Obstacles & Outcomes

Challenges and Outcomes in Educational Cross-Sector Collaborations

Contextualizing a University-School STEM Education Collaboration: Distributed and Self-activated Leadership for Project Outcomes
Educational Management Administration & Leadership
Peter Hudson, Lyn D. English, Les Dawes,  & Jo Macri

The authors used an Australian government sponsored study of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) partnership between seventh graders in three middle schools and a university engineering faculty to analyze the challenges of leadership in an education/university engineering partnership initiative. After initial leadership from engineering faculty, leadership was shared according to areas of expertise with teachers becoming increasingly active leaders as the project advanced.

Demands for partnership and collaboration in Higher Education: A model
New Directions for Community Colleges
Marilyn J. Amey, Pamela L. Eddy, Casey C. Ozaki

Looking to close a gap in research concerning collaboration between community colleges and other institutions, the authors describe a model for a collaborative partnership that can serve as a framework to analyze partnerships. Consideration for why groups join a partnership, the context in which the partnership exists, how partnership evolves from individual to group to collaborative initiatives, and student learning are examined as key factors in the collaboration formation process. Key to success is how members frame the partnership, how the framework changes overtime, agreed upon long-term projections for the partnership, ongoing feedback to members, and shifts in leadership to adjust for changing membership.

Partnerships and Experience in Building STEM Pipelines
Journal Of Professional Issues In Engineering Education & Practice
Patricia A. S. Ralston, Jeffrey L. Hieb, & Gary Rivoli

After a review of literature supporting the need for early introduction to engineering accompanied by input from those in the field, the author presents a case study of collaboration with partners J. B. Speed School of Engineering (U. of Louisville KY), the local public school system, the Louisville Science Center, and local industries. A description of programs designated as pipelines whose purpose is to funnel students in elementary schools to programs in the middle schools and engineering magnet high schools is provided. The program aims for an increase in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) higher education program participants and careers particularly in under-represented populations such as females and minorities. Challenges to the ability of programs to be self-sustainable include changes in committed personnel, competing time constraints, funding, and the misuse of program time. In schools that have shown real commitment, results seem promising. A second program is being established in a small school district in Kentucky to make goals progress monitoring easier. The article also asks whether or not program participation will increase STEM career professionals cannot yet be determined.

Partnerships, Policy, and Educational Change: The Role of Mathematics and Science in K-16 reform
Florida Journal of Educational Administration & Policy

The National Science Foundation Math Science Partnerships program (NSF-MSP) established in 2002 was developed as a means to address concerns and provide empirical data on reforms in Mathematics and Science education in the United States. The author focuses on the challenges of building STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) partnerships between higher education and K-12 education using NSF-MSP funded projects. A number of projects are discussed leading to the following conclusions: establishing and maintaining partnerships is made even more challenging by the lack of prior guiding research, by participants engaging in activities beyond the scope of normal, a short time-frame, funding, and the difficulty of finding ways to accurately measure project effectiveness.


Amey, M. J., Eddy, P. L., & Ozaki, C. C. (2007). Demands for partnership and collaboration in higher education: A model. New Directions for Community Colleges, 2007(139), 5-14. doi:10.1002/cc.288

Hudson, P., English, L. D., Dawes, L., & Macri, J. (2012). Contextualizing a University-School STEM Education Collaboration: Distributed and Self-activated Leadership for Project Outcomes. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 40(6), 772-785. doi:10.1177/1741143212456915

Ralston, P. A. S., Hieb, J. L., & Rivoli, G. (2013). Partnerships and Experience in Building STEM Pipelines. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 139(2), 156-162. doi:doi:10.1061/(ASCE)EI.1943-5541.0000138