Faculty Learning Communities @SJSU

We hope you’ll consider joining us for one of the Center for Faculty Development’s Faculty Learning Communities.  Prior FLCs are listed below. New FLCs will be announced soon.

The Body Matters: Disability Justice: Interested faculty will explore the intersections of disability that inform student academic and social success (such as, gender, race, sexuality, etc.). Faculty will work together to explore the nuances of disability justice vs. disability rights, and explore new ways to engage their teaching practices that disrupts the ways ableism, heterosexism, sexism, racism, and other forms of oppression  intersect with disability. 

  • Graduating First-Generation Students: Interested faculty will explore the systemic and institutional forms of oppression that influence first generation student success across disciplines/fields. Faculty will make determinations about how to achieve inclusive excellence in their courses through exploration of teaching practices, student learning needs, and CSU and SJSU institutional data. 
  • The Power of Instructional Videos: Interested faculty will work together to learn how to create effective instructional videos, utilize these videos throughout the academic year to gauge the effectiveness of the videos on student learning (engagement, assessment/performance task success, etc.), and develop a (personal, course or department) digital video archive.
  • Moving Beyond Land Acknowledgements: Centering Indigenous People: Taking up decolonization in higher education and beyond is a historical project. Interested faculty will explore decolonization efforts in education and beyond. Faculty in this group will develop content and resources to advance the thought leadership at SJSU around decolonization and honoring indigenous land and life with intentionality. 
  • The Time is Now: Sustainability and Climate Justice: Interested faculty will explore the impact of sustainability and climate justice on student success, particularly the success of students from Indigenous communities, low SES communities, and other communities highly affected by climate change.  Faculty in this group will develop content and resources to advance the thought leadership at SJSU around sustainability and climate justice.

FLCs@SJSU:  Frequently Asked Questions

What are FLCs?

Faculty Learning Communities (or FLCs) create spaces for small groups of 6-12 faculty to learn, grow and experiment in relation to a shared commitment or goal. Faculty learning communities support a return to the foundations of teaching (Layne, Froyd, Morgan and Keinmer, 2002) by inspiring and empowering faculty to pursue projects that are germane to the institution with regard to student success, teaching and learning. Multiple FLCs often operate concurrently within an academic year, creating opportunities for faculty to collaborate with their colleagues across departments and disciplines, nurturing community and disrupting institutional silos. 

Faculty learning communities emerge in relation to particular topics of interest. The topics may be predetermined by faculty developers or a faculty development office, but faculty members self-select into the FLCs they wish to join. FLC members guide and determine a community's progress over the year, including choices about meeting dates, readings, training or workshops they may need delivered by on-campus faculty developers, off-campus experiences they have as a group, webinars they participate in, and so on. The Center for Faculty Development does not dictate what faculty members choose to do within their communities, but they can and will provide assistance, guidance and support upon request (Rege, 2011). 

What are the goals of a FLC? (Cox, 2004)

  • Build university community through teaching and learning
  • Increase faculty interest in undergraduate teaching and learning 
  • Investigate how DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives) informs teaching and learning
  • Broaden evaluation of teaching and assessment of learning 
  • Increase collaboration across disciplines
  • Increase financial support for teaching and learning initiatives

What is produced within a FLC?

  • Improved teaching practices
  • Cross-disciplinary connections and learning in support of student success across majors 
  • Individual or group research to support all faculty members
  • Presentations openly delivered to the university community about the outcomes of new teaching practices and research insights 

What are the outcomes of a FLC?

  • Support for early career faculty, including graduate teaching associates and lecturer faculty
  • Mid-career and late-career faculty reengagement with innovative teaching practices and interdisciplinary issues
  • Strengthened student success as informed by the progress and projects generated through the FLCs

How are FLCs created?

The Center for Faculty Development is pleased to support up to five Faculty Learning Communities each academic year. Each FLC will include up to 12 faculty members. Any faculty member is welcome to participate in a FLC. Each FLC will participate in an orientation meeting. Once in their FLCs, faculty members decide on their meeting schedule, who will lead the community, ideas for exploration particular to the community topic, etc. 

Why are FLCs important? 

FLCs are important because they inform student development and success, they contribute to faculty development and learning as a whole, and they inform the strategic goals of an institution (Cox, 2003). 

What funds and resources are available at San José State?

Each FLC may receive up to $1200 in funding to support expenses related to their learning goals and outcomes.  As such, FLC members must determine together how they would like to make the most of these funds.  Funds may be spent on materials, participation in training and workshops, support for campus events (e.g., catering), and other allowable purchases.  FLC leaders should reach out to Gina Marin, <gina.marin@sjsu.edu> Administrative Analyst in the Center for Faculty Development for consultation about what is an allowable expense.  All FLC funding requests must be approved in advance.  

How are FLCs evaluated?

Each FLC will select a leader who will be responsible for producing a brief report at the end of the academic year.  This report will include insights related to the FLC’s successes and challenges in meeting their learning goals. The report will also include but is not limited to details about the FLC’s impact on student success, cross-disciplinary collaboration, or other evidence of transformation. CFD staff members will check in 2-3 times/semester with FLC leaders to provide support.

What is the projected timeline for SJSU’s FLCs?

9/17:  Applications are due to the CFD 

9/30: Notification of acceptance provided via email 

10/8:  FLC Orientation via Zoom 


  • FLC leaders will submit an initial progress report. The report should include the proposed learning goals, proposed activities, FLC team meeting dates, meeting dates with Valin (contact directly for schedule), and funding requests. 

Early December and Early February: FLC leaders provide progress updates to CFD. The progress updates are to include the following:

  1. Group goals
  2. Activities conducted (small group meetings, workshop participation, requested workshops for the FLC from a unit on campus, action research conducted in courses, etc.)
  3. Next steps

Late April: 

  • The FLCs will lead a workshop on their topic for the campus community. The FLC will decide on a date, time, and will provide a hosting venue (Zoom). 
  • The FLCs will create resources to be added to the CFD resource library to share with the campus community.  

Late April/Early May: 

  • The FLC leaders will provide a final report to the CFD.
  • The CFD will host a celebration for FLC members.



Cox, M. D. (2003). 7: Proven Faculty Development Tools That Foster the Scholarship of Teaching in Faculty Learning Communities. To improve the academy, 21(1), 109-142.

Cox, M. D. (2004). Introduction to faculty learning communities. New directions for teaching and learning, 2004(97), 5-23. [pdf]

Daly, C. J. (2011). Faculty Learning Communities: Addressing the Professional Development Needs of Faculty and the Learning Needs of Students. Currents in Teaching & Learning, 4(1).

Layne, J., Froyd, J., Morgan, J., & Kenimer, A. (2002, November). Faculty learning communities. In 32nd Annual Frontiers in Education (Vol. 2, pp. F1A-F1A). IEEE

Richlin, L., & Cox, M. D. (2004). Developing scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning through faculty learning communities. New directions for teaching and learning, 2004(97), 127-135.