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Bringing innovation theory to practice in a program model for collaborative knowledge building: The Curriculum Fellows Program

Laura Barbas-Rhoden, Beate Brunow, Sydnie Mick


We share a transferable program model that applies innovation theory to partnership-centered civic engagement hosted and facilitated by an institution of post-secondary education. To address the issue of college readiness, our model created multiple 3-person, cross-sector teams operating with a shared mission and multiple points of contact over the course of a year to prepare classroom-ready curriculum units for area high schools. Teams were comprised of a high school teacher, a college faculty member, and a college student. The cross-sector team model disrupts traditional hierarchies, promotes creativity, and invites multiple actors to draw upon their resources of knowledge and influence to grow, and help others grow, while achieving common goals. In this essay, we present the theory behind our program model; the context from which our program emerged; and details about our practice, including the structure, implementation, and assessment of the program. We conclude with framing questions that invite readers to explore the transferability of the model to other challenges in which partnerships might advance collaborative engagement in their community or organizational context.

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Partnerships is sponsored by North Carolina Campus Compact, and hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. ISSN: 1944-1061
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