Lansing Community College (LCC) was established in 1957 in Lansing, Michigan and it is one of the most comprehensive colleges focused upon offering learning opportunities in four areas: career and workforce development, general education, developmental education, and personal enrichment. The college is generally recognized by educators and other interested parties as a local, state, national, and international leader in forging educational partnerships with business, industry, and government to better meet the needs of an ever changing, technologically savvy and multicultural world -wide marketplace. I teach WRIT 121: Composition I at LCC and for those of you who may be unaware of my connection with this institution, I want to briefly identify some of the reflective, collaborative communities that we have at the college which operate in conjunction with our traditional classroom communities to support the student learning process and to make all of us richer, more diverse in our outlooks and, by implication, much more creative.
There is, to begin with, the LCC Library on the 2nd and 3rd Floors of the Technology & Learning Center (TLC) Building on the main campus. The focus of the collection is on introductory works and materials that supplement the college curriculum and present a general survey, with an emphasis on works aimed at lower division undergraduates. The library collection reflects multiple formats that maximize access to content and address the needs of different learning styles and naturally, given the increasing reliance on technology and the World Wide Web in the 21st century, emphasis is placed on electronic resources such as e-books which can be accessed on and off campus. In all cases, the LCC library fosters diversity and critical thinking.
Second, there is the Writing Center in the Arts and Sciences Building, which adjoins the TLC Center. The Writing Center is headed by one full-time LCC employee, who is supported by a staff of writing assistants and tutors. The Writing Center is open every week day from 9 AM to 800 PM, 10 AM- 6 PM on Saturday, and the Center schedules appointments for those students who prefer this, or else, students are free to walk in at any time and they are assisted on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Writing Center is committed to offering advice and instruction on any writing assignment; general English essays in the literature and writing classes; essays in psychology, history, or sociology, and even lab reports for physics and science classes. It is a primary directive among the members of the writing staff that they do not preempt the philosophy or teaching of individual instructors; they are aware that they are a support system and are not meant to serve as actual course instructors or to offer advice or instruction that might contradict what a given course instructor might require. The goal of the Writing Center is to work in harmony with the faculty to ensure that all students can participate fully and equably in achieving the educational outcomes that they desire.
A third collaborative resource that I have, as yet, never utilized but which I am thinking about using in the future is The Center for Transitional Learning, which offers a series of free classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). ESOL classes can be scheduled to run concurrently with regular LCC classes and they include basic, intermediate, and high intermediate reading, speaking, writing, and grammar skills; there are also classes on listening, note taking and communication. The ESOL classes serve as a bridge between ESL students who may be struggling to improve their written and communication skills and the WRIT 121 & 122 classes, and they offer a judgement free, respecting attitude towards learners of all types and levels of development. This is, of course, as it should be. For indeed, LCC is committed to encouraging full engagement of its students in a constantly changing, global environment.