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Learning Communities Review Committee

In alignment with Goals One and Three of the Strategic Vision, UT endeavors to cultivate a campus rooted in well-being where every student thrives.  Key to this vision is creating a Volunteer Experience that readies all learners for success and ensuring a culture where Vol is a Verb and that recognizes every individual’s story matters.   

High impact practices, such as learning communities, share common characteristics that make them effective with students. Well-designed learning communities emphasizing collaborative learning result in improved GPAs, and higher retention and satisfaction for undergraduate students.   

Charged by Vice Provost for Student Success Amber Williams and Vice Chancellor for Student Life Frank Cuevas, the Learning Communities Review Committee will research best practices and provide recommendations in spring 2022 regarding: 

  • Which student learning communities and combinations are most effective? What should the application process look like?  
  • What is the optimal size of residential and non-residential learning communities?  
  • How do we optimize the performance and effectiveness of student learning communities of different kinds? How should we evaluate the impact of our learning communities?  
  • How do we motivate academic departments to participate and invest in student learning communities?  
  • How do we enhance the presence and impact of academic support services within learning communities?  
  • What do we know about the characteristics of students who do not participate, and how to motivate them to participate in learning communities?  
  • What resources are needed to elevate our learning communities?  


  • Mandie Beeler – Director, Center for Leadership and Services 
  • Matt Blaylock – Student Engagement Coordinator, Honors & Scholars Programs 
  • Brandon Frazho – Assistant Director for Academic Initiatives, University Housing 
  • Toni Jackson – Assistant Director for Student Outreach, Academic Success Center  
  • Megan King – Coordinator, First Generation Initiatives  
  • Julie Longmire – Assistant Dean, College of Communication and Information 
  • Chandra Myrick – Co-chair; Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Life  
  • Kevin Reeves – Director of Strategic Initiatives, Student Success 
  • CortneyJo Sandidge – Co-chair; Associate Vice Provost for Student Success 
  • Krystyne Savarese – Special Assistant to the Vice Provost for Student Success & Chief Strategist 
  • Mark Willoughby – Director of Undergraduate Programs, Haslam College of Business