learning communities, community college, zen


Subsequent to participating in the 2006 National Summer Institute on Learning Communities sponsored by the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education at The Evergreen State College, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s Learning Communities Team spent the next several months preparing the college for a fall 2007 launch of learning communities. In the ensuing semesters the learning communities’ initiative has experienced healthy, although not always consistent growth and refinement. Reynolds and its LC initiative are herein examined as an organic entity embodying interrelated needs for growth, equilibrium, reflection and sustainability. The Reynolds Learning Communities Team participated in the National Learning Communities Conference in November 2012, including providing a concurrent session presentation, “Growing Pains: Surviving Success after the 5-Year Mark.” In “Growing Pains and the Zen Rx: Surviving Success after the 6-Year Mark,” two of the team members update the 2012 presentation and take it to the next level through the perspective of Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Charlie Peterson is Assistant Dean of Educational Support Services, Professor and Director of Learning Communities at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College (serving greater Richmond, VA).

Miles McCrimmon is a Professor of English and the Coordinator of the Advance College Academy at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College