Quality Collaboratives (QC) Case Study: Conversations Along a Crooked Path
QC Dyad: Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) & University of Utah (U of U)
Contact: Ann Darling, assistant vice president and senior associate dean of undergraduate studies (U of U) and Barbara Grover, vice president for institutional effectiveness (SLCC)
Our QC project began with a system-level and externally motivated attempt to redirect a process of curricular change at the University of Utah (U of U) School of Business that looked like it might interrupt smooth transition pathways for Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) students. Along the way, through an evolving understanding of our primary objectives and ongoing conversations, our project resulted in four core business courses with a set of common learning outcomes, signature assignments, and assessment metrics. Most importantly, our project resulted in eight faculty across the two institutions building trust and developing a common language about student learning. The path was anything but linear, easy, or efficient. At moments, it wasn’t even pleasant. But, because we kept meeting and talking it was ultimately highly efficacious. In the end, we developed the relationships and processes necessary for strong partnerships among faculty and a better understanding of how students navigate this pathway. This is our story and the lessons we learned.