At CSU, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and local community colleges, we are using an identity-based community of practice model (Wenger 2000) of faculty professional learning with an emphasis on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion–as well as curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, and leadership development through the lens of how people learn–to enhance the quality of undergraduate STEM education and increase the retention and graduation rates of students pursuing STEM degrees. The project team is working to expand the community of practice they built at CSU, San Bernardino (CSUSB) and leverage their collaboration and connection with the California Community College Success Network (3CSN) to evolve the community of practice to include a focus on more inclusive and effective mechanisms for creating and supporting, mentoring, sponsoring, and evaluating a more diverse STEM faculty and on creating greater alignment and partnerships among STEM courses and faculty at CSUDH and local community colleges. The project goal is to bring about systemic change regarding teaching, learning, and leadership at CSUDH by supporting STEM faculty at the CSUs and in the California Community Colleges 1) to become knowledgeable about how learning works and how it is impacted by identity, culture, context, power, bias, and institutionalized forms of oppression and 2) to use this knowledge to shape their curriculum, teaching practices, interactions with students, and interactions with each other in ways that foster the kind of institutional change that supports underrepresented STEM student and faculty retention and success. The project team is actively exploring how increased knowledge about the science of learning and how learning is impacted by culture, context, power, bias, and identity shapes STEM faculty’s development and implementation of evidence-based curriculum design, teaching, and assessment practices and their ability to foster more equitable and inclusive faculty-student and faculty-faculty interaction. This poster presentation will focus on the ways in which the networked community of practice model at the heart of the project is fostering both institutional and statewide transformation through sustained engagement in these inquiries. We highlight the elements of an “alive” community of practice that is enabling systemic, transformational change: faculty learning communities at the core, grounded on a specific campus, intentionally connected to a statewide network, and guided by an Evaluation Advisory Group that includes high-level administrators and state-level transformation leaders as well as community college and university faculty project leaders and participants.
Kimberly A. Costino, California State University, Dominguez Hills