Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – Intermediary for Scale

Institutional Transformation in TCUs

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports intermediary for Scale (IFS). The IFS strategy is a plan to help institutional transformation at scale to build organization capacity for scale intermediaries. AIHEC will support multiple TCUs to undergo an institutional change.  AIHEC is among the 12 selected intermediaries for scale who are spending time building the organizational capacity required to support institutional transformation at scale. To become more student-centered, AIHEC and its partners will provide connections and guidance to TCUs. The intermediaries for scale will support institutional transformations through (1) overseeing strategy and operations for their organization and the network; (2) building awareness and influencing decisions related to institutional transformation; (3) using data to aggregate demand for and high-quality broker supports required to speed transformation; and (4) ensuring the health and connectivity of their networks – all with a cross-cutting emphasis on (5) continuous improvement across the ecosystem and (6) a focus on equity.

AIHEC Theory of Change

Primary outcome(s) or result(s)

The grant will build capacity across four key areas:

  1. Increasing awareness of successful and promising transformation strategies among campus leaders and communities.
  2. Informing key campus-level decisions about change options and strategies and supporting decision-makers.
  3. Supporting transformation by providing guidance and resources for adopting, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining changes in policy and practice.
  4. Building connections across colleges and universities and other supporting organizations to accelerate and streamline learning and sharing of promising practices.

AIHEC is on the Blueprint stage with the – Specific Outcomes

  • Development of capacities needed to execute new or emerging institutional transformation strategy.
  • The creation of an initial business plan for executing the roles and responsibilities of an intermediary for scale.
  • Initial preparation for validating and launching the business model.
  • Engagement in networked improvement community
  • Contribution to the body of knowledge around institutional transformation and scale
      1. Supporting Professional Development of TCU PersonnelTCU Faculty Trainings – One means by which AIHEC supports institutional transformation is in coordinating professional development for TCU personnel that aligns with their identified needs. For example, during the rapid transition to online instruction in response to the pandemic in spring 2020, a survey of the AIHEC Board members indicated that training for faculty in online instruction was a high priority. In summer 2021, AIHEC partnered with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) to coordinate and deliver an online professional development courses in effective digital teaching, enrolling 330 TCU faculty members. Grouped in thirty-member cohorts facilitated by TCU faculty member experts, enrollees engaged in Communities of Practice, working together to build their skills and knowledge in online instruction. With funding from the American Indian College Fund, AIHEC’s professional development work expanded to include additional courses in spring 2021, serving 127 TCU faculty members. Faculty members earn a micro-credential for each course they successfully complete; the completion of four courses results in faculty members earning a full credential as an online instructor. Evaluation findings from this project were overwhelmingly positive with enrollees giving high praise to the quality of the courses overall, the influence of the TCU facilitators in improving the relevance of courses for TCU contexts, and the opportunity to work with other TCU faculty members in a Community of Practice.
      1. Resource Sharing Working GroupThe Resource Sharing Working Group is comprised of TCU CAOs and AIHEC staff working towards advancing the transferability of credits and sharing of resources across TCU institutions. This work is mandated by the Board of Directors and is part of AIHEC’s long-term work to establish a National Tribal University.