Pioneer Learning Community

Pioneer Learning Community

The Pioneer Learning Community (PLC) at Spartanburg Methodist College is a purposeful structuring of courses and activities designed to increase the chance for your personal, academic and professional success.

Members of the PLC take a series of closely-linked courses, with the same group of new freshman. This course grouping makes it easy for you to discover connections between disciplines. Working with a group of familiar students makes it easy for you to make friends and get to know students on campus.

As a member of the PLC, you’ll also be exposed to opportunities and experiences, including opportunities for internships, that will help you discover your career path and interests.

Want to be part of the Pioneer Learning Community?

Contact Kathy Brown, Director of Learning Communities, at (864) 587-4344 or by email.


Why Participate in the PLC?

Research shows that students who participate in learning communities:

  • Feel a deeper connection to their peers and to the faculty
  • Feel a greater satisfaction about their college experience
  • Maintain a higher GPA
  • Stay committed to their educational goals

What are the benefits of participating in the PLC?

  • Extensive interaction with faculty beyond advising
  • Enhanced self-awareness and career discovery through free assessments
  • Fun workshops and off campus activities
  • Close bonds with classmates
  • Support from peers and faculty
  • Power to succeed

What are the requirements for participating in the PLC?

  • Attend PLC Orientation
  • Be committed to academic success
  • Stay enrolled in all courses
  • Take learning inventories and assessment tests
  • Complete surveys and questionnaires
  • Identify and use campus resources
  • Attend study sessions
  • Display commitment to SMC and to service learning

What are the opportunities the PLC provides?

  • Discovering how concepts learned in one subject can be applied to projects assigned in another
  • Working together to solve class-related problems
  • Reinforcing students’ own skills by teaching and mentoring fellow students in various subjects
  • Adapting to multiple faculty members’ perspectives and classroom environments
  • Making friends with students enrolled in the community
  • Arranging a convenient class schedule of closely integrated courses
  • Increasing the chance for student success in personal, academic, and professional arenas


History of the PLC

The Pioneer Learning Community began in Fall 2009 with 52 students, divided into two groups. LC students take three courses together in the fall semester – English Composition I, Introduction to Religious Thought, and the Freshman Year Experience. In the spring, they take English Composition II and History of the United States II.