Strategic Goal 2 (SG2) — Expand and strengthen faculty preparation specifically for 2-year colleges, where many URG students have their first STEM undergraduate experience.
The SG2 Action Partnership is comprised of three pilot regional collaboratives and a member of the research team. The regional collaboratives include leaders and faculty at 2-year colleges, regional 4-year universities and CIRTL universities. We recognize that partnerships between 2-year and 4-year institutions can be challenging. Each regional collaborative is investing intentional effort toward processes for communication and development of social capital through mutually reinforcing activities, and will then create a common agenda and shared metrics of success for improvement cycles.
The SG2 National Coalition comprises national organizations that provide expertise in the pathways, work and needs of community college faculty. Two leaders from each regional collaborative as well as members of the research team are also included in the SG2 National Coalition. The primary objective of the National Coalition is to assess how the regional collaboratives work, and use these data to develop a strategic plan for scaling the idea to national extent through collective impact.
Additionally, mathematical skills are crucial for URG student success. As part of the SG2 initiative, we will provide future STEM faculty with awareness and knowledge from programs such as the Wright State University Math for Engineers, Carnegie Math Pathways, ASPIRES, and drawing from the knowledge base of AMSTYC.
The specific objectives of SG2 are to:
- Develop the regional collaboratives within a collective impact framework, and assess their effectiveness
- Determine faculty pathways to 2-year colleges within each regional collaborative
- Develop a strategic plan for moving the knowledge syntheses of SG1 to impact on the development of 2-year-college future and new faculty (through onboarding), with associated evaluation and improvement cycles
- Build a national structure that uses the tools of collective impact to connect together the regional collaboratives in this Pilot and to create new regional collaboratives across the country
Community College Pathways
The preparation of faculty in effective teaching practices is a major means of improving the quality of undergraduate STEM education. Most studies and initiatives concentrate on four-year institutions, despite the transformative role community colleges (CCs) can play. We conducted a study of more than 3,000 CC STEM faculty members from 11 institutions as part of the CIRTL INCLUDES pilot to learn about their educational and career pathways, where they earned their degrees and worked prior to beginning their first community college positions, participation in teaching development, and interest in two-year faculty careers.