Integrative Learning: Opportunities to Connect

LaGuardia Community College as a Learning College

LaGuardia Community College

LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York is located in an industrial neighborhood in western Queens, the most ethnically diverse census district in the nation.

Serving approximately 12,000 matriculated students and 28,000 continuing education students, LaGuardia offers liberal arts curricula; developmental education and transfer preparation; and career education in fields from Travel & Tourism to Nursing. Helping students become full participants in the city's economic and civic life, the College educates New Yorkers from all backgrounds, ages and means. More than 2/3 of LaGuardia students are immigrants; more than 3/4 are students of color.

Students come from 158 different countries, from Columbia, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Rumania, and Thailand, and speak 108 different first languages. A key part of the institutional mission revolves around meeting the needs of this incredible student body. In addition to our international connection, LaGuardia is a historically Black college and a Hispanic-serving institution, and ranks third in the nation in graduating Latino students. LaGuardia treasures its diversity, and recognizes that it translates into a campus of students who have been traditionally underserved by the educational system. In many cases, this leads to significant under preparation in key academic areas. In 2002, for example, almost 90 percent of the entering student body required at least one developmental skills course in reading, writing or mathematics.

LaGuardia Community College

Reflections and New Directions

The work LaGuardia is doing in affiliation with the Integrated Learning Project has moved forward in exciting ways. And it has also evolved to address new issues. As you can see in our 2004 snapshot, we initially focused on two issues. As a result of our collaboration, we have added a third area of focus that complements our initial pair.

  • The electronic student portfolio or ePortfolio initiative, designed to help students integrate their learning and support collegewide program assessment;
  • The First Year Academy program, an attempt to build a new,longitudinal learning community that incorporates developmental skills students;
  • The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, our newest element, builds upon and deepens our pre-existing professional development activities supporting a wide range of pedagogical innovations.
  • Each area is described in greater depth on a separate page. The first and third items in this list are primarily guided by the LaGuardia Center for Teaching and Learning. The third is a shared responsibility of the Office of Academic Support Services and Division of Enrollment Management and Student Development, with professional development support provided by the Center.

    Over the past three years, integrated learning has emerged as a central theme for LaGuardia, growing and changing the culture of our college. Making connections between a student's courses, lived experiences, and professional goals, a key theme of the ePortfolio initiative, has emerged as a major focus for conversations taking place collegewide.

    We have moved from understanding integrated learning as a tool for exploring the connections our students have made in their ePortfolios and between classes in their basic skills learning communities to understanding integrated learning as an essential pedagogical and curricular element, running through a student's entire education at the college.

    The discussion of integrated learning has helped to unify and deepen the diverse discussions of pedagogy taking place under the auspices of the Center for Teaching and Learning. Our third element, the scholarship of teaching and learning, helps the Center more effectively connect student learning to faculty learning, building a college-wide culture of inquiry that can ultimately lead in new and exciting directions and help LaGuardia become a true "learning college."

    Finally, our continued study of integrated learning has also branched out to include the other CUNY campuses in our learning, bringing them together in seminars and conferences to consider how integrated learning might transform the undergraduate educational experience within the entire CUNY system.

    Learn More About:

    2006 ePortfolio Update

    2006 First Year Academies Update

    2006 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Update

    Making Our Work Public

    2004 LaGuardia Community College

    LaGuardia ePortfolio Student Showcase 
    LaGuardia Community College ePortfolio Showcase

    LaGuardia Community College's ePortfolio Showcase

    June 2006

    In June 2006 LaGuardia's ePortfolio Showcase provided students a chance to share their work and the ideas about ePortfolio. Click on the image, above to hear a sampling of their presentations. To learn more about the ePortfolio, go to the ePortfolio page of our snapshot, or to the LaGuardia ePortfolio site.

    Our Team

    J. Elizabeth Clark, Associate Professor of English, has been part of the ePortfolio team since 2002. She works with both ePortfolio and the First Year Academies, where she is part of the professional development team.

    Bret Eynon, Assistant Dean for Teaching and Learning, guides faculty seminars on issues of pedagogy and practice, oversees the ePortfolio initiative, and nurtures the LaGuardia Center for Teaching and Learning as a resource for faculty interested in classroom innovation and educational change.

    Michele Piso teaches Critical Thinking at LaGuardia and serves as program coordinator at the Center for Teaching and Learning, where she facilitates faculty seminars and edits In Transit: LaGuardia's Journal on Teaching and Learning.