Collaboratory Midwest Administrator Summit 2019

Engaged student volunteers learn about civic duty

Reported by: Lauren Wendling, Collaboratory Customer Success

In an effort to foster a strong community of practice amongst Collaboratory Administrators and Community Engagement Professionals, Collaboratory hosts Summits one or two times per year for all current and future Collaboratory Administrators.  These Summits encourage Administrators to deepen their use of Collaboratory on campus and engage with and learn from other Administrators. Summits are held in conjunction with conferences many Collaboratory Administrators usually attend (e.g. Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities [CUMU] Conferences, Campus Compact Conferences).  The most recent Summit was held in conjunction with the 2019 Assessment Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Administrators from five different institutions participated in the Midwest Summit to share ideas and experiences, think deeply about how to successfully implement and sustain Collaboratory on their campuses, and explore how to connect Collaboratory data with other assessment efforts and institutional initiatives.  Administrators also took time in large and small group discussions to think strategically about data collection and use across their institutions. Collaboratory Administrators reflected on the Summit:

We are currently at the beginning phases of implementing Collaboratory on our campus, and the summit was a very helpful event to inform our planning for implementation, adoption, and sustainability of the tool.  There were so many great discussions and ideas shared and I know that we will benefit immensely from having learned from peers further along in their implementation and operating in different institutional contexts.  That opportunity to hear and share firsthand knowledge was invaluable.



Paul Valdez

Associate Director for the Center for Public Impact at Bowling Green State University


Barbara Smith

Associate Director for the Steans Center at DePaul University

As a new Administrator attending the Summit for the first time I enjoyed connecting with the other Administrators.  Having the opportunity to learn from each other, tell our success stories and have conversations about our challenges was invaluable.  The large group discussion on the “community engagement data strategy planning table” we each completed helped me think deeper about Collaboratory data collection and usage.  I look forward to using the ideas discussed.

The Summit also welcomed for the first time many Collaboratory Scholars.  Offering an opportunity for learning and capacity building for the next generation of community engaged professionals, scholars, and citizens, Collaboratory Scholars are a cohort of graduate and undergraduate students who are involved with Collaboratory data collection, entry, and/or dissemination on their campuses.  Scholars convene virtually every month to ask questions and consider the role of community engagement in higher education. In addition, they discuss how data collected in Collaboratory or other tools can be used to offer evidence of progress, demonstrate impact, and inform decision-making. After attending the Midwest Summit Joanna Line shared:

The Summit was a great opportunity to learn more about how our colleagues using Collaboratory worked with other members of their campuses to implement Collaboratory.  It was also helpful to discuss the many possibilities for how the data captured in Collaboratory can be used to tell the story about community engagement in higher education.


Joanna Line

Collaboratory Scholar & American Culture Studies PhD student at Bowling Green State University

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