NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You

Course Descriptions

Professional Learning Communities (PLC)

EDUC 600

A PLC (Professional Learning Community) is composed of collaborative teams whose members work interdependently to achieve common goals linked to the purpose of learning for all. In a PLC, collaboration represents a systematic process in which teachers work together interdependently in order to impact their classroom practice in ways that will lead to better results for their students, for their team, and for their school. This course introduces the components of the PLC process as well as some preliminary steps to implement them within one’s school.  The projected outcome of this course is to provide educators with the knowledge, understanding, and methodologies needed to improve education for ALL students through the PLC process.   School personnel that are in the preliminary stages of bringing PLCs into their buildings, may benefit from taking this course with colleagues.


Students will learn how to:

  1. Develop a common vocabulary and consistent understanding of key PLC concepts.
  2. Implement PLC concepts that will benefit students and educators alike.
  3. Assess the current reality in their own schools and districts
  4. Take purposeful steps to develop their capacity to function as PLCs.
  5. Build shared knowledge of both critical vocabulary and the concepts underlying the key PLC terms.
  6. Make frank and honest assessments of their schools by examining conventional practices from a fresh, critical perspective.
  7. Turn their knowledge of the PLC process into action.
  8. Take immediate and specific steps to close the knowing-doing gap and implement PLC concepts in their own schools and districts.
  9. Move beyond planning, and begin to set goals and make action plans for implementing PLCs.

Text / Readings / Sources:

The required reading is found in the following texts and article reprints:

www.allthingplc.info  (2011).  Various sites listed below. 

DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., & Many, T.  (2010).  Learning by doing: A handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work.  Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

www.solution-tree.com  (2011).