Thanks to a generous grant from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Emily Davis after Mr. Davis' retirement as chairman of Shaw's Supermarket, Inc., we are pleased to offer Faculty and Professional Learning Communities (FPLC) to Suffolk faculty.       



What is an FPLC?

FPLCs are cross-disciplinary groups of 5-8 faculty, staff, and administrators who meet throughout the academic year to share their experiences, learn from one another, and explore the literature on the latest pedagogical and curricular trends. Each FPLC is facilitated by two people, usually a faculty member and an administrator/staff member. FPLCs also concentrate on the social aspects of building community; off-campus retreats and conferences include times for fun, and some gatherings during the year will also include family and guests. The FPLCs have a curriculum designed to address a special campus teaching and learning need, issue, or opportunity that are tied to the institutional strategic plan.

The FPLCs at Suffolk are topic-based. Topic-based FPLCs have a curriculum designed to address a special campus teaching and learning need, issue, or opportunity. These FPLCs provide opportunities for learning across all faculty ranks and cohorts and make appropriate professional staff members available to focus on a specific theme. For example, some past topics were:

  • Hybrid Teaching & Learning
  • Multicultural Competencies
  • Innovative & Entrepreneurial Thinking
  • Experiential Learning, Service Learning
  • Internationalization, and Gameful Learning
  • Integrative Learning
  • Photovoice in Service Learning
  • Documentation in Experiential Learning

After forming, each FPLC will collaboratively identify a measurable outcome tied to their group's topic that they will work to achieve throughout the year-long community. Each FPLC will also collaboratively decide on their yearly budget allocation. Following a semester of reading and scholarly engagement (fall), each FPLC participant will be expected to propose (through an IRB application) and implement a pedagogical or curricular change in their classroom based on the theme of their FPLC in the spring semester. Possible examples of outcomes include the:

  • incorporation and evaluation of hybrid learning activities
  • implementation and assessment of new diversity-based curricula
  • measurement of innovative thinking through a new survey tool

Co-facilitators of FPLCs:

  • coordinate group members to meet every three weeks throughout the fall and spring semesters
  • help group members decide the best ways to use their FPLC budget
  • support the design of individual classroom research projects including the submission of IRB proposals.
Facilitators also meet regularly with CTSE staff.


Facilitator Responsibilities:

  • Choose a topic for your FPLC and propose it with your facilitator application to CTSE
  • Attend a Facilitator Retreat in June
  • Organize community meetings (including room reservation, food ordering, etc.)
  • Submit goals and budget proposal by September 30th
  • Maintain all FPLC receipts to be submitted to CTSE and keep track of the community’s budget
  • Keep FPLC in communication via email or other methods throughout the school year
  • Help FPLC set outcomes for the year and help individuals set outcomes for their classroom research projects
  • Attend CTSE FPLC events such as assessment training and the spring celebration
  • Attend facilitator check-ins once each semester with CTSE staff
  • Assist your FPLC with final presentation poster for the spring showcase

 Participant Responsibilities:

  • Attend all FPLC meetings
  • Respond in a timely manner to emails and communications
  • Set individual outcomes and design a classroom research project to be completed in spring semester of your FPLC year
  • Draft and submit an IRB proposal for your classroom research project at the end of fall semester of your FPLC year
  • Attend CTSE FPLC events such as the assessment training (fall semester) and the final showcase (spring semester)
  • Prepare a final presentation poster for the spring showcase
  • Respond in a timely manner to periodic surveys from CTSE regarding your FPLC experience

How do I apply?

There are two ways to be part of a Faculty and Professional Learning Community (FPLC): 

1. As a facilitator (see monthly CTSE newsletter for details or email

2. As a participant (see monthly CTSE newsletter for details or email



Participant materials

Participant Summer Checklist

Sample Budgets

Assessment and Evaluation Resources

Understand Causes of Outcomes and Impacts by Jane Davidson (recorded webinar)

Research Methods for SoTL (pdf)

FPLC Student Assessment Workbook (pdf) - from Paula Quinn's 2013 workshop *SoTL = Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (still relevant today)

Focus course projects

As part of your participation in the FPLC program, you will choose a "focus course" for spring semester for which you will design a teaching and learning project.  Follow these steps to begin your project.

Project Examples

Project Example # 1:

A Comparison of Methods Aimed at Enhancing Student Engagement in an ECR Course

by Susan Orsillo

Application for IRB Exemption

Research Protocol

Consent Documentation

Project Example # 2:

Online Learning Modules for Introductory Media Large Lecture Course

by Nina Huntemann

Application for IRB Exemption

Research Protocol

Consent Document

Consent Script



FPLC Groups

2018-2019 FPLC Groups

  • Establishing an Enduring Faculty Service-Learning Mentoring Program
  • Evaluating & Enhancing Campus Civic Culture
  • Exploring the Impact of Experiential & Action Learning
  • Implementing Research-Based Technology-Enhanced Learning Experiences in the Online, Hybrid or F2F Learning Environment
  • Multiple Reality (MR) Technology in the Classroom: A Toy or Tool for Education?
  • New Media & Public Humanities
  • Teaching (& Learning from) International Students

2017-2018 FPLC Groups

Facilitating Group LearningFostering Civic Learning, Engagement & Civil DiscourseSupporting Faculty in Service LearningInterdisciplinary Collaboration & Experiential Team Work

2016-2017 FPLC Groups

Integrative LearningCollaborative LearningService Learning

2015-2016 FPLC Groups

Integrative LearningPhoto Voice Service LearningDocumentation in Experiential & Service Learning

2014-2015 FPLC Groups

Experiential LearningService LearningInternationalizationGameful Learning

2013-2014 FPLC Groups

Hybrid Teaching & Learning I Hybrid Teaching & Learning II Multicultural Competencies Innovative & Entrepreneurial Thinking