Supporting New Ways of Teaching and Learning  

A learning fellows program with broad impact receives a $1.25 million endowment gift

two students working together on a white board

Dartmouth has received a gift of $1.25 million from Marc Thompson ’87 P’17 and Maureen Conway that will enhance the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL), Dartmouth’s key incubator of innovation in teaching and learning.

Established in 2004, DCAL has provided more than 100 faculty with resources, consulting, and curricular design support that has allowed them to unleash their creativity in teaching and maximize student learning.

This latest gift supports DCAL’s Undergraduate Learning Fellows Program, which trains students who work directly with faculty in undergraduate classes to facilitate group problem-solving and peer discussion sessions. Learning fellows gain valuable leadership and communication skills and often go on to pursue careers in teaching. Since its founding in 2015, the program has trained 734 learning fellows and benefited over 10,000 students across 268 courses.

Dartmouth seeks to raise $4 million in funding to endow the program, which will support recruitment and training of 120 new undergraduate learning fellows per year. This gift counts toward that goal.

Thompson has long supported the Dartmouth College Fund and Club Sports programs and wanted to make a larger gift that would have an immediate impact on the student experience. He was introduced to the Learning Fellows Program and was hooked.

“For me, the Learning Fellows Program is a trifecta of education,” says Thompson. “Working with learning fellows, who are their peers, students have more opportunity to engage in new ways with course material. Learning fellows discover a lot about themselves as teachers. Faculty gain tremendous leverage from the program, as well, through enhanced small group learning and discussion. For me, it’s so meaningful to support a program that touches about 50 percent of Dartmouth undergraduates. That’s a huge impact.”

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