Welcome to the website for the Departmental Action Team project at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) and at Colorado State University (CSU).
A Departmental Action Team (DAT) is an externally-facilitated working group of 4 to 8 faculty, staff, and/or students that is created by a department to achieve two goals:
- to create sustainable change around a broad-scale issue related to undergraduate education in the department by shifting departmental structures and culture
to help DAT participants become change agents through developing facilitation and leadership skills
Thus, DATs support their participants not only in making meaningful, positive change in their department, but also in developing their own capacity to continue leading change in the future. To meet these goals, the DAT is supported by external facilitators from our project team who have expertise in STEM education, facilitation, organizational culture, and education research. Additionally, a core feature of DATs is that participants choose their DAT’s focus; in the past, these have included both curricular concerns (e.g., restructuring a course sequence) and cultural concerns (e.g., improving undergraduate sense of belonging).
Because the DAT project follows an action research paradigm, it has two main components:
Implementing and institutionalizing DATs on the CU and CSU campuses (in partnership with local professional development units on these campuses: ATDT and TILT)
Researching the DAT implementation and institutionalization process and externalizing our findings
Both components are driven by a set of core principles that guide the work of our project team.