The Five College Partnership Program is founded on the belief that school and college faculty members share common interests in teaching and learning: a love of subject matter, a commitment to helping students learn and develop skills for lifelong learning, an excitement about their own professional development, and an interest in improving their own teaching and the quality of student learning throughout the educational system. Because of these commonalities, faculty members from all levels of education can benefit greatly from collaboration with one another. Through collaborative efforts, faculty members share information and resources, work together to create engaging educational materials, and design new ways to address the needs and concerns of today's students. The Partnership is dedicated to exploring a variety of collaborative models that can support the professional development of school and college faculty, engage college students in the education of younger students, strengthen educational institutions, and improve student learning.
Over the years, the Partnership has developed a set of practices which we believe help account for our success.Collaborative Planning: Programs are planned, led, and evaluated collaboratively by committees made up of school and college faculty and representatives from other appropriate institutions (museums, business, cultural organizations).Content: Programs focus on substantive issues and are designed in ways that incorporate recent research on teaching and learning --including time to be reflective about the learning experience.Project Support: Projects are long-term. Participants supported by the development of both school-based teams and cross-district networks of colleagues, and by the Partnership's frequent interactions with school administrators.Post-project Expectations: After a project, participants have the opportunity to continue to strengthen their skills by becoming teacher-leaders (writing for professional publication, giving presentations, taking leadership responsibility within the school system, serving as staff on new project).Evaluation for Learning: Evaluation data is collected at every Partnership event. In long-term projects, evaluation designs focus on providing data for learning and improvement of educational practice. Evaluation reports are used by planning committees and fed back to program participants at all levels of the educational system.Broader Influence: Partnership staff work with local, state, and national educational groups to bring the concerns of western Massachusetts educators to them, to share the results of our projects, and to identify additional resources and models of collaboration.