Getting Engaged: Faculty Collaboration as an Innovation Strategy

We’re delighted to offer you a new publication in the “Next Gen Tools” series on a topic vital to postsecondary education reform:  faculty engagement in breakthrough program design. This brief, “Faculty Engagement,” succinctly illustrates the way in which the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate (TAB) Program, one of the NGLC Breakthrough Models for College Completion, has succeeded in getting strong and sustainable faculty involvement. Faculty participants in the process represented the two institutions - South Texas College and Texas A&M-Commerce, located 600 miles apart – that are collaborating to offer this groundbreaking degree program.  For general education faculty, the work centered on working together to map the competencies and develop the assessments of those competencies that undergird the curriculum, while for upper division faculty, it included engaging industry partners and seeking K-12 input. 

In “Faculty Engagement,” you’ll get down to the nitty-gritty:

  • why the strategy was developed,
  • how it came to serve as the foundation of the program’s development,
  • how the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and institutional representatives designed the faculty engagement process,
  • how it’s distinct from other kinds of faculty development and faculty collaboration initiatives, and
  • how it benefits students, instructors, administrators, and the learning process overall. 

Like the other innovations being profiled in this series, faculty engagement as practiced in the development of the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate program faced challenges, which are included in the brief. And you’ll be able to download the agenda for one of the faculty group’s meetings and the competency map worksheet. Those interested in even more details about this faculty collaboration may also want to read our blog post from last year, which provides a snapshot of the work in progress.

“Faculty Engagement” is the latest brief in “Next Gen Tools,” NGLC’s publication series designed to showcase strategies that grant recipients in both the postsecondary and K-12 sectors are developing to facilitate getting their new models up and running.  With work this innovative, workarounds and fresh ideas that can quickly be put into practice are vital – and, potentially, also useful to other innovators. We’re developing the series with research and writing assistance from Jodi Lewis of Sacramento State University’s Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy. 

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