Learning Communities

By on May 25, 2016

What is a Learning Community?

A Learning Community is a group of people who come together for shared learning, discovery, and generation of knowledge. In order to reach a common goal, a learning community fosters relationships among its members. Topics for CIRTL-UTA Learning Communities should explore and/or advance effective teaching practices for diverse learners in the higher education classroom/laboratory. Cross-disciplinary Learning Communities are strongly encouraged but not required. See here what Learning Communities are available at UTA.

What does a Learning Community Builder do?

Recipients of LCB grants will market their program to the UT Arlington community and are required to have a minimum of 10 active members throughout the academic semester. Applicants are strongly encouraged to secure participation from students in their program prior to submission of their grant application. Learning Community Builders can expect to spend approximately 10-20 hours/month on Learning Community responsibilities. Learning Community Builders should expect to

  • provide on-going, two-way communication about meeting dates, times, and topics with the group and CIRTL-UTA leadership. LCB recipients will have access to their own website to assist with communication;
  • nurture strong relationships among members;
  • set goals and maintain a clear vision for the Learning Community; and
  • be responsive to member needs and ideas.

The CIRTL-UTA Steering Committee is pleased to that the availability of Learning Community Builder (LCB) grants for the fall 2016 semester. LCB grants support the creation and implementation of high-impact learning communities to support the mission of the CIRTL-UTA program: to enhance undergraduate STEM education by providing graduate students and postdoctoral students opportunities to develop effective teaching strategies for diverse learners. Grant recipients will receive a one-time $500 payment to create, implement, maintain, and assess a CIRTL-UTA Learning community for one semester

UT Arlington is one of more than 40 national research institutions in the CIRTL Network. The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) has three Core Ideas that support its mission to improve undergraduate STEM education: Teaching-as-research, Learning Communities, and Learning-through-Diversity. The CIRTL Network’s strategic plan is to leverage graduate education to develop a national STEM faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse student learners.

Who should apply?

UT Arlington doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers from the colleges of education, engineering, and science are eligible to apply. Doctoral student applicants must be enrolled in a program leading to a Ph.D., be in good academic standing, and making progress on their degrees. Additionally, applicants should have a strong interest in teaching, learning, and assessment in higher education.

Who is eligible for funding?

Grant funds will be dispersed to students through their UT MyMav account. Students receiving need-based financial assistance should speak to the Office of Financial Aid to see if they are eligible to receive additional assistance. Students with GTA/GRA appointments for the funding period are eligible to apply for LCB grants but must have the approval of their faculty advisor.

What is the grant application process?

  1. Complete the Learning Community Builder Grant Application Form before the deadline (September 15, 2016). Submissions will not be accepted that do not use the required form.
  2. Doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers may submit one application per funding period (academic term).
  3. Doctoral students/postdoctoral researchers may only receive one LCB grant per funding period (an academic semester). This includes new and renewed grants.
  4. No group submissions. Only individual submissions will be accepted.


What are the required activities?

Grant recipients must complete the following activities:

  • Attend orientation session (TBA);
  • Attend other meetings with CIRTL-UTA leadership team;
  • Maintain on-going communication with the learning community group members and CIRTL-UTA program leadership;
  • Complete the evaluation and assessment protocol (information provided during orientation).


Can the grant be renewed?

Grant recipients must complete the LCB Grant Renewal Form prior to the deadline in order to be considered for continued funding. Renewals are not guaranteed and applicants will compete with new and renewal grant applications for funding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *