Book cover for The Faculty Factor: Developing Faculty Engagement with Living Learning Communities

Forthcoming Fall 2022

For Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) to maximize success for all involved, strong collaborations are essential. To accomplish this, a practical approach reinforced by best-practice literature is necessary, and the Living-Learning Community—Model of Collaboration (LLC–MOC) offers such a tool for faculty, staff, and administrators. An anecdotal account of a single-program partnership can be helpful. But to maximize the potential of LLCs for student learning, while remaining efficient in terms of cost, space, and human capital, a guiding model for collaboration is essential.

To help facilitate LLC–MOC implementation, the following questions may serve as a guide. This list of questions, while developed for a broad scope of application, is not exhaustive. In fact, we would even encourage expanding this list to fit the nuance and uniqueness of individual campuses through partnering efforts.

Regarding a shared vision:

  1. Who are potential stakeholders in the LLC, and how will buy-in be created and sustained?
  2. What are the academic and cocurricular outcomes expected to be achieved by the proposed LLC?
  3. What are the expectations of each department’s involvement in the LLC?
  4. What structures can or should be considered? Are there institutions with similar programs that could be consulted or possibly visited?

Regarding shared resources:

  1. How will the physical space be arranged to help meet outcomes and expectations?
  2. Which stakeholders can provide expertise to accomplish the goals of the LLC?
  3. How much time should stakeholders provide each week/month/year for their involvement in the LLC? How will engagement be distributed among  partners?
  4. What financial resources are available to support facilities, programming, personnel, etc.? How might funds be available for growth in future?

Regarding shared oversight:

  1. What are necessary roles for the LLC, and what will be their responsibilities? In particular, how can roles be inherently designed for collaboration?
  2. What regular communication practices are in motion to aid in relationship building, collaboration, and feedback? How are all stakeholders staying engaged in the LLC?
  3. How will partners address problems that arise, and what support mechanisms are in place to aid with conflict resolution?
  4. What are the lines of supervision and support for each role in the LLC?

Regarding shared success:

  1. What data (quantitative/qualitative, formal/informal) is needed to evaluate LLC effectiveness, and how and when will it be collected and analyzed?
  2. How will partners be recognized and acknowledged for their involvement?
  3. Which departments/individuals are responsible for training materials, and how is buy-in established when turnover occurs?
  4. Are there established times for reflection on the past year and preparation for the upcoming?

We realize that the faculty, staff, and administrators picking up this book are coming from a wide variety of institutions with varied LLC structures. They have assorted perceptions and biases related to collaboration and are positioned with varying levels of support regarding collaborative efforts. They arrive at different stages in the LLC–MOC and spend different amounts of time on each level. In short, just as a one-size-fits-all LLC is unrealistic, a one-size-fits-all model of collaboration is impossible. However, by considering the steps of the LLC–MOC and asking the questions provided here within an institutional context, we are confident Student Affairs-Academic Affairs collaboration in LLCs will be all the better for it.