SEEKING CO-CHAIR

Call for Co-Chair for the 2019-2020 Community of Practice
Tracking & Monitoring Community Engagement: I.T. and the C.E.P.

Download flyer to share with colleagues


Who are we looking for?

  • An individual who can help us build a community around the topic of information technology (e.g. Collaboratory, GivePulse, GalaxyDigital, OrgSync, Lyons, Time2Track, Digital Measures-Activity Insight, etc.) and the practices of tracking or monitoring community engagement in higher education.
  • The ideal candidate will be a staff or faculty member at any Campus Compact partner campus in the country, who has 2-5 years of experience in evaluating, onboarding, integrating, and sustaining one or more information technology (I.T.) platforms for providing data on unit or institutional campus-community engagement activities.
  • Further, this individual should have experience in forming groups (establishing norms, building trust and rapport, developing traditions or expectations, etc.) and leading small or large group-work that begets a mutually beneficial and informative learning artifact.
  • Finally, the individual should have a solid foundation of knowledge surrounding the best practices and characteristics of campus-community engagement, and they should be able to discuss the role inquiry activities have in informing community engaged activities and the institutionalization of community engagement in higher education.

This is a great opportunity for a staff or faculty member who wants to lead and learn alongside a regional or national-level* group of practitioners who work in the newest, and arguably most exciting, stage of inquiring into higher education’s engagement with community: figuring out who does what, with whom, about what or to what end, and for how long. If you are seeking to build a wider-reputation for your expertise and experiences in information technology (IT) and the institutionalization of community engagement (CE) in higher education (HE), this is the right experience of you!


WHY THIS TOPIC?

Professionals in every job agree that increasing technological integration is beneficial to their day-to-day work because it capitalizes on their industry’s needs, it increases employee engagement, or it generates increased productivity. No matter the size of our institutions, higher education, and specifically the community engaged professional (CEP), can benefit from putting proper software and hardware tools in place to help everyone, on campus and in our communities, face the challenges of campus-community engagement and improve the results of these activities. Because there are a myriad of tasks or duties that relate to knowing who is doing what with whom and to what ends, there is an increasing demand to integrate technology and therefore, grease the wheels of campus-community engagement.

There are, however, many things that come with integrating technology with the public mission and manifestation of higher education. For some examples, CEPs must be able to: evaluate the differences in the technological platforms and judge which ones (yes, more than one) are best suited for our context(s); continually onboard users into the IT application so that their  experiences are meaningful and come with increasing ease; sustain and adapt the technology for the changing nature of our units, departments, or entire campuses; use the information gathered to inform and improve practices across campus-community initiatives. These are just some of the things that CEPs are having to learn more about and integrate into their day-to-day jobs, many without any background in IT or other systems of data collection, tracking, monitoring, assessment or evaluation.

Here today, then, is an opportunity: We can create a community around the topics of both: 1) expanding our understanding of the ways in which our higher education institutions connect their mission, purpose, and day-to-day work with community (i.e., it is not just connecting students’ learning with community, aka: service-learning, anymore) and 2) learning more about the steady stream of information technology (IT) platforms that purport to track and monitor a variety of aspects or ingredients that make up the activities that connect campus with community, and how to best use them to inform practices at our campus. Due to these and other challenges, there is an opportunity to create and support the community engaged professional (CEP) in higher education for learning, onboarding, and utilizing IT for tracking and monitoring campus-community engagement.


PURPOSE & GOALS of the CoP

Both co-chairs should seek to form a community of people who have similar, yet respectively different, experiences in utilizing information technologies to track and monitor the myriad of activities that now make up community engagement in higher education. The co-chairs will build spaces and places for these individuals to gather and inquire or engage in a collective learning experience about this particular topic and the issues that arise in this work. Through discussions, the sharing of experiences, and building relationships these individuals will develop a shared repertoire of resources, skills and knowledge to use in their everyday job or their duties as a civic engagement professional (CEP).

CoPs balance an emphasis on each of the following: learning, community, and practice—giving attention to both building relationships and thinking (plus working with the topics of the group). In this way, CoPs are designed to function differently than groups that prioritize action or outputs because the focus is on relationships and developing reflexive practitioners. Finally, it is important to remember that CoPs are, typically, very organic in nature with the group of practitioners determining how they wish to do things (i.e., all participants involved will need to be flexible, creative, and think of a variety of options for running this group-based learning experience).

TIMELINE

  • Thursday, June 13, 2019: Call for Co-Chair Announced
  • Monday, August 12, 2019- before NOON (E.T.): Due date for submitting your letter of interest – see “WHAT DO I NEED TO DO AND BY WHEN” SECTION BELOW FOR PROCESS DETAILS
  • Friday, August 30, 2019: Selection & notification of co-chair
  • September – December 2019: Once a month the co-chairs will meet to establish the broader call to join this CoP.
  • Late October through December 2019: Opening broader call to join this CoP & identifying participants of the CoP.
  • January 2020: First meeting of entire CoP
  • February 2020 – June 2020: Ongoing meetings of CoP
  • June 2020: Wrap up CoP

TIME COMMITMENT of Co-Chairs

The co-chairs should expect to commit six hours per month on developing, engaging and closing up this CoP, for a total of no more than 50 hours per chair across this entire experience (with much of the heavy lifting being at the beginning of the experience, between September and December of 2019). This CoP will meet via an online meeting technology platform (e.g., Zoom, GoogleHangouts) and therefore will not require the dedication of many other resources or capital—at least nothing beyond recruiting the CoP, planning for and attending meetings. There is a chance that the CoP will wish to meet up at an already scheduled convening of Campus Compact (such as the National Meeting in March of 2020), but travel to and from any, otherwise impromptu, in-person gathering is not an expectation of either co-Chair.


WHAT DO I NEED TO DO and BY WHEN?

Those interested in co-chairing this community of practice should submit a “Letter of Interest” that addresses the individual’s experiences in:

  • Evaluating, onboarding, integrating, and sustaining one or more I.T. platforms for their unit or campus to use to track and monitor campus-community engagement activities;
  • Working with practitioners or peers to form groups and lead these groups in ways that begets reflection, learning, and relationships, and;
  • Using data to inform organizational learning about, and the institutionalization of, community engagement in higher education[1].

DETAILS:

Thank you for your interest. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact H. Anne Weiss, Director of Assessment, Indiana Campus Compact, haweiss {at} iu(.)edu, 317-274-5512.

[1] Suggested reading: Weiss, H.A. & Norris, K.E. (2019). Community engagement professionals as inquiring practitioners for organizational learning. Journal of Higher Education outreach and Engagement, 23(1), pp 81- 105. Retrieved from http://openjournals.libs.uga.edu/index.php/jheoe/article/view/2196/1137