November 18, 2021
In November 2021, Drs. John Morelock (University of Georgia) and Amy Chan-Hilton (Southern Indiana University) presented on two complementary models of capacity building in STEM higher education during the AAC&U Transforming STEM Higher Education 2021 Virtual Conference.
Session Title: Elevating Capacity Building Across Multiple Dimensions to Strengthen Transformation Outcomes
This Ideation/Innovation session presents ideas, strategies, and theories to elevate capacity building as a critical and intentional component of transformation efforts that strengthen the achievement of intended outcomes. These ideas are expected to be successful in many change projects contexts, across all types and stages of progression. The session objectives are to 1) explore the value of capacity building across multiple areas in STEM transformation projects, and 2) identify potential theories and strategies to approach capacity building. In the reflection and reckoning prompted by the pandemic, many change agents have uncovered assumptions and issues at their institutions that, while not dormant, previously were not given enough attention. Several theories and models exist for capacity and its development, accounting for the variety of contexts, change goals, and power available to change agents. We focus on two models of capacity that we view as particularly helpful for STEM transformation.