FAQ Regarding Learning Community Coordinators

Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2014 Learning Community Coordinators (LCC). The application (with references) are due by noon, Friday, March 21. Send an email to Associate Provost Shalom Staub if you have any difficulty downloading a copy of the application and reference forms from this page.

1.    What is a Learning Community?

A Learning Community at Dickinson College is comprised of students who live in a particular residence hall, are enrolled in one of a set of thematically linked First-Year Seminars and engage in out-of-class activities together. For Fall 2014 there will be four learning communities for first-year students:

Asia:  Culture and Environment

While each of these two seminars will have its own specific regional focus, the shared goal of the learning community is for students to become familiar with concrete examples of Asian environments and their dynamics, from an interdisciplinary perspective.  Through the comparative exploration of upland and tropical Asia, students will explore how culture matters in the way humans relate to, and change, their local environments.  In addition to the perspectives of the two faculty members from East Asian Studies and Anthropology, students will have the opportunity to interact with a visiting scholar from China.

•    Culture and Environment in Upland Asia

•    Tropical Asia

Foundational Thinkers for the 21st Century

Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, and W. E. B. Du Bois.  These individuals, all born in the 19th Century, had a profound effect on society and culture in their own time.  Their ideas shaped the unfolding 20th Century and continue to reverberate in our present day.  Each seminar will have its own focus, and certainly the perspectives of the faculty—a sociologist, an economist, and a literary scholar—will shape the exploration and discussion within the seminar.  As a learning community, students will have the opportunity to explore multiple perspectives and share the deep learning of your seminar with your peers.

•    19th Century Founders of 20th Century Discourse: Marx, Darwin, Freud, and Du Bois

•    Founders of Modern Discourse: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

•    Marx:  Myth or Reality


Styling and Profiling: African American Identities

Clothing and grooming are basic human characteristics rooted in the universal need to protect ourselves from the natural elements and make ourselves attractive to ourselves and potential mates.  And yet, the clothes we wear and the cut of our hair are laden with symbolic meaning both to people within particular cultures and sub-cultures, and to outsiders who may misinterpret the cultural messages and stereotype on the basis of these misinterpretations. 

African American cultures are recognized as rich innovators of fashion and style.  Through a cultural studies lens, the varied fashion and hair styles can be explored for deeper levels of meaning.  This learning community will bring faculty and students together to explore the interplay of these cultural icons, asking questions informed by historical, social, political and economic inquiry.

•    Fashioning African American Identities and Social Consciousness

•    Tangled: African American Hair in the US


Technology and the Future of Society

As communication and other technologies advance in a dizzying pace, we have a responsibility to step back and consider the impact—personally and socially.  What are benefits, and what are the known and often-hidden dangers, not just in terms of productivity or convenience, but also in moral and ethical terms?  This learning community brings together multiple perspectives to consider communication, ecology, identity, literacy, media, nanotechnology, and politics in light of the dizzying pace of technological innovation.

•    From Facebook to Face Time:  Living and Learning in the Digital Age

•    Nano-Dreams and Nano-Nightmares: Hype and Hope for Nanotechnology in Society

•    Science Fiction -- Dystopian Visions

2.    What does an LCC do?

An LCC is an upper-level student who works with faculty and the Associate Provost for First-Year Programs to help create and sustain a successful learning community. In the Fall semester, LCCs work closely to support faculty efforts to guide and shape the learning communities through their work within and across particular First-Year seminars. LCCs play an administrative and logistical support role, and they will likely be called upon to assist in facilitating student programs. They also have the ability to support residence-hall-based programs to explore the themes of the learning community. 

3.    Are there qualifications for being an LCC?

Candidates must be at sophomore standing or higher at the start of employment. They must successfully complete the LCC selection process (described below). Candidates must possess and maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Violations of college policy will affect candidacy.

4.    What does the selection process entail?

The selection process entails an application form to be filled out by the candidate, as well as two references. Final candidates will be invited for an interview.

5.    What is the compensation for being an LCC?

LCCs will be paid on an hourly basis for the Fall semester upon satisfactory completion of their responsibilities.

6.    Are there other benefits from being an LCC?

LCCs have the opportunity to develop close working relationships with faculty and administrators, and are in a position to shape the living/learning experiences of a significant number of First-Year students. This is a position of responsibility, from which you, as an LCC, will learn a lot about yourself, about your peers, about interesting ideas and successful program development.

7.    If I am selected as an LCC, where will I live? How will this affect my housing assignment?

This depends on a couple of factors.  Generally, sophomore LCCs live in the same building as the learning community students depending on space availability, while junior or senior LCCs live elsewhere and develop a plan to maintain a presence in the learning community space.  This topic will be addressed during candidate interviews.

8.    Who does an LCC report to?

LCCs are coordinated by Associate Provost Shalom Staub and meet with him on a regular basis throughout the year. In the Fall semester, LCCs are expected to stay in close communication with their learning community's faculty in order to provide a support role at their direction.

9.    Are there additional obligations?

In the fall, LCCs will be asked to return to campus in the week prior to the start of classes in order to meet with fellow LCCs, RAs, faculty and administrative staff.

10.    What if I have a question that was not answered on this page?

Please do not hesitate to contact AP Shalom Staub if you have any other questions about learning communities or the process of becoming an LCC. You may e-mail him at staubs@dickinson.edu, call him at ext. 1080, or stop in at his office on the 2nd floor of Old West, Room 16.