You can't do it all alone. Working with others also produces better and more sustainable change, so it is doubly important to build relationships with others.
Make Engagement Easy
A general rule about making and sustaining change is that the easier the change, the more likely people will participate. This applies to those as well as those leading the charge. Often, the first step is to engage a core group of open and receptive faculty, administrators, and/or staff. These people can be catalysts to recruit others and become future leaders to extend change beyond the original change agent.
When their work started, the Wisconsin team's "department" included all the two-year college geoscience faculty in the state. They were able to use regular gatherings of this group to engage their fellow faculty in their change efforts.
For their 2018-19 workshop, the SoCal3 team conducted a 3-day retreat in January 2019 and attended by 8 full time faculty members (including the interim Dean) and one adjunct from Pasadena City College.
- Pedagogy in Action - Extensive information about active Learning techniques and teaching activities using them across disciplines.
- SAGE: Broaden Participation through Diversity and Inclusion - Strategies for attracting and supporting a diverse population of geoscientists.
- InTegrate: Strengthen Workforce Preparation in your Program - What does the workforce of the future look like and how can you prepare your students to be successful in it?
Offer Professional Development
Share your expertise! Model what you know works. Faculty professional development can happen in lots of venues, at various scales, and focus on a variety of topics that will resonate with colleagues. At the institutional level, consider offering professional development within the department or program, among all STEM faculty, or with a larger interdisciplinary group of faculty. Some institutions have "in-service" days specifically for professional development that can increase your potential audience. At the regional level, participate in or run workshops, technical sessions, short courses, or field trips. Professional development can also look like organizing a group of faculty to visit each other's classes and provide each other with constructive feedback on their teaching. Ensure to share the goals and meet the needs of your intended audience.
Share Successes and Challenges
Many faculty and institutions are facing similar issues with student success, changing demographics, and enrollments. No one has it all figured out but it is very often the case that different people have had different levels of success using different strategies to address their own challenges. Sharing that information, what has and hasn't worked in a particular context, is a great way of engaging colleagues in change efforts. It recognizes the value of everyone's experience and helps to dispel the sense that everyone else knows more than you. It also provides an effective mechanism for spreading knowledge and experience through a community to reduce the need for individual faculty to start from scratch in their efforts. For some issues, bringing in an external expert is the right and appropriate choice, but you might be surprised how often the necessary expertise on some issue is already "in the room."