completion agenda, learning community program leadership


Learning communities are widely recognized as a powerful pedagogy that promotes deep learning and student engagement, while also addressing a range of challenges that plague higher education. The Completion Agenda represents a complex set of intersecting priorities advocated by federal and state government, nonprofit organizations, colleges, and universities that shift the national focus from expanding access to degree completion. Policy shifts and emerging educational practices aligned with the Completion Agenda such as dual credit courses, prescriptive degree maps, and the expansion of online general education courses are considered in terms of their impact on the administration of learning community programs. Although subtle adjustments in curricula may be necessary, learning communities remain critically important to preserving the quality of student learning and the integrity of undergraduate curricula in a policy environment that sometimes seems to emphasize efficiencies in degree completion above all else.

Kathy E. Johnson is Dean of University College, Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education, and Professor of Psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).