Project Colleague: A Program for Faculty

Through its Program on Faculty Professional Service and Academic Outreach, NERCHE learned that faculty are heavily engaged in work with the external community, but their efforts are largely individualistic and often invisible to their colleagues and institutions. Collaborative efforts are the exception rather than the rule. As a result, promising  innovations are fettered by the inability of faculty to combine forces. By working together on projects with overlapping dimensions, benefits accrue to faculty, the institution, and the community. Faculty enrich their  teaching and research and reduce their isolation through partnerships with colleagues and students; the community receives more efficient and comprehensive attention. And the institution gains an effective tool to help repair its  fractured culture.
Project Colleague aims to correct some of the obstacles to effective  service and outreach.
The need for team-building techniques and organizational change strategies is crucial for faculty as they engage in outreach projects. Project Colleague focuses on building the skills and  relationships necessary to support effective outreach. It identified four kinds of expertise necessary to carry out successful collaborative projects:
    * conceptual skills for creating a vision, strategic planning and analysis;
    * mobilization skills for organizing people, resources and institutional structures;
    * interpersonal skills of collaboration, conflict resolution, and communication; and
    * administrative skills for deploying people and resources effectively.
The goal is to strengthen the capacity of different groups, units, and individuals with different kinds of expertise to perform  as teams through developing and perfecting these complementary skills.
Approach
Following a "train the trainers" model, Project Colleague created cadres of faculty from a variety of campuses who can work with colleges and universities, as well as professional and disciplinary associations. Project Colleague Faculy Associates can offer workshops, consultations and presentations to other faculty members and administrators.
 Swinging Doors:  Making Community-College Partnerships Work
This is a workshop designed to help community partners navigate college and university systems, in order to foster sustainable community/college partnerships.
You are welcome to download and use the Facilitator's Guide.  We'd love to hear from you and learn about your work.