community’s members as they strive for specified common learning goals" (Lenning, et al., 2013, p. 7). Learning as a community doesn't just help you learn better, it provides necessary experience that applies to many aspects of living. And ultimately, we at Pikes Peak Community College don't just want you to succeed at college - we want you to succeed at life.


  • Organizing students and faculty into smaller, more personal groups
  • Encouraging meaningful integration and application of the curriculum
  • Helping students establish academic and social support networks
  • Providing a setting for students to socialize appropriately
  • Focusing faculty and students on meaningful learning outcomes
  • Supplementing community-based delivery of academic support programs
  • Offering a critical lens for examining the first-year experience



Thinking of developing a Learning Community course(s)? Learning Community development and implementation requires dean approval. Please see this document for full development and implementation details and requirements.

Supporting Research

              Fink, John E. and Mary L. Hummel. "With Educational Benefits for All: Campus Inclusion through Learning Communities Designed for Underserved                                            Student Populations." New Directions for Student Services, vol. 2015, no. 149, Spring2015, pp. 29-40. EBSCOhost

             Gansemer-Topf, Ann M. and Kari Tietjen. "Assessing the 'Learning' in Learning Communities." New Directions for Student Services, vol. 2015, no.                                                 149, Spring2015, pp. 79-89. EBSCOhost

Watch this space!

More info coming...

HIPs Faculty Specialists are peer experts who are ready to assist fellow faculty to implement or improve high impact practices.

Have general HIPs questions? Contact: 

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