Integrating Graduates of a National Faculty Development Program into a Community of Practice

Acad Pediatr. 2021 May 27;S1876-2859(21)00217-5. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2021.04.003. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Purpose: The Educational Scholars Program (ESP) started as a national 3-year faculty development (FD) program for pediatric educators. Fourteen years later, the ESP has grown into a larger community of practice (CoP). The purpose of this study was to identify programmatic processes that serve as bridges or barriers to integrating ESP graduates into the CoP.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was sent to 126 ESP graduates. Based on their self-reported level of engagement, graduates were categorized into four groups: Core, Active, Peripheral, and Outsider groups. Factors contributing to engagement with the ESP community, and the impact of varying levels of engagement on outcomes related to the organization and the graduate were ascertained.

Results: Half of the ESP graduates completed the survey. Thirty-five percent of the respondents were in the Core or Active groups. Almost all ESP graduates in the Core and Active groups felt a sense of belonging to the ESP community. Opportunities provided to network, collaborate, and receive mentorship were reported as highly significant influences on their decision to remain engaged.

Conclusion: Purposeful integration of graduates of an FD program within a CoP, by allowing varying levels of involvement, enhances engagement within the CoP.

Keywords: Community of practice; Faculty Development; Professional Networks.