Pioneer Learning Community

Pioneer Learning CommunityThe Pioneer Learning Community (LC) at Spartanburg Methodist College is a purposeful structuring of courses and activities designed to increase the chance for student success in personal, academic, and professional arenas.

Working within the framework of the LC’s theme, “Engaging Self, Engaging Others”, members of the learning community strive to discover who they are and how best they work within a community of learners.

The LC brings together the resources of creative and motivated faculty from various disciplines and encourages students to identify connections among these disciplines. The LC respects independent and group learning equally and honors the invaluable resource of students’ experiences.

The LC provides multiple opportunities for planned student-to-faculty and student-to-student interaction. In-class and out-of-class experiences enrich the LC and encourage students to apply their learning to everyday situations.


  • Convenient class schedule including three closely linked courses
  • Integrated assignments across disciplines
  • Increased opportunity for group interaction and group study
  • Increased interaction with LC professors
  • Creation of an ePortfolio for academic and professional use.
  • Opportunity to apply learning to real-life situations.


  • Students must be eligible to enroll in English 100
  • Attendance of LC Orientation meeting
  • Staying enrolled in all LC courses
  • Completion of LC surveys to give feedback on the LC.
  • Completion and evaluation of learning inventories and assessments.
  • Attendance of LC social activities
  • Commitment to academic success and personal excellence

Pioneer Learning Community

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.

Let us know now if you’re interested in being a part of this unique experience!

Learning Community FAQ

Why participate in a learning community such as 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 am I required to do to receive the benefits of the SMC Learning Community?

  • Attend LC 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 services and privileges will I receive from the SMC Learning Community?

  • 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 some of the opportunities that the PLC can provide?

  • 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