Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Building Communities of Practice
Expanding Professional Horizons
The Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) Expanding Collaboration Initiative is a professional development program launched in 2013 with major funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Its purpose has been to support collaborative curricular initiatives involving faculty and key professional staff who share common academic interests. In the course of its three years The Expanding Collaboration Initiative has provided financial and program staff support for the development of multi-campus communities of practice, allowing them to share expertise, develop joint programs, bring new perspectives to current courses, and engage in new realms of thinking and creativity involving one or more academic disciplines.
Examples of such collaborations have included:
- Undergraduate Research: initiatives emphasizing the engagement of faculty in the humanities and non-quantitative social sciences in collaborative research (often more characteristic of the natural sciences) with students both within and across our member colleges;
- Digital Liberal Arts: projects that encourage liberal arts faculty to employ tools of digital technology as a means of conducting research, of communicating scholarly findings, and of educating students in liberal arts programs of study;
- Hybrid Courses: collaborative offerings allowing two or more institutions to meet curricular needs in areas where there are insufficient resources within a single institution;
- Globalization of the Curriculum: initiatives to help integrate global perspectives (including culture, history, geography, and literature) into a range of courses across the curriculum; and
- Joint Summer Institutes: initiatives to expand areas of study – without adding new departments – with a particular focus on important subject areas that are either unrepresented or represented at a level less than a major, on GLCA campuses.
Now in its final stage of implementation, the GLCA Expanding Collaboration Initiative is no longer accepting new proposals for collaboration projects. Faculty of GLCA member colleges who are interested in collaborative initiatives are encouraged to consider GLCA's newest Mellon-funded program, called Global Crossroads. A description of Global Crossroads appears on the GLCA web site.