Breaking Down Silos meeting contributes to the goals of Working Group 1

Posted: Feb 12 2019 by
Daniel Reinholz
San Diego State University
Tessa Andrews
University of Georgia
Tessa Andrews (University of Georgia) and Dan Reinholz (San Diego State University)
Institutional Change: Guiding Theories
Target Audience: Post-doctoral Fellows, Institution Administration, Graduate Students, College/University Staff, Non-tenure Track Faculty, Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty
Program Components: Institutional Systems
Twenty-five researchers met for a 2.5-day meeting at the Center for Mathematics and Science Education at San Diego State University to discuss change theories. This working meeting was supported by a National Science Foundation conference grant (#1830897/1830860) and led by PIs Daniel Reinholz and Tessa Andrews. The meeting brought together early-career scholars to foster cross-disciplinary sense-making and collaborations around change theories. Meeting attendees included graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty of higher education, project advisors, and Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) faculty in the disciplines of mathematics, biology, physics, geoscience, chemistry, and engineering. More

Shared leadership for student success at UW-Whitewater

Posted: Feb 7 2019 by
Meg Waraczynski
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Jodie Parys
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Susan Elrod
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Susan Elrod, Jodie Parys, and Meg Waraczynski, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Institutional Change: Guiding Theories, Change Leaders
Target Audience: Institution Administration, Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty, College/University Staff, Non-tenure Track Faculty
Program Components: Outreach, Institutional Systems, Supporting Students

Colleges and universities across the country are facing increasing pressure to enroll, retain and graduate more students at a time when the environment for higher education is competitive and often contentious. In order for institutions to be successful in these student success endeavors, everyone must work together. We are all familiar with shared governance as a central tenet of higher education but those processes apply primarily to policy development and decision-making. We argue that shared leadership is required as a holistic approach to goal development and implementation of strategic priorities that foster student and institutional success. In this model, both administrators and faculty/staff leaders play key roles that are essential to the long-term success and sustainability of student success initiatives. Administrators provide a framework for initiatives as they relate to the broader campus community; foster connections between individuals engaged in similar work; provide strategic support and remove barriers to progress; and hold the campus accountable for achieving shared goals. Shared leaders capitalize on their discipline expertise and commitment to student success and program outcomes to fill in the pieces of the framework. They utilize their classroom and program experience to design, test, and apply proposed solutions and also retain ownership of the initiatives and solutions. More

Building on the BOSE Report of Indicators for STEM Education

Posted: Mar 23 2018 by
David Bressoud
Macalester College
David Bressoud, Macalester College
Institutional Change: Guiding Theories, Change Leaders
Target Audience: Non-tenure Track Faculty, Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty, Institution Administration, College/University Staff
Program Components: Professional Development:Diversity/Inclusion, Supporting Students:Academic Support, Professional Preparation

As everyone probably knows by now, the National Academies have released their Indicators for Monitoring Undergraduate STEM Education.

There clearly is much overlap with the charge to the Working Group on Demonstrating Change. We would appreciate informal discussion around two questions:
  1. Is there anything left for us to do?
  2. Assuming the answer to #1 is "yes," how can we shape our work so as to build on this report? More

Implementing Integrated Comprehensive Student Programs in STEM: Challenges and Facilitators from the CSU STEM Collaboratives

Posted: Mar 21 2018 by
Elizabeth Holcombe
Indiana University-Bloomington
Elizabeth Holcombe, University of Southern California
Institutional Change: Guiding Theories, Equity and Inclusion
Target Audience: Institution Administration, Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty, College/University Staff, Non-tenure Track Faculty
Program Components: Supporting Students:Academic Support, Institutional Systems:Strategic Planning, Supporting Students:Mentoring Program

In my last post, I described the benefits of integrated support programs for underrepresented students in STEM. These integrated programs bridge organizational silos and build a unified community of support, in which faculty and staff work together to break down barriers to student success. The campuses that participated in the CSU STEM Collaboratives project saw increased student success and other organizational benefits as a result of creating integrated programs.

While integration across functional areas represents a promising strategy for supporting student success, it represents a new way of working in higher education. Implementing integrated programs presents some unique challenges that may not be evident when implementing other types of interventions. In this post, I will briefly discuss a few of these challenges, as well as some strategies that STEM Collaboratives campuses used to overcome them. More

Turning on the Thrive Channel to Accelerate Change in Higher Education

Posted: Mar 7 2018 by
Lorne Whitehead
University of British Columbia
Susan Elrod
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Susan Elrod and Lorne Whitehead
Institutional Change: Guiding Theories, Change Leaders
Target Audience: Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty, Institution Administration, Non-tenure Track Faculty, College/University Staff
Program Components: Institutional Systems:Strategic Planning
Conversations about "institutional change" in higher education have become pervasive. This is probably because colleges and universities are under tremendous pressure - to graduate more students, to improve success of underrepresented minority students, to reduce costs, and to expand the benefits they provide to our society. Many state systems are engaged in developing performance-based funding metrics that are intended to promote achievement of specified goals. Others are engaged in major reorganizations that are merging or possibly eliminating campuses in service of larger goals that are important to the state, such as enhanced transfer, graduation or fiscal efficiency. This seems scary, but at the heart of all of this is a sound idea - since our society has a long history of improvement and undoubtedly there are still more improvements to make. And to do that, organizations must be adaptable; they must make changes for the better. Why then, is this so concerning for so many?

A key challenge is that achieving change in any organization is hard. It is complicated. It involves many levels of the organization. It is motivated by a variety of purposes. It is challenged by competing agendas. It is frequently stalled by a variety of obstacles.

Further, positive change requires a vision, strategy, and tactics. But most importantly, it requires effective change leadership. What does that actually entail? More