Can we deliver a customized practicum to build a foundational and shared understanding of improvement science?
Shift conducted a customized Improvement Methods for Equity practicum for Jobs for the Future, in collaboration with Tides Center, a funding and strategic partner. Jobs for the Future is an organization that supports 17 statewide Student Success Center networks that connect community colleges to reach and better meet the needs of historically underrepresented and underserved populations. Their goal is to increase completion rates, close equity gaps, and strengthen communities.
For Shift, this was an opportunity to refine IM4E and deliver it as a practicum to a single client. We gained deeper understanding of what conditions need to be true for an organization to jump into the work of improvement and apply improvement skills as they learn them.
Shift customized the IM4E course into a practicum model, which was delivered over the course of 8 weeks, alternating training and coaching. The focus of IM4E is on eight core improvement skills: The practicum launched with a self-assessment of improvement capability and practices to identify strengths, variation and opportunities for growth and development throughout the IM4E practicum. During the training, participants learn each skill and apply it on a complex case study. After the coursework was complete, four additional weeks of coaching was included to facilitate the application of learning. During this time, participants applied the skill to their own work and reflected on how to build these improvement routines with their colleagues.