PKAL Volume IV: What Works, What Matters, What Lasts

Wisdom from the Field: The Keck/PKAL Consultation Program

1994 - 2006

Lessons learned from the twelve-year Keck/PKAL Consultation Program

The journey of institutional transformation involves many players and requires many steps along the way. One important step is engaging the advice and counsel of colleagues who have been involved in a similar journey, learning what worked for them in the process of setting goals, in implementing and assessing programs to achieve those goals. Such learning from others takes place when individuals and institutional teams participate in workshops in other venues, when STEM professionals participate in disciplinary meetings, and through the review of print and electronic publications about critical issues.

On-campus consultations are a valuable dimension of institutional transformation, enabling a wider group of colleagues to meet with experienced reform practitioners, whether the issues relate to individual departments or programs, or are focusing on broader challenges such as facilities renewal. Over the years, with support from the W.M. Keck Foundation, PKAL provided consultant teams to colleges and universities that were facing barriers to advancing plans for reform and that recognized the need to gain external perspectives on their internal policies, programs and practices. Now, at the conclusion of the W.M. Keck grant, we have assembled an archive of materials relating to the Keck/PKAL Consultation Program. We are convinced that recommendations of consultants for particular campus communities can inform the broader community of leaders taking responsibility for transforming the intellectual, social, and physical environment in which 21st century undergraduates experience learning in STEM fields.