Promoting a Whole Community Model for Learning Support
Healthy students who feel welcome, safe and possess skills for effective learning are better able to concentrate on their work, attend classes and perform well in class and on tests and succeed in or gain entry into their chosen professional program of study. Despite such research findings, discussions about improving student learning occur separately from the role of colleges in addressing health and safety concerns. A whole community model to addressing students’ health and learning needs can become one of the means to meet a shared outcome: productive and successful students. A whole community model offered at each college can effectively address students’ health and academic needs; thereby improving their ability to learn consists of six components. Each component contributes in unique ways, yet overlaps with all components in other ways. What is new about this model is not the individual components (many colleges already have most in place) but their quality, sophistication and coordination with available campus resources such as the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Student Learning Services. When all components are combined at each college, gaps are identified, resources are employed and colleges offer a whole community model for optimal student learning.