Communication Strategies

Synthesis of 2018 Working Meeting

At the 2018 NSEC Annual Meeting five working groups addressed how communication can be used to address common issues that face STEM Centers.

Gaining Support for Center Programming

  • Gaining support will entail aligning a Center's mission to institutional and stakeholder goals. Communicating with these constituents for support depends on the target audience and in alignment with their needs. This is true whether a Center is seeking resources, partnerships or faculty buy-in. Read more>>
  • Centers are in need of securing resources in a rapidly changing higher education environment, therefore Centers evolve over time and must adapt to new initiatives of higher education, administration, development and public school partners. Read more>>

Increasing Visibility of Centers' Importance on Campus

  • Demonstrate the importance and utility of the center through compelling data and personal stories aligned with campus constituents and stake holders Read more>>
  • Sustainability - building structures to ensure longevity of these interaction through face to face, personal connections, and network development Read more>>

Supporting Participation from Groups Historically Underrepresented in STEM

  • Centers can be creators of information and also facilitators for communication for stakeholder-to-stakeholder communication.
  • Multi-scale and multi approach communication strategies - maybe also combined with programming - are used together to move the needle on these participation goals. Coordinated strategies involve multiple stakeholders Read more>>
  • Centers have a maybe unique opportunity to highlight for our institutions the value of supporting a diverse institutional community (where this is needed) and also Read more>>

Building Networks of Partner Entities Both Inside and Outside the Institution

  • Clarity: Clearly identifying goals, mission, needs (yours and your potential and existing partners'), audience, purpose and scope, skills, and the value added allows for the creation, fostering, sustaining (care and feeding) of partnerships and networks of partnerships. Materials need to be periodically checked and updated for clarity - with outside eyes and partner feedback. Read more>>
  • Intentionality: thoughtfulness about who we partner with (both internal and external to our institutions), being open to new partners, communicating the "why" behind our partnerships helps us navigate potential and current networks as they change (due to external or internal forces). Partners need to collaborate to ensure that the intentions are understood and negotiated. Read more>>

Impacting Policy Decisions

  • Knowledge broker: Center as a knowledge hub/ broker among key constituencies. A Center gains agency and standing from understanding the value of information, implementing lessons learned in practice, and use of that knowledge to the other stakeholders. To complete these goals, a Center needs to know how to effectively communicate and translate the value of information. Read more

  • People broker: A Center must strategically gather the appropriate stakeholders and facilitate connections among individuals over time. It can then mediate among the array of stakeholders with a trusted, knowledgeable, and accessible voice. These interactions can build towards a sustained network and policies by considering the development all current and future leaders. Read more>>

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