Group Photo at The Kick Off Conference
The Faculty Inquiry Network is comprised of community college faculty from across California, working in teams to investigate a complex problem in basic skills education – a thorny, difficult question we need to grapple with to better understand how students learn, what’s getting in their way, and how to reach them.
A set of shared values and principles forms the foundation for this work. These include a belief in students’ capability; a willingness on the part of faculty to change their practice; a commitment to invest intentional time and effort to understand what students need to find their footing and thrive in the college environment; an understanding that “basic skills” involve complex cognitive routines and affective dimensions that only seem simple after they have become second-nature; a belief that effective basic skills education must go beyond delivering discrete, bite-sized skills to engaging students in meaningful intellectual work; and a commitment to working in an open, transparent, and collegial manner.
Over the two years of the project, the 18 faculty teams receive grants to support their Inquiries; extensive resources, training, and coaching; and the chance to learn from colleagues around the state. The project also supports campuses to “go public” with their findings by developing compelling multimedia representations of what they are learning about students. Through these windows into teaching and learning, participants will enrich the state-wide effort to improve outcomes for students who arrive at the open doors of the community college system under-prepared for the demands of college.
The Faculty Inquiry Network is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Walter S. Johnson Foundation, and the Bay Area Workforce Collaborative.