How does CSCCE online training impact community managers and their organizations? Read our report to find out!

Thanks to funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we recently completed a medium-term evaluation of our foundational training course, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF). We’ve just published a report that summarizes the results of this work, which shows impact across three levels of scale – the individual, their community/organization, and the wider STEM ecosystem.  

In this blog post, we’ll recap some of the rationale for the report and a high level overview of our findings. Subsequent posts will share more about our user-centered design approach to creating professional training courses, what we learned about the impact of CEF at each level, and how this work will impact our ongoing training offerings. 

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More than 300 learners have graduated from Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals!

This month we celebrated a very exciting milestone – more than 300 STEM community managers (305, to be exact!) have now successfully completed our foundational training in community management, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF).

Congratulations to all of our graduates – many of whom are featured on this page of our website – and if you’re interested in taking part in the course yourself, registration is open for our fall 2024 cohort (registration deadline: 23 August). But hurry! It’s more than half full already. 

“The course provides essential information to support community work whether you are just beginning or seeking to expand your community engagement activities.  It provides resources to help you develop a strategy and tools to support implementation of your ideas.  This course demystifies many aspects of community engagement and helps to ensure your community is built to last.”

CEF24W participant
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April’s Community Call: Evaluating the impact of short-form training in the STEM ecosystem

On our April Community Call, we’ll be focusing on how to evaluate the impact of professional development trainings on individual participants, their organizations, and the STEM ecosystem as a whole.

Evaluation is something that we’ve been doing more and more at CSCCE in our client work – capturing the value created in various community programs and proposing improvements for future interactions. We’re especially interested in programs that support group-based learning in some way such as those that provide training and/or mentorship for community champions. 

Over the last few months, thanks to funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we’ve been turning the spotlight back on one of our own learning activities, by researching the impact of our foundational training course in community management, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF). At the same time, Open Life Science (OLS) have been conducting an evaluation of their Open Seeds cohort-based training and mentorship program. These evaluations have taken place on the backdrop of an ongoing conversation about how to measure the impact of short-form trainings in the life sciences in general, thanks to the work of Jason Williams and Rochelle Trachtenberg. 

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Evaluation project underway to assess the impact of CSCCE’s foundational training, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals

At CSCCE, one of the ways we support scientific community managers is through professional development training courses and workshops. Our 8-week online course Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF) is our longest-running training option, and has reached more than 250 community managers over the past three years across a total of 15 cohorts (with another currently in session). 

Two of these CEF cohorts were private offerings for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), and late last year they asked if we could assess the mid- to long-term impact of CEF training on the individuals that took the course. CZI, like us, were particularly curious about the impacts of the course on the learners  – as well as the wider impacts on their organizations and communities, and beyond in the STEM ecosystem more generally. And so, in December 2023 we surveyed graduates from 12 general registration CEF cohorts, 2 CZI cohorts, and a cohort that ran in an Australia-friendly time zone

In this blog post, we share a little more about what we’re hoping to learn as we start analyzing the data, as well as how we’ll be sharing the outcomes of this study in a couple of months’ time. If you have any questions, or you’re interested in engaging us as consultants on your own evaluation program, please reach out to info@cscce.org

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Join us for CEF23F! Head into the new “school” year with some updates to our foundational training course

Today we opened general registration for the next offering of Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF), our foundational course on community management in STEM. This course is relevant to anyone convening communities in the STEM ecosystem, whether new to the work or more experienced.

Sign up by 4 August and enjoy a 25% early bird registration discount (use the code EARLYCEF23F at checkout)!!

CEF23F will run on Tuesdays and Fridays starting on 8 September and ending on 27 October. More information about the course can be found here

If you have any questions about CSCCE’s professional development training courses – including about information in this post – please email training@cscce.org

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