Looking Back and Looking Forward

Inese Berzina-Pitcher
Western Michigan University
Inese Berzina-Pitcher
Author Profile
published Dec 16, 2016

Welcome to the ASCN Blog!

Our vision for the ASCN blog is to become a platform to engage with scholars and practitioners, those who are already involved with ASCN work, as well as the wider community of researchers and practitioners who are engaged in or supporting pedagogical, curricular, and culture change in higher education. The blog will serve three purposes, it will:

1. Inform stakeholders about the work of ASCN (updates from the working groups, highlights about resources on our site, information about our meetings and conferences, etc.).

2. Disseminate knowledge and expertise of scholars and practitioners by encouraging guest posts that align with the vision of the ASCN, show clear connection to our work, and contribute to learning and sharing knowledge or expertise.

3. Facilitate discussions about relevant frameworks, articles, books, and tools that align with the vision and principles of ASCN but also support change agents everywhere.

The ASCN blog is a place where ideas expressed in posts and comments are based on research and evidence, and contribute to the development of new knowledge about change in higher education.

It is mid-December, so it seems fitting that we start our first blog post by sharing what we have accomplished, as well as presenting what we hope to accomplish in the coming year.

Looking Back

A lot has been accomplished in 2016. It was only in December of 2015 that the first meeting of the Steering Committee (hosted by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation) took place. By end of May leaders for each of the four working groups were identified (You can learn more about our working groups here). In July, during the First Network Meeting (hosted by HHMI with travel support by NSF), the initial working group membership was finalized and groups started to work on identifying their mission, goals and plans. The groups have continued to meet and work virtually throughout the fall. In addition, during the fall, the ASCN website became public, and two new team members were hired.

We also worked on increasing external engagement. Working Group 4 coordinated formal feedback to the BoSE draft of Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education. Charles Henderson and Linda Slakey led a 3-hour workshop prior to the AAC&U meeting in Boston, 49 participants attended the workshop.

Most recently, to increase our engagement we started a Facebook page and you can find us also on Twitter . We are working on our newsletter and establishing this blog.

Looking Forward

Our main goal for 2017 is to increase participation to strengthen the network and advance our work. In January, the second meeting of the Steering Committee along with working group leaders will take place in Washington DC (hosted by APLU with travel support from the ASCN Helmsley grant).

We will be working next year on creating greater awareness of the ASCN by participating in conferences and organizing workshops. For example, Susan Elrod, Andrea Beach and Linda Slakey will present "Networking Change Agents and Researchers to Accelerate Systemic Institutional Change" at the AAC&U Annual Meeting, January 25 to 28, in San Francisco. In June we are collaborating with APLU to plan the annual APLU meeting. ASCN working groups will have an opportunity to interact with institution-based change agents, attendees at APLU meeting. The APLU meeting will be followed by a 1-day ASCN meeting where working group members will continue to work together. In August we are organizing a 3-day Leadership Institute.

We are working on securing additional funding to further expand our work. We also are creating more proactive online engagement strategies within our working groups, across the network, as well as with external audience.

This is just a short list of our plans, we will continue to share our work and ideas throughout the year.

Engage with ASCN!

We just shared with you some of our goals and plans for the next year and we would love to learn about your work and your change initiatives. There are a number of ways you can engage with us - we invite you to subscribe to our blog, to become a contributor by emailing us your ideas, to engage in discussions by commenting on the blog, and to join ASCN network. You can also like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@ascnhighered, #ascnhighered)

We are looking forward to a great 2017!

Your team at ASCN Hub

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