Bennett is truly providing an ‘Education for Your Future.’
In May 2016, Bennett College had Dr. Joye Hardiman, former executive director of Evergreen College, Tacoma campus, on campus to work with Bennett College faculty to create Academic Learning Communities. This fall, Bennett College is creating about eight Learning Communities cohorts of 25 new students per cohort. Each student will enroll in 15-17 credit hours to increase time to graduation.
The theme across all cohorts is “Equality and Diversity.” Prior to arrival on campus, they have been asked to read “Faces at the Bottom of the Well,” by Derrick Bell. Integrated assignments on the theme and book will be created by the faculty to be taught among the courses in the cohorts. The outcome is for students to gain an interdisciplinary perspective to solve real world problems.
In May, seven other HBCUs (Livingstone College, JCSU, Tougaloo College, St. Augustine College, BC, Rust College, and Wilberforce College) participated in a conference at Bennett College on Living Learning Communities. The training was provided by not only Hardiman of Evergreen, but with trainers from Norfolk State, North Carolina A&T, Elon College and University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Drs. Gwendolyn Bookman and John Rosenberg coordinated this project with a UNCF grant. Dr. Audrey Ward is coordinating the Academic Learning Centers at Bennett College.
Further, Dr. Emily Lardner, Director of the Washington Center at Evergreen and Phyllis Dawkins, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Bennett College, conducted an Learning Communities workshop in May at Claflin College, another HBCU.
More than 33 HBCUs are engaged in learning communities work to enhance learning, promote engagement, and to build a sense of community.