First-Year Learning Communities at Pitt-Greensburg
A team of six professors at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg will design and offer two new first-year learning communities for incoming freshman students beginning in the fall of 2019. We are designing these communities – titled the Humanities Learning Community and the Social Sciences Learning Community – for students considering major programs in the humanities and social sciences generally, and more specifically to target incoming students who are undecided in choice of major. Our model provides two teaching teams. Each team is comprised of three instructors, with each instructor teaching one of three connected courses. One team will be anchored by an Introduction to Philosophical Problems course, and the other by an Introduction to Sociology course. Each will include an English Composition course, and a section of one of two newly-developed Quantitative Reasoning for the Humanities and Quantitative Reasoning for the Social Sciences courses. There will also be a one-unit First-year Seminar course. The goal of this project is to provide a more personalized and collaborative education experience for our students. The desired outcomes of this project include providing a solution to a student’s lack of preparation for a University level education by enabling early identification of specific issues and development of personalized support plans, creating momentum to further advance and sustain collaborative teaching practices at Pitt-Greensburg, increasing the number of students who decide to complete their degree at Pitt-Greensburg because of such positive experiences and personalized attention, and to better prepare those students who do relocate to Pittsburgh for a successful transition.