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ABE Teaching & Learning Advancement System

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Effective Collaboration

All quality adult career pathway programs will require coordination and collaboration across institutions. What makes for effective collaboration? What strategies can be used to build, run and sustain effective collaborations over time? What tools are available to help define roles and responsibilities of each partner? How do I operate on a team with my own set of strengths and weaknesses? 

These tools and reference materials will help answer many of these questions and guide you in setting the foundation for best practices in adult career pathway programming.



Building and Sustaining Effective Collaborations

Social Entrepreneurs, Inc.

This 7-page research brief summarizes findings from 24 studies and reports conducted around the country over 15 years regarding what makes collaborations succeed (and fail) and then describes the key strategies that have shown to be effective in sustaining collaborations over time.

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Building Strategic Partnerships Online Course

Literacy Information & Communication System (LINCS)

This online, self-directed course is intended for adult education program administrators interested in building new and strengthening existing partnerships essential for successful development and implementation of Adult Career Pathways programs and systems. The course is self-paced and features three modules: Understanding Strategic Partnerships; Engaging Strategic Partnerships; and Sustaining Strategic Partnerships. (1 hour and 30 minutes)

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Career Pathways Toolkit: Element One - Build Cross-Agency Partnerships and Clarify Roles

Published by U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, 2017

Element One of the Toolkit provides useful guidance and tools to engage cross-agency partners and employers; establish a shared vision, mission, goals and strategies; define the roles and responsibilities of all partners; and develop a work plan and/or memorandum or understanding for the partnership. (61 pages.)

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Understanding Your Role in a Team

Meredith Belbin, Management Teams: Why they succeed or fail, 2nd Ed., 2004; Oxford, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann (www.belbin.com)

This 56-item team role self-assessment exercise is an easy way to determine which of eight team roles best fits your personality and operating style. A brief description of each type follows, including typical features, strengths, and allowable weaknesses. Understanding one’s role on a team can improve functioning in complex collaborative projects. Can be used individually or with any team. (10 pages.)

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