Bringing It

Bringing It #102: A New BT2P Publication and Two Job Opportunities

March 30, 2023

Dear friends,

About a year ago in Bringing It, we spotlighted the Paradigm Project as a new chapter for Bringing Theory to Practice to catalyze transformative change in higher education. In that announcement and a project summary, we mapped out three interconnected areas of our work: strengthening innovative models of holistic, inclusive and engaged education, shifting the narrative about higher education’s purposes and future, and collaborating with other changemakers and higher education leaders for movement-building.

Since that announcement, we have refined and put into practice key components of our change strategy. As examples, we have convened a Paradigm Working Group of leaders and innovative thinkers to guide the project and distill key themes, ideas, and practices that point toward transformative change. Bringing It regularly spotlights innovative examples from our higher education partners, such as College Unbound and James Madison University’s X-Labs. We are developing multiyear relationships with higher education institutions and consortia that are working to advance change projects. Over the last year, BT2P staff have connected with other associations doing important work, such as the Civic Learning and Democracy Engagement CoalitionImagining America, and the Coalition for Life Transformative Education (described later in this issue).

We are especially pleased to share another important development: the latest issue of Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning features an article by BT2P Director David Scobey, “The Paradigm Project and the Need for the Radical Renewal of Higher Education.” It points to the current challenges in higher education that, we believe, make larger transformational change necessary, and it describes the Paradigm Project’s work towards systemic change that supports the core purposes of education.

Equally important, the essay is meant to be used in practice. It is intended to support changemakers in the shared work to transform higher education and an invitation to connect with us. We hope that you can use this article on your campuses and in your communities to spark conversations about what change is needed and to imagine new possibilities. The essay concludes with these questions:

  • What are the core purposes (not just the outcomes or benchmarks) of great education?
  • What should such a purpose-rich education look like?
  • What kind of educational experience do you believe all students deserve?
  • What changes in campus practice and institutional structure would it take to offer that education to all students?

We want to hear from you about what themes emerge from your conversations. Please share examples of innovation in higher education that we might spotlight and associations and organizations that might collaborate with BT2P for movement building for positive change. Visit the Connect page on our website to learn how to engage with the project. We look forward to learning together and to the shared work ahead.

Job opportunities to join our national work

We are pleased to announce in Bringing It that BT2P is searching for two staff members to join our national work to advance the Paradigm Project. Shifting the public narrative about higher education is a primary goal of this work, and the Narrative Change Strategist and the Communications Coordinator will play integral roles in the project.

The Narrative Change Strategist will lead the development of the Paradigm Project’s narrative change, communications, and public outreach strategies. They will generally oversee, and periodically contribute to, storytelling about the future of higher education, current educational innovations, and the goals of the project, and they will help to create tools and resources for the project’s movement-building work. This role requires a capacity for collaboration and complex relationship-building, as well as strong interest in the challenges, purpose, and future of higher education. It is a full-time position that can be either fully on-campus at Elon University or hybrid with regular campus visits. To learn more about the position and the qualities we hope to find in a candidate, visit Elon’s employment site:

The Communications Coordinator will oversee communications operations, content curation, and editing, including BT2P’s website, social media, biweekly Bringing It newsletters, and future platforms. Working with the Narrative Change Strategist, they will commission and publicize content about educational innovation and the goals and values of the Paradigm Project. They will supervise and be supported by student interns. This .75 position (30 hours per week) is based on campus at Elon University and carries full benefits. To learn more about this position and the qualities we hope to find in a candidate, visit Elon’s employment site:

Interested candidates should feel free to contact David ([email protected]) with questions about either position. The review of applications will begin on April 14th and will continue until the positions are filled.

Reflections on the CLTE National Conference

Paul was delighted to attend the National Conference of The Coalition for Life Transformative Education (CLTE), March 13-14, hosted by Arizona State University. He enjoyed the warm respite from the Minnesota winter and was inspired by the consortium’s mission “to ensure that all students who enroll in college not only complete a degree, but also have a transforming educational experience that enhances their well-being and work engagement throughout life.”

This was the first in-person gathering of this coalition, and the agenda featured research about the experiences of current college students, ideas to inform the development of educational initiatives, and examples of impactful programs. We are exploring ways that BT2P can continue to connect and build relationships with CLTE and other associations that support purpose-driven educational practices as part of our movement-building activities.

With thanks for all you do,
David, Grace, Paul, and Todd