Credit-Bearing Learning Circles
Offer learning circles for college credit, in partnership with College Unbound.
With support from Walmart, P2PU, College Unbound, and Providence Public Library have developed a pathway from library-based learning circles to college credit.
For now, this project is only open to individuals who have participated in a P2PU credit-bearing learning circle training (see upcoming events) using the following online courses:
Public Speaking
How to Talk about Race
Cyber Security
Art of Storytelling
Design Thinking for Innovation
Leveraging Learning from Life

What makes a learning circle “credit worthy”?

It’s a combination of three things: a facilitator who has been onboarded, a library or partner that has agreed to participate, and a course that has been vetted by College Unbound.

How are credit-bearing circles different from “normal” learning circles?

Learners seeking credit will need to complete a weekly reflection, end of learning circle wrap up, and a few assignments that are part of the course. All of this information is included in the learning journal for the course.

Can anybody sign up for the credit-bearing learning circles?

Yes, these learning circles are open to the public. Not all participants need to be seeking credit. There is no age limit for participants who wish to participate for Credit.

Do participants need to have a high school diploma or equivalency to obtain credit from College Unbound?

No diploma or high school equivalency is necessary to obtain credit. However, if a learner decides to enroll in a degree seeking program at college unbound there are different requirements.

How do learners apply for credit?

Participants must submit their learner journals via email within 3 weeks of completing their learning circle. Instructions for submission are included in each journal. For participants who need to submit via mail, please contact [email protected] for more information.

Is there a cost for learners in applying for credit?

There is no cost for learners to apply for or receive credit for learning circles. If for some reason you need an official College Unbound transcript, it will cost $2.25 to $3.50, but College Unbound does not require that you purchase an official transcript.

How much more time does it take to facilitate a credit-bearing learning circle?

It shouldn’t take more than an extra 30-60 minutes per week. Any credit-related questions should be directed to College Unbound, so the main difference for the facilitator is just reminding those on the credit track to do their weekly reflections.

Do I need to tell anybody before I run a credit-bearing learning circle?

No. Once you’ve completed a P2PU training, you are free to run credit-bearing learning circles whenever you want.

Do I have to do anything to verify that participants have attended meetings or completed all of their assignments?

Facilitators are not required to monitor or grade any of the learning journal reflections or assignments. You may be contacted to verify that a learner participated in the learning circle, but you will not be required to account for weekly attendance data.

Can I alter the duration of the learning circle?

Each course has a required minimum number of meetings and a recommended cadence. You can choose whatever tempo you want for your meetings (e.g. weekly, 2x week) or add additional meetings, but you cannot shorten the number of meetings. Longer learning circles are not eligible for additional credit.

How many learning circles are currently offered for credit?

There are currently six learning circle courses approved for credit: Introduction to Cybersecurity (1 credit), Introduction to Public Speaking (0.5 credit), How to Talk about Race (0.5 credit) The Art of Storytelling (1-3 credits), Design Thinking for Innovation (0.5 credit) and Leveraging Learning from Life (1 credit). Each participant can only earn credit for each course once.

Will there be more courses?

Yes! We’re working on it now. If there’s a particular subject or course that you’d like to see please let us know at [email protected].

Does running a credit-bearing LC make me faculty at College Unbound?

No. If you are interested in becoming a faculty member at College Unbound, please see jobs at CU.

Are learning circle participants automatically enrolled at College Unbound?

No, they are being awarded credit as non-degree-seeking community members. If participants wish to apply this credit to a CU degree, they should reach out to [email protected] for more information. If a learner decides to enroll in a degree seeking program at college unbound there are additional requirements that will need to be met. Learners who wish to enroll in a degree seeking program will also need to be able to attend classes in Rhode Island, either Providence or Newport at least once per week.

Is there a cost for seeking a degree?

Learners who wish to obtain a degree from College Unbound will be responsible for paying tuition for their classes at college unbound post-enrollment.

How can I promote a credit-bearing learning circle?

Our colleagues at College Unbound have created this Social Media Toolkit to help you promote your credit-bearing learning circle on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
You can also find a general guide to promoting learning circles in the Finding Participants section of the Knowledge Base.