Learning Communities

Learning Communities (Blocked Scheduling)

 

Learning Communities is a part of Project Succeed—a campus-wide initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  Its focus is to improve the 5-year graduation and retention rates and close the achievement gap for underrepresented minorities (URMs) across all majors at SJSU.

 

What are learning communities?

San Jose State University learning communities (block schedules) are assigned course schedules that allow students to share two classes with other students in their majors.

 

How does this work?

Selected classes within a major are linked together which preregister the same group of first-time freshmen.

 

What are the impacts of Learning Communities?

Learning communities yield opportunities for students to feel academically and socially integrated SJSU. Shared learning environments foster higher comfort levels which increases collaboration, involvement with peers, and academic networks.

 

Impact on retention rates:

We have block scheduled freshmen for four years.  In Fall 2015, freshmen in the College of Business, College of Engineering, and the Child and Adolescent Development Department were assigned schedules allowed students to share two classes with other students in their declared majors.   After two years, blocked students (80.3%) were retained at higher numbers than unblocked students (76.1%).

In Fall 2016, we added freshmen from the Department of Music.  The one-year retention of Fall 2016 blocked students (90.3%) was also higher than unblocked students (85.5%).

Fall 2015 Freshmen

Blocked

Unblocked

Total Enrolled

1,272

2,198

% Retention
(1 year)

89.3%

85.4%

% Retention

(2 years)

80.3%

76.1%

 

Fall 2016

Freshmen

Blocked

Unblocked

Total enrolled

956

2,260

% Retention

(1 year)

90.3%

85.5%

 

For Fall 2017, we added freshmen in Health Science/ Public Health, Economics, Biology, Dance, Computer Science, and Undeclared- PreNursing to block scheduling.  In addition, Health Science/ Public Health block scheduled all incoming transfer students into a gateway class to enhance progress to degree for those students.