What is the Systemic Change Institute?

The Systemic Change Institute (SCI) is designed to support campus change agents in using institutional change strategies to advance STEM change projects to greater scale and sustainability. ASCN can provide the SCI for a particular campus or groups of campuses at a location determined by the requesting party. Those interested in requesting a SCI can contact for more information such as anticipated costs and preparation work.

Who attends the institute? How many people should be on a team? Who should come to the institute?

Any institution is welcome to request a Systemic Change Institute. Teams have attended from rural and urban settings including Community Colleges, Minority Serving Institutions, and Doctoral Universities. Teams should consist of 4-5 individuals who vary in their job roles, responsibilities, and expertise. Team members' experience should be complimentary and key to the goals of the project. When thinking about who to bring to the institute, it is important to consider the overall goals of the project and what you need in order to bring the project to the step of implementation. Therefore, it might be necessary to bring individuals who were not as involved in the beginning stages of the project, but who will be crucial to its success during its implementation. We recommend watching the webinar below, which has some good information on team building.

Related Resource:

Webinar: Using an Evidence-Based Approach to Develop a Culture of Shared Leadership for Change

Presenters: Susan Elrod, Provost, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater and Judith Ramaley, President Emerita, Portland State University

Colleges and universities are increasingly under pressure to reach improved student success outcomes more quickly and at lower cost to the state and to their students. Responding to this pressure to achieve improved outcomes requires new ways of working together, knowledge sharing and collaboration. While project leaders may have ideas of their own, they must learn to embrace concepts of shared leadership. In other words, they must move from "me" (my ideas) to "we" (our ideas). Leaders of all types must learn how to cultivate teams of people who share an interest in the issue, can use evidence to identify the problem, explore creative solutions, take risks (and possibly fail!) together, and develop new patterns of engagement and complementary experiences to develop a collective agenda for action. Participants in this session will learn more about the benefits of shared leadership and how to develop the conditions required to build the capacity for shared leadership and success.

How might the team benefit from attending this Institute?

I think the [Institute] provided us a framework for how to move forward...It was a great opportunity for us to discuss what we're doing, how we can move forward and how we can further coalesce the work we've done... It was time that we would not have had here [at our institution]. It wasn't going to happen here. We're just too busy.

- Peter Williams, Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Clark College

The Systemic Change institute provides teams dedicated time and an opportunity to work together with the support of experienced mentors to identify and plan a path towards successful implementation of a project.

What should I expect?

The Institute spans the course of three days with opportunities to learn about the national context and drivers for change, theories and frameworks for change, and the logistics of managing change projects to advance them to scale and sustainability. The overall agenda for the institute includes formal presentations and time to work as a team on your change project. Topics from past workshops have included: How to maximize your SCI experience; Designing Change Dashboards (maps) to identify desired and current states of your project; Change Strategies; tactics and resources for change; opportunities for feedback; Data, communication, and organizational dynamics; Funding 101; How to create buy-in; and how to construct an Elevator Pitch.

Other Resources

Research on Team Building

Download this one-pager about initial findings from the instructional change teams' project (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 240kB Dec6 18).

Examples of Project Development

Download a one-pager with links to presentations that include more information and further explain the team building research findings (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 13kB Dec6 18).

Selected Literature about Teams

Download a list of selected publications about team building (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 13kB Dec6 18).

Related Webinars:

Change Leadership 101
Facilitator: Julia M. Williams, Interim Dean, CCPEO, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Presenters: Eva Andrijcic, Assistant Professor, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Sriram Mohan, Associate Professor, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Preparation to be a change leader starts with the adoption of successful research-based change strategies. In this webinar we will focus on helping individuals begin their development as change leaders. The emphasis will be on practical, hands-on tools that are based in the research literature on change. The presenters are change leaders at different stages of their own development, with multiple perspectives on the theme of change leadership. Topics will include identifying your role as a change leader, analyzing your organizational culture and its readiness for change, recognizing emerging opportunities for campus change, and initiating your change project. The upcoming Emerging Engineering Educators (E3) Making Academic Change Happen Workshop (MACH) will be featured as an opportunity for nascent change leaders to develop their leadership skills.

Collectively Improving Our Teaching: A department-wide professional development program resulting in widespread change
Presenter: Kimberly Tanner (San Francisco State University)

Many efforts to improve teaching in higher education focus on a few faculty members at an institution at a time, with limited published evidence on attempts to engage faculty across entire departments. In this webinar, we give an example of a program which achieved the widespread faculty engagement that is often lacking. We created a long-term, department-wide collaborative professional development program, Biology Faculty Explorations in Scientific Teaching (Biology FEST). Over three years of Biology FEST, 89% of the department's faculty completed a weeklong Scientific Teaching Institute, and 83% of eligible instructors participated in additional semester-long follow-up programs. We will share a variety of evidence showing that a majority of Biology FEST alumni adding active learning to their courses (including self-report, survey, and decibal analysis), that this engagement was sustained, as was a sense of belonging in the department. We will share insights from our change story for other campuses wanting to spark widespread change in teaching practices – including ways to move away from a "deficit" model of faculty learning, towards positive support of instructor professional identity.

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