Northwest Biosciences Consortium: The Evolution of a Faculty Network
Keywords:faculty network, science education, science department, Vision and Change
More often than not, faculty have limited opportunities to interact with colleagues that teach similar classes at nearby institutions. Particularly in regions with many institutions and institution types within a close geographic area, these interactions can be important to support student transfer between institutions. Increasingly, our students do not go to just one institution for the UG degrees but transfer from one to many different institutions over the course of their degree. The development of a regional network was our solution to this problem. The aim of the Northwest Biosciences Consortium (NWBC) was a broad implementation of the Vision & Change recommendations with two emphases: (1) incorporation of Vision and Change recommendations into the introductory biology curriculum for majors and non-majors, and (2) curricular support for students transitioning between and within institutions. We describe how these objectives shaped the development of the NWBC along with other formative factors, the lessons we learned from this work, and recommendations regarding the development of a regional faculty network.