Why Develop Learning Communities in Certificates?

In their essence, Certificates at Dawson are learning communities that aspire to engage students and teachers –across their respective programs and disciplines – in a shared area of interest.

Our existing and developing Certificates address some of the most important and engaging issues of our time:

Current Certificates:

Peace Studies

Women’s/Gender Studies

Decolonization and Indigenization


Hellenic Studies

Certificates under development:


Environment and Sustainability

Artificial Intelligence


Certificates include both courses and opportunities to participate in relevant co-curricular activities. However, most students have limited interactions with other certificate students in their courses, while certificate coordinators, faculty and students often find little time to co-develop and/or participate in co-curriculars.  While certificates emphasize the value of an interdisciplinary approach to building knowledge and finding solutions to contemporary problems, participating teachers have few opportunities to collaborate on interdisciplinary course development.

Learning Communities addresses these issues by inviting faculty to think about new curricular models which:

  • allow for interdisciplinary collaboration and team teaching,
  • promote integrative learning across courses and disciplines,
  • enhance student engagement and success,
  • build links with campus and community co-curricular activities
  • develop academic relationships beyond Dawson.

Examples of existing LC Certificate-listed courses

Paired Courses:

  • Imaging Violence and Nonviolence: Humanities + 365 Cin-Com Complementary, Womens’ and Gender Studies and Peace Studies
  • Into the WildEnglish + Phys Ed, Environment and Sustainability
  • Living on the Land: Regards sur la vie traditionnelle autochtone: French + Phys Ed intensives, Decolonization and Indigenous Studies
  • The Good Life?  Psychology + History, Peace Studies

Certificate Foundational Courses:

(Certificates may decide to offer their students one or more “foundational” courses, that will immerse interested students in the academic foundations of the field, while potentially also engaging them actively in certificate co-curriculars. The LC project prioritizes new course development projects that are designed and taught through a collaborative process).

  • Gender Matters: Team-designed and team-taught 365 Complementary, W/GS
  • Peace 365: 365 Complementary featuring multi-disciplinary teacher panels, Peace
  • Make Things That Matter: 365 Complementary with integrated co-curricular activities, SPACE

Program-based LC course clusters or sequences:

(Employed in Social Science General Studies, involving a cohort of students enrolling in a thematic cluster of courses or following a sequence of courses through different semesters)

  • Research Methods/ Quantitative Methods/ Integrative Seminar: Social Science Research Methods Sequence, Decolonization and Indigenous Studies

 What do I do if I am interested in developing an LC Certificate Course?

  • Take a look at the W21 LC Call for Proposals, then run your ideas by your Certificate Coordinator
  • Consider dropping in the LC zoom meet-up session with Pat Romano (LC Lead, Certificates and General Education) on Thursday, October 8 from 4:00-5:00 (You will be able join via the Faculty Hub website)
  • Submit a proposal to Karina D’Ermo at OAD by Thursday, October 15