Communities of Practice Facilitator Application - 2020 Header Image

Communities of Practice (CoP) Facilitator Application

Deadline: June 1, 2020 

Why Communities of Practice?  

Those in a community of practice share a common concern or passion and learn how to advance that passion through regular shared interaction. The members of a community of practice share a domain of interest, engage in joint activities and have an ongoing, sustained interaction over time contributing to their shared practice. Communities of practice can serve varied functions, including solving problems, sharing information, providing experience, utilizing shared assets, coordinating and strategizing, building a case for action, documenting projects, mapping knowledge, gaining confidence, and more. (Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, 2015) 

Ilinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin Campus Compacts are offering a set of Communities of Practice (CoPs) in the 2020-2021 academic years to enhance individuals’ capacity to do community engagement work in higher education; identify resources, research findings, program models, insights, etc., benefit a broader network; and build the field’s knowledge about CoPs as a model for professional development. 

Communities of Practice are intended to support collaborative learning and leadership around key issues related to fulfilling the five commitments in Campus Compact’s 30th Anniversary Action Statement  

  1. We empower our students, faculty, staff, and community partners to co-create mutually respectful partnerships in pursuit of a just, equitable, and sustainable future for communities beyond the campus—nearby and around the world. 
  1. We prepare our students for lives of engaged citizenship, with the motivation and capacity to deliberate, act, and lead in pursuit of the public good. 
  1. We embrace our responsibilities as place-based institutions, contributing to the health and strength of our communities—economically, socially, environmentally, educationally, and politically. 
  1. We harness the capacity of our institutions—through research, teaching, partnerships, and institutional practice—to challenge the prevailing social and economic inequalities that threaten our democratic future. 
  1. We foster an environment that consistently affirms the centrality of the public purposes of higher education by setting high expectations for members of the campus community to contribute to their achievement. 

What do the CoPs look like?  

CoPs will take place online and will include participants from Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin with 8-12 participants each, led by one or more facilitators from the field and a Campus Compact team member, formed around a specific issue in higher education community and civic engagement. Campus Compact staff will promote each CoP and recruit participants.  

CoPs will meet six times over the course of the academic year. Each CoP meeting will be 90 minutes long and take place via Zoom web video conference call.  

What are the responsibilities of a CoP facilitator? 

CoP facilitators prepare for and lead at least six group meetings, starting in October and running through the academic year with the support of a Campus Compact team member. Facilitators set their own meeting day and time schedule and participate in an orientation via Zoom video call in August. They will be paired with a Campus Compact staff member to create a detailed plan for each CoP meeting. Campus Compact staff will also coordinate the recruitment of CoP participants, provide technical assistance, and support the success of the CoP in other ways as needed. 

Facilitators will seek to create engaged learning communities where participants learn, grow, and build relationships. This can include:

  • helping participants build relationships and trust
  • facilitating discussion of principles, theories, or models and their practice
  • using story-telling to derive learning 
  • guiding participants in completing tasks toward a shared group or individuals goals
  • generating and sharing resources within the CoP and beyond

Some facilitators may decide to have participants do a reading, have pair conversations, prepare a written reflection, bring a resource to share, etc. between sessions. Staff support will be available to all facilitators for planning and execution.

What topics can CoPs address 

CoPs can address any topic the facilitator is interested in and would be relevant to our network. Below are some general themes we believe would be most relevant. The faciltator will create a specific title and description.

Topic themes:

  • Development of Community Engagement Professionals (these can be linked to Campus Compact micro-credentials, but do not have to be)
  • Faculty development, specifically related to community-engaged and/or civic learning pedagogies
  • Strategic approaches to community engagement across campus (can include preparing for and/or implementing Civic Action Plans)
  • Election engagement and/or civic learning
  • Creating campus/community cultures of dialogue across difference
  • Equity and inclusion in higher education and/or related to community engagement
  • Creating student-ready campus cultures and meeting student basic needs
  • Community-campus partnerships
  • Community-engaged research 
  • Community engagement as a strategy for deepening student learning and improving retention
  • Colleges and universities as anchors and/or place-based engagement efforts
  • Critical reflection in practice
  • Community-engaged learning online

Who will be the CoP participants? 

CoPs will be open to faculty, staff, administrators, students, and community partners affiliated with Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin Campus Compact member campuses. Campus Compact operates on the belief that regardless of formal role, we all have valuable knowledge to share and learning to do. The CoPs are designed to leverage connections and open conversations that might not otherwise occur. People interested in participating will complete a very short application, to be reviewed by the Campus Compact staff.  

What are the benefits of facilitating a Community of Practice   

CoP facilitators will have the unique experience of collaborating with other change-oriented people from an array of roles and institutions across the region in a collaborative and asset-focused environment. They can expect to learn with participants and gain experience facilitating this type of collaborative learning process, including using remote digital engagement tools and harvesting resources and shared knowledge. In addition, facilitators receive a $500 stipend. Proposed co-facilitators can also apply together and plan to split the stipend.  

Why Zoom video calls? 

The values of inclusion and openness lead us to use digital strategies for our regional CoPs. While there are both distinct opportunities and challenges that accompany this web-based strategy, our experience tells us video calls will allow a wider range of individuals from a broader geographic area to learn from one another. It also saves time and expense related to travel, lowering barriers to participation. If the video calls prevent access for a participant, staff will work with them to develop appropriate accommodations. Zoom is a fairly flexible and user-friendly platform that allows for smaller breakout discussions, shared screens, sharing resources, and more.  

How will facilitators be selected? 

Applications must be submitted online no later than June 1, 2020Campus Compact staff will review applications and select facilitators using the following criteria:     

  • demonstrated commitment to leadership on the issue you select or propose; 
  • experience facilitating collaborative group processes; 
  • willingness to commit to facilitating a CoP for one academic year (October 2020 – May 2021); 
  • interest in both developing your own leadership and co-creating resources and learning opportunities for others, and;  
  • affiliation with an IowaIllinois, MinnesotaWisconsin Campus Compact member for those at higher education institutions.

Please note that we encourage those in faculty and/or staff roles and/or community partners to apply.  

How do I apply? 

Complete the application form by the deadline. Those interested in co-facilitating can submit one joint application or request to be matched.

Have more questions?    

With any questions, you’re welcome to contact Kara Trebil-Smith at

Facilitator Information

Campus Compact Affiliation*
I can commit to participating in a video call orientation, and preparing and facilitating at least six video call conversations with a Community of Practice over the 2020-2021 academic year.*
Do you have a co-facilitator?*

Co-Facilitator Information

Campus Compact Affiliation*
I can commit to participating in a video call orientation, and preparing and facilitating at least six video call conversations with a Community of Practice over the 2020-2021 academic year.*
Do you have a co-facilitator?*

Community of Practice Description

Which topic theme(s) most closely relates to your proposed Community of Practice?*
Select all that apply
500 words
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