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Learning Council

Learning Council logoThe Learning Council is a collaborative, cross-disciplinary forum that uses research, dialogue, recommendations, action, and evaluation to improve college conditions for student learning, growth, and success.

In an effort to move from theory to action, the Learning Council developed Focused Inquiry Groups (FIGS). These groups research, develop and plans implementation of new programs, strategies and polices that support the success of our students. FIGS are project-based; once the work is complete the FIG disbands.

History and Mission Statement

Learning Council By-Laws

Learning Council Meeting Minutes, 2015-2016

The following is a list of current FIGS:

Academic Support Services

The Academic Support Services FIG was created with the goal of better integrating academic support services across campus and identifying and sharing best practices in academic support.

This group includes representatives from general tutoring, the Writing Center, ESL, MESA/Trio, the library, Distance Education, DRC, the Math Lab, and non-credit, as well as administrators and students.

The FIG met several times during the Spring semester. These meetings began with a learning session about primary services each group offers on campus and a discussion about opportunities and challenges within those groups.


The purpose of the Communication Focused Inquiry Group is to identify and provide solutions for communication needs across all Gavilan College campuses. Our membership is comprised of faculty and staff who work conscientiously to find solutions to long-term and emerging issues. The FIG has effectively completed many of the projects that were in progress at the start of the academic year. In addition to its ongoing work, the FIG also accomplished several short-term communication related tasks that emerged as critical needs, and that should have far-reaching impacts on the college and its mission.

Early Connect

The Early Connect program was developed through a Title V Grant and is designed to promote student success and retention. Early Connect allows Gavilan staff to identify students having difficulties in class and to provide support services to retain students and improve their academic performance.The Early Connect FIG made significant moves in expanding its interventions beyond Basic Skills courses to the full campus. One key goal was to recruit ten new instructors to adopt Early Alert for use with their classes. This has been accomplished.

Habits of Mind

Habits of mind are those core skills and practices of successful students, regardless of their areas of study.   Habits of Mind is not solely about students, though.  It is meant for everyone on the college campus (instructors, staff, managers, administrators, etc.).  Each semester, our FIG focuses on one theme or area of focus, which we think we would all benefit from by being more mindful of it.   The themes of Habits of Mind, thus far, have been time management, communication, self-advocacy, and persistence.

Information and Resource

The information and resource (I&R) FIG consists of one classified staff, one administrator and one student.  Collectively over the last year, the I&R FIG met to develop a way for students to obtain information and increase access to community organizations. During fall 2014 term the I&R FIG collected and compiled a comprehensive list of local community agencies that serves San Benito and Santa Clara Counties.  Agencies who participated include Covered California, Outreach, Dreams & Visions, Opportunity Fund, CalFresh, Foothill Community Health Center, Gilroy Library, Project Sentinel, Peninsula Family Services and the WIC program.

Instructional Improvement

The Instructional Improvement FIG was developed to explore campus initiatives in place or under development to support student learning, including support services, learning outcomes, communication improvements, and dedicated focus on strategies to improve student achievement. The group met 7 times during the 14/15 academic year. Our first meeting focused on setting goals for the year, which included promoting student learning outcomes, reviewing early alert progress (and other academic support initiatives), working on a campus electronic syllabus template, and addressing part-time faculty and student success. We revisited these goals at the beginning of each meeting.


This FIG is designed to promote a successful transition from military to academic life in order to ensure student success and retention in a one-stop setting for our student veterans. The Veterans Resource Center (VRC) has dedicated space that provides support and camaraderie in a safe and welcoming environment. The Gavilan College Veterans Council was formed in Fall 2011 and established as a working sub-committee of the Learning Council with the goal of fostering awareness of student Veteran’s needs for the college community, working with the Student Veterans Club in an advisory role, and assisting with the Veterans Voices Project and Events. The Council has been learning about the needs of student veterans by attending conferences and training classes, but most importantly by listening to our own student veteran's experiences on campus, both academically and socially. Using this information, the Council hopes to expand service and provide a positive campus climate for student veterans to achieve their academic pursuits.


Last modified: July 30, 2016
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