Students Connect With Learning Communities

For nearly 20 years Chandler-Gilbert Community College has offered learning communities, and although course content and format has changed over the years, students’ interest in taking these unique, integrated courses has not.

Learning communities integrate two or more courses in ways that connect the knowledge of each course.  “Molecules, Membranes, and Me” combines First-Year Composition and Biology, while “Improve Your MATHitude,” integrates Introductory Algebra and a Study Skills Development class.

David Finley, CGCC English faculty, teaches multiple learning communities at CGCC which combine First-Year Composition with humanities and history courses, including “Aztlan to Zoot Suit: Exploring Narratives of Mexican American History & Culture,” “Freedom and Terror: Cultures in Conflict,” and “Drugs, Death and Debauchery: Stories from the American Road.”

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 Common Book CGCC Links Classes, Ideas


Human rights, cultural issues, and social inequality are just a few areas Chandler-Gilbert Community College students will examine over the next two years as the college launches its Common Book CGCC initiative, "Living on the Borders: Migration, Identity and Survival."


Common Book CGCC is a program in which college faculty from across all academic subject areas choose fiction and non-fiction books to incorporate into their curriculum.   In addition to in-class study, the college will host a series of events, speakers, and activities that connect to this initiative.


English faculty Chris Schnick said that the “Borders” theme was chosen for its relevance to current events in the Southwest and throughout the world, and because it was a theme to which faculty from across the college could connect their classes.


"’Living on the Borders: Migration, Identity and Survival’ will examine human rights, the ability for all people living in the area to flourish culturally, economic connections between people in the Southwest, the historic legacies of policies related to people living in the border region, and more,” Schnick said.


Photo by Los Angeles Times Journalist Don Bartletti, who will present at CGCC on November 8 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.



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 President's Community Advisory Council Member Profile: Dr. Denise Birdwell

Members of CGCC's President's Community Advisory Council (PCAC) provide information and ideas to the college that reflect community perspectives.

Each month, we will feature a current member of the PCAC.  This month, we are pleased to introduce Dr. Denise Birdwell, Superintendent of the Higley Unified School District.

Q.  How long have you served in your current position as Superintendent of the Higley Unified School District and what are your duties in this position?  
A. I started my guidance in the Higley Unified School District in July 2007 as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. In December of 2008, I became the Superintendent.  As I begin my 30th year as an educator, I am as excited about learning as I was the first day I began teaching in 1984. As Superintendent,  I have responsibility and oversight of the entire district and all departments and schools.  I have direct supervision of the executive leadership, mid-level leadership, and principals in our district.  One of the major priorities in my position is building the positive relationships with legislative representatives, college and university partnerships, business and community relations.  Finally, I believe that through an inclusive, collaborative process with a shared vision, and the students at the center of each decision we make, we all can achieve our goals by working together with the governing board, district leadership, stakeholders and our community.

Q.  How long have you served on the CGCC President's Community Advisory Council and why do you feel it's important to serve on this Council?
A. I have served on the Advisory Board since becoming the Superintendent of the Higley schools in 2007. It is a critical role for me as Superintendent because I believe in continuity of goals for all of our students from cradle to college.

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Chandler Gilbert Community College
2626 E Pecos Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85225

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