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Scholarly Learning Communities

M. I. King Library, detail shot of one of the outdoor lightsA scholarly learning community (SLC) is a multi-disciplinary group of faculty, graduate students and/or professional staff consisting of eight to twelve members engaged in an active, collaborative, year-long program typically focused on enhancing teaching and learning. The organization and activities of SLCs create an environment that allows for and encourages learning, development, a trans-disciplinary approach to problem solving, and community building. Learning communities have also proven to be very effective in supporting the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Some characteristics of a typical SLC

  • Topic-based or cohort-based
  • Led and operated by members of the community (to include meeting times, agenda, activities, goals)
  • Facilitated by educational development consultants from CELT
  • Consists of between 8 and 12 members
  • Meets for one year or more
  • Holds monthly meetings
  • May apply for a modest budget to be used by individual members or the community as a whole to spend on activities and materials to support the work of the SLC (e.g., books, speakers, retreats, social gatherings, conferences, course design, scholarship of teaching and learning projects)
  • Produces some product(s) or result(s) either as individuals or as a community that is shared with the university community and, perhaps, a wider audience

Hundreds of learning communities exist on many campuses and have proven to be a successful means for university members to address academic issues. Miami University in Oxford, Ohio has been a leader in this area. Examples of learning communities at other campuses can be seen at

Examples of recent UK SLCs are Service Learning, First Generation Students, and Sustainability

For more information or to suggest a learning community at UK, contact Bill Burke, Associate Director, Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (