The EP3 Guide is a tool that supports physics programs in defining and achieving goals to improve the education of their students. The Guide contains extensive information and effective practices related to all aspects of thriving undergraduate physics programs, sourced from members of the physics community. A core aspect of the philosophy that underlies the Guide is that vibrant physics programs engage in a cyclic process of self-reflection that guides their decisions and actions.
The EP3 Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs) are intended for departments facing a major challenge or opportunity (such as low enrollments or an upcoming program review) and/or wanting to make a significant change (such as implementing evidence-based instruction or developing a program-level student learning assessment plan). The DALIs are designed to help departments engage in a change process that will lead to sustainable improvements to undergraduate education and to a stronger culture of self-reflection and action. They do this by training department members to be effective change leaders.
A department participating in a DALI creates a “departmental action team” or DAT—a local group of people charged with leading the change effort in their department. Two representatives from this team are designated as “change leaders.” The change leaders participate directly in the DALI activities and lead the DAT in their department. Each DALI comprises representatives from three to five participating departments who commit to working with two DALI facilitators (and each other) for a minimum of one year. The DALI curriculum trains the change leaders to better understand the situations they face, engage in the steps necessary for creating sustained change, and work with their DATs to achieve their goals. The DALI consists of an in-person kickoff workshop and (approximately) bi-weekly 30 hours of video conferences throughout the academic year.
To learn more about the DALI experience, you can view this recorded webinar.
A core aspect of the EP3 philosophy is that successful physics departments engage in cyclic self-reflection on their own processes and outcomes to guide their decisions and actions. We believe that effective change efforts in a department are:
Additionally, we see successful change efforts as drivers of positive improvements to departmental culture. We propose that positive department culture:
DALI facilitators and change leaders work together to enact change in the member departments in a way that is aligned with this philosophy.
DALI membership is open to physics departments (or other departments or programs that include physics or astronomy) from 4 year colleges and universities in the United States.
The DALI is for departments that are facing challenges or opportunities and are ready to engage in a process of self-reflection that might lead to significant changes in their undergraduate programs. The DALI focuses on training and supporting a team in your department to catalyze change over time. Therefore, your department may not be a good fit for a DALI if:
Participating departments can expect to progress towards three main outcomes through their participation in a DALI:
These outcomes for participating departments and programs will be facilitated by the following outcomes for the departmental change leaders:
The participation of a department or program in a DALI requires the commitment of a department’s change leaders to engage constructively with all aspects of the DALI for at least one year. Expectations include:
Change leaders will attend an in-person kickoff workshop typically held in the late spring in the Washington DC area.
Change leaders will attend approximately 30 hours of video conferences throughout the academic year. They will come prepared and engage productively with the other participants and the facilitators. Specific expectations include:
Change leaders will attend an in-person kickoff workshop to be held September 2023 at the American Center for Physics in College Park, MD.
Change leaders will attend approximately bi-weekly, 90-minute video conferences. They will come prepared and engage productively with the other participants and the facilitators.
Change leaders will engage in work between DALI meetings to support their own learning and the work of the DATs that they are leading. This may include readings assigned by the DALI facilitators, collecting and analyzing data, working with their local DATs, reflecting on their progress, and so on.
DATs and change leaders will be well-positioned for success by their department. This includes departments providing the resources necessary to sustain the work of the teams (e.g., sufficient people on the DAT, release time and financial support based on the project), change leaders being empowered and supported in their roles within the department (e.g., the support of the chair, recognition of their roles in the department), and change leaders and teams meeting regularly to engage in their work.
The EP3 Project has a research component that aims to understand how assessment and change efforts work in departments through empirically documenting assessment and change processes. These research findings will be used formatively to improve the EP3 project and DALIs. Change leaders’ contact information will be shared with the research team, and they will be invited to participate in this research study. They will have the opportunity to opt-in to having their work product from the DALI shared with the research team, being interviewed, and responding to periodic surveys. For more information about this research study, please contact Chandra Turpen.
The DALI may collectively decide to continue after one year. Continued participation is welcome but not expected.
All participant expenses for upcoming DALI cohorts will be covered by support from the EP3 Initiative. If your department is accepted to participate in a DALI, we will cover travel costs within the United States to the Washington, DC area, meals, and lodging for two DALI change leaders from your department.
DALIs start with a kickoff workshop and run for a year. Final determination of the exact dates and location for the kickoff workshop are made prior to application period for each cohort.
Application materials include:
Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria: