Learning Communities

Learning communities are one of the most exciting and rewarding learning opportunities at Skyline College. Students and faculty get to know one another and work together to ensure that students are successful at college. Students in learning communities enroll in a preset group of classes with other students in their cohort who take classes together over one to four semesters. The instructors teaching in learning communities get to know students one on one and work together to support students and make learning relevant to real life. Students who enroll in learning communities are more likely to be successful, to feel connected to their college experience, and to earn a degree.

Learning Community students have higher success rates because they…

  • Are part of a community who share a similar passion or interest.
  • Earn CSU and UC transferable general education units.
  • Take courses that begin a path to Associate’s Degrees, Certificates and Bachelor’s Degrees.
  • Enroll in courses that have linked and related content.
  • Have preferred class times and back-to-back courses.
  • Stay on track with academic and personal campus support services.
  • Are supported by dedicated staff and faculty.
  • Build long lasting friendships and professional connections.
  • Participate in special events and activities focused on students’ interests.
  • Explore rewarding academic connections between courses.



The African American Success through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP) Learning Community is a transfer and support program focusing on the goal of increasing student success in the core college level courses. ASTEP centers around the African American diasporic experience and is open to all students. The major components of the program are English, Math, Communication, Biology, Counseling, History and mentoring. The menu of courses taken in the ASTEP Learning Community fulfill AA/AS degrees and/or transfer requirements to four-year colleges, universities, and other public and private institutions such as Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). For more information, contact Danielle Powell at (650) 738-7182 or powelld@smccd.edu.

See more at: http://www.skylinecollege.edu/astep.

Career Advancement Academy – Allied Health

The Allied Health Career Advancement Academy provides a bridge of courses in English, Math, Counseling, and Introduction to Health Careers that prepare students for entry into healthcare programs the following semester. A Career Certificate in the Allied Health areas can be obtained upon completion of the following programs: Administrative Medical Assisting (optional emphasis in Medical Office Reception, Billing, Editing, Coding, Patient Navigator or choose multiple specializations), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Medical Assistant, and Central Services Technology. Please contact Jeremy Evangelista at (650) 738-7042 or evangelistaj@smccd.edu.

Career Advancement Academy – Automotive Technology

The Automotive Technology Career Advancement Academy provides students with the necessary, hands-on instruction and skills they need to begin a career in the automotive industry. In just one semester, students who complete the program receive a Certificate of Specialization and have the tools they need to enter the workforce and pursue further automotive education. Please contact Jeremy Evangelista at (650) 738-7042 or evangelistaj@smccd.edu.

Career Advancement Academy – Biotechnology

The Bio Bridge Career Advancement Academy pro vides a broad foundation of scientific education, hands-on instruction, along with contextualized math and English courses in a highly supportive learning environment. After completion of this two semester program, students receive a Certificate of Achievement in Bio technology and are prepared for entry-level employment in bio-manufacturing. Skyline College also offers an Associate Degree in Biotechnology for students who are looking for a clear transfer pathway to a four-year institution. Please contact Nick Kapp, Professor and Coordinator for the program: kapp@smccd.edu or (650) 738-4415 or Jeremy Evangelista at (650) 738-7042 or evangelistaj@smccd.edu for more information.

Career Advancement Academy – Legal Careers

The Legal Career Advancement Academy provides a challenging academic experience in a highly supportive environment. This one semester bridge program combines English, Counseling, and Paralegal courses to prepare students for work as legal professionals and for transfer to four-year schools. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to demonstrate highly sought after legal knowledge and skills. This program could be your first step towards a meaningful career in law! Please contact Jeremy Evangelista at (650) 738-7042 or evangelistaj@smccd.edu.

CIPHER (Center for Innovative Practices Through Hip-Hop and Research)

The CIPHER Learning Community, open to all students, helps students increase their skills in English and Math and prepares them for success in college and in their career. CIPHER focuses on the culture and history of Hip Hop and how it promotes critical literacy, personal development, and social change within their communities. CIPHER also provides resources for students interested in the careers in business and music. The activities are also designed to encourage students to obtain AA/AS degrees and/or transfer to a four-year university or other post-secondary institution to continue their studies. Please contact Nate Nevado at (650) 738-4388 or nevadon@smccd.edu for more information.

Engineering & Tech Scholars

The Engineering & Tech Scholars (ETS) Learning Community is a contextualized and accelerated cohort program designed to engage and support students in Engineering, Computer Science, and Biotechnology pathways. Part of the Silicon Valley Engineering Tech Pathways project, the ETS program helps students move through core Math, Physics, Chemistry and English courses together as a group with support from Math and Engineering faculty and a Student Support Specialist. Through supportive group-based learning, engagement in academic success strategies, contextualized mathematics, hands-on and team-based design projects, and introduction to advanced manufacturing techniques in a brand new state-of-the-art Fabrication Laboratory, students progress from entry-level mathematics through intermediately advanced Science, Engineering, and Technology courses. The ETS Learning Community prepares students for an Associate’s of Science Degree in the Engineering and Tech pathways and transfer to university, in addition to cultivating hands-on design and manufacturing experience to place students in entry-level internships in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco tech industries. For more information, contact Jenny Le, ETS Student Support Specialist at lej@smccd.edu, call (650) 738-7048, and visit: http://www.skylinecollege.edu/engineering/engineeringtech.php.

First/Second Year Experience

The First and Second Year Experience (F/SYE) Learning Community is designed to assist new students explore their major and career options. Students, faculty and counselors collaborate through a set of chosen classes to establish a strong foundation for success in college. By enrolling in all the F/SYE classes, the student is joining a community of learners with a common goal of progressing through math and English classes while learning important skills for student success. For more information, contact Jarrod Feiner at (650) 738-4231 or feinerj@smccd.edu.


The Kababayan Learning Community (Filipino for “countryman”) is a transfer and community support group with the goal of increasing proficiency in English skills for success in college, work and life. It is open to all students and focuses on the Filipino and Filipino American student experience. By using culturally appropriate texts – about the Filipino and Filipino American experience – the Kababayan Learning Community instructors, tutors and mentors generate lively and timely discussions about the students themselves and the community around them, making the students’ coursework “come alive” and providing a solid foundation for their academic success.

Students in Kababayan receive counseling assistance, tutoring and supplemental instruction. They are connected to professional and peer mentors who assist them in achieving academic success and transferring to other colleges and universities. Students also engage in extracurricular activities, including art, music and literary events, college tours, and community functions to foster a sense of community within Kababayan.

The Kababayan Learning Community offers English 104 – Applied English Skills for Cultural Production, a unique year-long course for students to write, edit, produce, and perform an annual “Pilipino Cultural Night,” an evening of acting, singing and dancing that celebrates the Filipino and Filipino American experience. Other courses include Filipino, reading, literature, history, music and sociology.

For more information, please contact Liza Erpelo, Kababayan Coordinator and English instructor, by telephone at (650) 738-4119 or by email at erpelol@smccd.edu, or visit the Kababayan Learning Community web page at www.skylinecollege.edu/kababayan.


The Proficiency in American Culture and English (PACE) Learning Community is designed for nonnative speakers of English to help them accelerate through to ENGL 100/105. PACE students enroll as a group in a set sequence of classes that focus on English composition, grammar and American history. Students can expect additional support from instructors, information about programs, services and how to transfer, and a designated ESOL Counselor. 

Interested students can contact Kenny Gonzales or the English Language Institute in Building 01-1218 or (650) 738-7089 or by visiting www.skylinecollege.edu/esol/pace.php.


Founded in 1981, the Puente (Spanish for “bridge”) is a national-award-winning learning community that has improved the college-going rate of thousands of California’s educationally underrepresented students. The original program mission was to increase the number of Chicano/Latino students transferring to four-year colleges and universities. Today, the program is open to all students. Through the reading of texts highlighting the Chicano/Latino experience, counseling assistance, and connections to professional mentors, students receive the instruction and support they need to achieve academic success and transfer. Students also participate in extracurricular activities such as college tours, mentor networking socials, art and literary events, and family nights to foster a sense of community within the program. Initiating its program in 1992, Skyline College is one of 64 community colleges participating throughout California.

Puente courses begin in fall semester and continue in spring semester. In the fall, Puente students concurrently enroll in both first semester Puente English and Counseling courses and continue on to their second semester Puente English and Counseling courses in the spring. Students continue to work with both their English instructor and counselor beyond their first year of Puente. For more information, please contact the Puente co-coordinators, Lucia Lachmayr (lachmayrl@smccd.edu) or Melanie Espinueva-Aure (espinuevam@smccd.edu).

Social Justice League

The Social Justice League Learning Community is an exciting learning community designed for students wanting to learn how to use their education to address social justice issues in their communities! This learning community focuses on English and general education courses and real-world social justice issues such as poverty, homelessness, equality, food security, environmental discrimination, women rights, and other relevant topics selected by students. You will learn how to ask questions, research real-life problems and effectively communicate your research through writing and public speaking to foster global change and justice for all. You can get more information about the Social Justice League from Marisa Thigpen at (650) 738-7178 or thigpenm@smccd.edu.

Teacher Track

The Teacher Track Learning Community is a great choice for students interested in a teaching career. This Learning Community offers students the opportunity to take ECE/EDU classes connected with hands-on paid work experience at Skyline College’s Child Development Laboratory Center (CDLC). All Teacher Track students benefit from CA Permit application assistance, professional growth opportunities, individualized advising and support, and priority enrollment for select courses the subsequent semester. For more information about this program or to enroll, contact Kristina Brower at brower@smccd.edu or call (650) 739-4304, and visit the program’s website at http://www.skylinecollege.edu/earlychildhoodeducation.