New Podcast Offers a Real-Time Look at Processes of Institutional Change for Promoting Inclusive Excellence in Science Education

Posted by American Association of Colleges & Universities on July 12, 2022

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the launch of , a nine-episode podcast series presented by the ). Formed jointly by AAC&U and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in 2016, the Commission is part of the HHMI’s , which supports efforts at colleges and universities to explore and understand the development of new institutional capacities to design, facilitate, and sustain long-term change. The Commission examines and evaluates this institutional change as it occurs and disseminates insights and findings to the greater higher education community. The new podcast series serves as an element of that dissemination, calling attention to the myriad perspectives and contexts that give shape to true reform.

“The Commission is grateful to HHMI and extremely proud to be positioned to present these podcasts to the undergraduate STEM reform community. We stand with all of the institutions of the HHMI Inclusive Excellence Initiative, and the many others, who are purposeful in their commitments to achieving the full expression of excellence in undergraduate science education,” said Kelly Mack, chair of the Inclusive Excellence Commission and AAC&U vice president for undergraduate STEM education.

Structured to illuminate the processes of organizational learning and institutional change—in real time, as they are happening—each 30- to 60-minute episode of The Excellence Experiment offers a peek into the “lab notebooks” of faculty and institutional leaders actively engaged in the Inclusive Excellence Initiative. Their stories supplement existing knowledge and discourse in the field by showcasing existing organizational change strategies within the context of the practical experiences of institutional change agents. The podcasts capture the compelling and dynamic nature of this work through engaging conversations that explore the experiences, successes, failures, and lessons learned—and yet-to-be-learned.

“There is so much to the work of institutional capacity building that conventional evaluative reports and the research papers don’t capture. These podcasts illuminate the dynamic, ongoing, iterative nature of the work of institutional transformation. Not just the outcomes and impacts of project activities but the processes, practices, transitions, and interruptions that project leaders experience and learn from as they work to identify and eradicate barriers to inclusion in science education,” said Tykeia Robinson, host of The Excellence Experiment podcast, member of the AAC&U Inclusive Excellence Commission, and associate director of research and policy in the AAC&U Office of Undergraduate STEM Education.

The first episode engages all six members of the AAC&U Inclusive Excellence Commission in a grounding conversation about inclusive excellence and the key characteristics of transformative change.

New episodes will be released twice weekly through the month of July. The Excellence Experiment podcasts will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and the AAC&U website.

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