Why Learning Communities Are Important

Student Speech @ Learning Communities Celebration (Fall 2007)

Thanks to everyone for being here tonight, it shows that you support not only us students but our wonderful teachers as well. And I would like to acknowledge my two professors in the Learning Communities. Not only have they been great motivators but they have inspired us to go beyond our own limits of learning and I say thanks to that.

Now for those of you who don’t know what the Learning Communities are, it’s a program that fuses two classes together in an attempt to make education a more enjoyable and less daunting experience.

My two classes were English 205 and Chicano Studies 141B. All the hard hitting facts that we learned in Chicano Studies were incorporated into our English essays, and all the critical thinking we learned in English helped us to better understand and discuss the Chicano’s point of view of history. Even though there was a lot of homework (and believe me there was lol), we learned in what I believe to be the best learning environment I’ve been in. It wasn’t just about the classroom experience either. We were encouraged (sometimes coerced lol) to attend World Culture events in order to learn outside of class as well. Every event we were asked to attend was beyond great and taught us diversity, which is what our class is.

Being in two classes with the same group of peers made it a very comfortable learning environment. From a student point of view, I feel it is necessary to make a comfortable environment in order to learn better in class. In the past I’ve been too quiet to talk or ask questions because I didn’t feel safe from being judged by people I didn’t know. In our class we’ve made a second family and it’s been easier and nicer to have an opinion in class.

It wasn’t a chore to come to class either. If fact the environment we created made me want to come to class and learn even though there were harsh moments this semester where dropping seemed like the better choice, but because of my Learning Communities family I stayed in and tried my best to deal with life and school. See I know we all have problems happening to us all the time, it's life and I understand that. But when you have a strong support group like what we have it makes things easier. I know that it wasn’t just me going through things but others as well and we have tried to be there for one another like the family away from home that we are to each other.

So I would like to say thanks to my teachers for caring so much about our education and our lives as well, thanks to my classmates for being there not only for me but for each other and thanks to everyone who supported this program because it’s a great one and it needs to keep going. For those of you who are students here and aren’t in the Learning Communities program you should check it out.

Thanks once again!

Letter from Parent

Dear wonderful people,

I am writing this message to thank you for being such a wonderful support for my daughter. Not long ago she was under the impression that education wasn't for everybody, and I was very worried about her future. Without a doubt, Learning Communities are changing my daughter's perspective about education and at the same time helping her enormously on a personal level. Now I can see that she is a lot more confident and she is enjoying learning. I am very grateful to you and all the staff that in one way or another are part of my daughter's academic success.

Thank you for everything you do.