Learning Communities

Learning community trip to New York

What is a Learning Community?

A Learning Community is a small group of students who are enrolled together in two joined courses, and who work in collaboration toward shared academic goals.

Learning communities at Berkshire Community College (BCC) enroll no more than 22 students and are taught by two faculty members, creating the opportunity for students and faculty to form connections in a supportive academic environment of curiosity and growth.

Students interested in joining are encouraged to make an appointment with an Academic Advisor to discuss how enrollment in a Learning Community will fit into their academic plan.

Previous Learning Communities

Advisory Team

Meghan Callaghan (she/her/hers),
Dean, Teaching and Learning Innovation

George Ambriz (he/him/el),
Assistant Dean of Enrollment Management and Retention

Julia Curletti (she/her/hers),
Assistant to the VP of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management/Division Support Manager

Gina Foley (she/her/hers),
Associate Professor of Life Science

Julianna Spallholz (she/her/hers),
Professor of English

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why should I join a Learning Community?

    Much research has shown that first year college students who feel socially connected and academically supported are far more likely to reach their educational goals — and to enjoy the journey getting there. Learning Communities at BCC help to create an environment that values the inclusion of a diversity of thought, perspective, and experience, and that encourages academic inquiry, civic responsibility, and the strengthening of relationships on and off our campus.

  • How do Learning Communities work?

    Students who wish to be part of one of these Learning Communities will register simultaneously for the Community's two separate but integrated semester-long courses, whose topics are connected through theme and coursework. These courses will satisfy degree requirements (depending on your program) or General Education requirements, while delivering content specially designed by their instructors to encourage exploration of the relationships among subjects of study.

  • How do I join a Learning Community?

    It is important for students interested in joining a Learning Community to understand that upon successful completion of each of the two individual courses included in the Community, they will receive degree-bearing credit for each course.

    It is also important to understand that enrollment in a Learning Community is a commitment to full participation in both courses.

    Students interested in joining a Learning Community are encouraged to make an appointment with an Academic Advisor to discuss how enrollment in a Learning Community will fit into their academic plan.


Participating in a learning community was a wonderful experience. I loved watching my students make connections between the things they were learning in my course and in the linked class, and bonding with one another in ways that really supported their learning and sense of belonging. I also really enjoyed working closely with my colleague on coordinating assignments and activities, and taking our students on a pretty incredible field trip together.

Nell McCabe, Associate Professor of English