Learning Communities for Institutional Change & Excellence (LCICE)

Cultivating Inclusive Practice through Dialogue

logo-2014LCICE is a unit in the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA) that offers academic-year and semester-long Learning Communities (LCs) to help build institutional capacity to implement our strategic diversity initiatives and develop our abilities to engage effectively in a globally interconnected workforce and world. The success of this university in its mission as a world-class teaching, research, and public service institution depends on nurturing a diverse body of students, faculty and staff to foster innovation and excellence.

To achieve this mission, the Learning Communities provide a forum for active participation in dialogue focused on creating working, learning, and teaching environments where everyone is heard, valued and included. Through dialogue, one learns how to engage in transformative changes of behaviors, policies, and procedures that collectively impact the campus climate for ALL community members.

groupLC participants meet on a weekly basis over 6–9 months. Using personal stories, readings, videos, and vignettes, the conversations follow four key processes for group dialogue: engaging self, learning about others, critical reflection of self and other, and alliance building.

These processes challenge participants to engage in and grow through a process of learning and un-learning, discovering who we are, how we impact others, and how systemic or institutional practices affect the campus environment. Ongoing exposure to life experiences different from one’s own increases our appreciation for multiple truths and perspectives and sheds light on the impact of hierarchy and privilege on different life experiences. Participants take their newly gained insights to model more inclusive practices at personal, interpersonal, and institutional levels.

A distinguishing feature of the Learning Communities at UW-Madison is the application of the hybrid participant-as-facilitator model that places the role of the facilitator as both facilitator and participant. This structure removes the hierarchy of the expert and passive participants who receive knowledge and rather fosters co-learning for all participants, including facilitators.


group2Unlike workshop models which provide short doses of instruction and introduce new ideas, LCICE provides opportunities for sustained learning and practice to:

  • Develop an understanding of our own social conditioning
  • Effectively interact and communicate across all human differences
  • Acquire tools and skills to build inclusive working, teaching, and living environments
  • Learn and practice ways of engaging effectively with conflict
  • Transform the campus and community environments as a result of relationship building, individual learning and application

Who participates?

talkingWe firmly believe that equity, inclusion, and diversity is the work of everyone, not just a select few or a particular division. Institutional capacity-building will be achieved only when everyone is engaged, when everyone is at the same table, in shared dialogue, practice, and growth.

Very intentionally, LC participants and co-facilitators represent all strata of the university and the greater Madison community, including classified and un-classified staff, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students from across departments and disciplines and walks of life.

Learning Communities Open To Students, Staff, Faculty, and Community Members

The Leadership Institute (LI): LI is a unique campus-wide opportunity for faculty, staff, graduate students and community members to hone personal leadership capacities that support the University’s strategic priorities and diversity goals and to more effectively lead within one’s work or educational context.

Student SEED (CP 325): Student SEED is an intentional space for students to engage in a dialogue about the impact of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability and other defining aspects of identity on their personal lives, on their communities, on campus and society as a whole.

Co-Facilitator Learning Community (CFLC): CFLC is a year-long community of practice for student, faculty, staff and community members engaging the hybrid participant-as-facilitator model, a model that places the role of the facilitator as both participant and facilitator.

Within-Unit Learning Communities: These LCs are both on-campus (academic departments and administrative divisions/units/services, etc.) and off-campus (public and private organizations as well as city, state, and national governmental departments).

To learn more about the Learning Communities for Institutional Change and Excellence (LCICE) and to access applications and readings, please visit our web site or contact us at http://go.wisc.edu/lcice

Dr. Seema Kapani, Director
Learning Communities for Institutional Change & Excellence (LCICE)
183 Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706
Ph: (608) 262-6284 // 263-2378 // FAX: (608) 263-5562