Professional Learning Communities at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

The Center supports several Professional or Problem-Based Learning Communities (PLCs). These groups welcome faculty, staff, and sometimes even students to pursue topics of interest and improve teaching, learning, and institutional culture at Saint Mary’s University. The PLC commitment is simply to come when you can and leave when you must. So you can sign up for invites and updates even if you don’t think you can make all or even some of the sessions.

Note that that these groups have historically been Winona-focused and in-person, but we are working hard on virtual attendance options!


This group works on the theory and practice of building place (and consciousness of place) into teaching and learning at Saint Mary’s. (Led by Kyle Black and Erich Lippman)

Meeting Time (Spring 2021): TBD


Place-Based Blackboard site (Blackboard login required)

Inside Higher Ed Article about Minority Student Place and Belonging


This group supports efforts to design courses and other learning experiences intentionally to maximize accessibility. (Led by Karen Hemker, Matt Klosky, and Jason Spartz.)

Meeting Time (Spring 2021): Fridays at 9:30am


Universal Design for Learning at SMU

TESLA (The Expansion of the Study of Leadership in Academics) PLC

This group examines the many facets of the study of leadership and how it applies to academia. (Led by Scott Sorvaag)

Meeting Time (Spring 2021): Thursdays at 3:00pm


TESLA Reading Folder


This group supports faculty efforts to blend online technologies with their teaching in face-to-face (or solely online) courses. (Led by Karen Sorvaag and Jason Spartz)

Meeting Time (Spring 2021): Mondays at 3:45pm


BLT Canvas Course



This PLC will explore key resources associated with the Lasallian Higher Education Colloquy on Racial Justice, including but not limited to the Mission Mandated Lasallian Vision for Racial Justice framework. With the insights these resources provide, each participant will choose discipline-specific reports, models, and frameworks that awaken, nurture, and empower us to see racism and adopt a “prophetic praxis of hope” – to take action toward a more racially just and inclusive academic and professional community. Outcomes may include revision of one’s Teaching Narrative, affirmation or recalibration of learning outcomes, changes to curriculum or advising practices in a course or academic program, or other area of institutional engagement. (Led by the Taskforce for Diversity, Inclusion, and Curricular Integrity, contact person Valerie Edwards Robeson)

Meeting Time (Spring 2021): Wednesdays at 4pm


Mission Mandated Lasallian Vision for Racial Justice Document


Whether you’re explicitly religious or not, and whether you see yourself as a leader or not, if you have a passion for the subject of faith and religious/civic pluralism and want to share inquiry with others who do too, then you are invited to join this PLC. It will engage students, staff, faculty, and even administrators in a shared inquiry format in 5 sessions in each semester. This PLC grows directly out of the Strategic Plan, Goal One: to live our Lasallian and Catholic traditions. (Led by Joe Tadie)

Meeting Time (Spring 2021): TBD


Interfaith Google Folder (including tentative schedule)

Coming Soon?

Canvas PLC

Your local Canvas Community! This PLC will be the place to come to see how to use Canvas and see how others are using Canvas.

Grading PLC

A group of people talking and learning about one of the hardest parts of teaching: grading and feedback. This group explores the latest research and best practices around grading and feedback.

One of your ideas?

Have an idea for a community of practice? Got a small group of fellow travelers? Email CELT and we’ll see if we can set something up.


*COMPLETED* This group supports faculty and staff efforts to understand the relationship between human nature, character, and virtue and to incorporate these insights into learning experiences.