November 22, 2019 | Bringing It #27: Grants, Books, Resources, and More

Dear friends,

David recently attended and gave a keynote at the Network for Improvement & Innovation in College Health’s 20x30 Transformathon from November 10-12. The 20x30 initiative is a national network of people and organizations working together to transform the well-being of 20 million students in higher education by 2030. Happily, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has just awarded grant funding to further the work of 20x30. These funds will help launch a Network Activation Fund to support collaborative mini-grants that advance 20x30’s four improvement goals. As soon as the Request for Proposals is out, we'll give you a link. Stay tuned.

Resources: The American Indian College Fund  

You may have read Dilip Das’ piece, “We See You: The Collaborative of Tribal and Higher Education in Michigan (C-THEM)” in our recent fall newsletter. The piece, as Caitlin puts in her editor’s note, “[explores] a networked effort between members of academia and local indigenous communities to foster trust and cultivate a climate of belonging for Native American students on campus.” Dilip recently shared with us a powerful and informative report by the American Indian College Fund (AICF), which builds on this work. Below you will find more of AICF’s resources. Enjoy!  

Grantee Spotlight: California State University, Monterey Bay and the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey

A pair of our Multi-Institutional Innovation grantees, California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey, are currently using BTtoP funds to advance the work of the Gonzales Community Solutions Lab (CoLab).  Located in the rural community of Gonzales, the CoLab brings together academic and community partners to put the needs of the community first and to make an impact on urgent socio-economic issues. Gonzales was just awarded a 2019 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize, one of only five cities to be so recognized. Congratulations to our friends in Monterey Bay and Gonzales, and kudos for exemplifying community-centered work! 

What We’re Reading: The Empowered University

At BTtoP we’ve always gone beyond quantitative measures of success, such as completion rates, and have focused on the quality of undergraduate education. Our friends at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) are well-known for this same philosophy. In their new book, The Empowered University, Freeman Hrabowski, Philip J. Rous, and Peter H. Henderson address what UMBC does well and where they believe it still has work to do. Many know that UMBC increased its graduation rate from 30 percent a few decades ago to 70 percent today. But as Hrabowski, Rous, and Henderson tell it, this wasn’t enough.

UMBC has developed a number of reforms to enhance the quality of education for its students, to include, redesigning courses to reflect best teaching practices, instilling an entrepreneurial approach to some courses, and employing analytics to help students succeed. These reforms didn’t come easily, however. As Hrabowski notes, “An academic community searching for truth and insight must be willing to respectfully engage in conversations, albeit often difficult ones, listening as necessary to those who may think differently from ourselves.” 

We are delighted to be partnering with UMBC on BTtoP’s Place Collaboratory.  And we’re delighted to lift up The Empowered University and its story of the unfinished work of great education.

Job Announcements: UCLA’s Center for Community Learning 

Our friends at UCLA’s Center for Community Learning are currently seeking a creative and collaborative academic administrator to serve as Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives. Applications are due by January 10, 2020 (11:59 PM PST) with a projected start date of March 1, 2020. To learn more and apply, please see here.  

Many thanks, 

David, Caitlin, Kate, and Mercedes