EP3 Events

45 past events

  • Supporting Change in Physics Undergraduate Programs Through the Departmental Action Leadership Institute

    July 05, 2024–⁠July 09, 2024

    A session of the 2024 AAPT Summer Meeting

    Presented by Robert P. Dalka, Chandra Turpen, Diana Sachmpazidi, Joel C. Corbo, and David A. Craig

    In recent years, many departments are seeking to make changes to their undergraduate physics programs to improve the student experience and sustain or grow their program. To support this work in departments, the Departmental Action Leadership Institute (DALI) was created within the Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) initiative. Each participating program sends a pair of faculty members (change leaders) who attend ongoing DALI meetings for one year to learn about and implement effective change practices. Change leaders build a team who identifies the challenges within their departments and pursues collective change efforts. In this poster, we share the essential factors for the success of DALI through experiences of about 25 change leaders and their DATs across four DALI cohorts. The outcomes of this program are tracked through DALI change leaders and DAT members’ interviews, fieldnotes, and surveys. These outcomes span areas such as change leaders’ facilitation skills, faculty-student partnerships, and how joint sense-making about data is informed by DALI. Additionally, we will share change leaders’ experiences of factors that support or challenge the sustainability of their change efforts. This work has implications for the development of change leadership and the evolving efforts within the physics community to improve undergraduate education.

  • The Culture Around Systemic Change in Physics (CSCP) Survey: Assessing How Physicists Work to Enact Systemic Change in Their Programs

    July 05, 2024–⁠July 09, 2024

    A session of the 2024 AAPT Summer Meeting

    Presented by Diana Sachmpazidi, Chandra Turpen, and Jayna Petrella

    Abstract: An increasing number of physics faculty members strive to improve their undergraduate and graduate programs to offer high-quality instruction and better serve diverse student populations. However, implementing evidence-based instruction and improving inclusivity are challenging and require systemic organizational change. APS and other disciplinary organizations developed resources to help physics programs increase their capacity to pursue organizational, systemic change. In this study, we design a survey instrument to measure physics departments’ culture around their approach to systemic change. We created and led a series of collaborative design sessions with multiple key stakeholders to inform the survey design and tailor the instrument to the emerging needs of the physics community. In this poster, we will describe the novel approach to the survey design process and outcomes from the co-design sessions, share the survey constructs that are designed to assess systemic change, and discuss how evidence gathered in this project will feed back to APS change initiatives and committees to inform holistic programmatic changes in physics.


  • Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3): How to be a (Future) Leader

    May 15, 2024 | 06:00 PM–⁠08:00 PM EST

    Virtual Event

    A session of the AAS/APS Equity Educator Workshops

    Presented by David Craig, Michael Wittmann, Christine O'Donnell

    The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) Initiative is designed to empower program leaders (current and future) to create and sustain effective departmental change. In this two-hour, interactive session, co-chairs of the EP3 Initiative David Craig and Michael Jackson will share principles and practices that will help astronomers and physicists at all career stages lead inclusive and equitable programmatic change.

  • Empowering Physics Departments: The EP3 Guide for Thriving Amidst Higher Education Challenges with a Focus on the Career Preparation Section

    April 12, 2024 | 03:15 PM–⁠04:45 PM EST

    A plenary at the APS Eastern Great Lakes Section (EGLS) Spring 2024 Meeting

    Presented by Kathryn Svinarich

    In the face of imminent demographic shifts, mounting pressures on student retention, and dwindling budgets, physics departments are compelled to adapt and thrive. The EP3 Guide is a community-influenced strategic tool to empower physics departments in navigating challenges. Rooted in the philosophy of intentional change, this guide advocates for a systematic approach towards departmental improvement, aiming to propel departments from mere survival to flourishing. This talk explores the core principles of the EP3 Guide, emphasizing its focus on intentional practices as the cornerstone for effective departmental transformation. Guide features will be illustrated using the Career Preparation section.

    Dr. Kathryn Svinarich is the University Chief of Staff at Kettering University. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Michigan, followed by a Doctorate in Physics from Wayne State University. Throughout her tenure at Kettering University, she has held various key roles including: physics faculty member, Physics Department Head, Associate Provost, and Dean for the College of Sciences and Liberal Arts. Additionally, she has overseen all ABET activities at Kettering and now serves as the Higher Learning Commision (HLC) Academic Liaison Officer, further solidifying her commitment to academic excellence and institutional advancement. Drawing from her extensive experience in accreditation and cooperative education, Kettering University educates students in a fully cooperative educational model, Dr. Svinarich contributes valuable insights to educational initiatives at the University. She has been involved with the EP3 initial from its inception and is an EP3 Editorial Board member.

  • Using the EP3 Guide as a call for education research on systemic change

    April 06, 2024

    A session of the APS April Meeting

    Presented by Michael Wittmann

    Abstract: The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) Initiative has created the EP3 Guide (ep3guide.org), a research-based community-built collection of practices and strategies for physics programs. The research base of the guide builds heavily on the results of physics education research (PER), and creating the guide has shown opportunities to expand our knowledge. Where the PER community originally focused on fostering student learning in the classroom, a growing trend over several decades has been to study systemic issues that help (or hinder) student learning. The EP3 Guide provides direction for these PER studies. As faculty and departments use the EP3 Guide to address challenges, they may seek to, for example, increase enrollments, reform instruction, address problems of culture and climate, and become more equitable and inclusive. Studying the processes by which these changes play out requires careful observation and investigation as well as documentation and dissemination. The results of the research can then modify, extend, and strengthen the guide, allowing it to be a living document that is designed to change over time. Research on departmental change with participants of the Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALI) in the EP3 Initiative has made steps in this direction, but many other opportunities exist. This talk will describe the EP3 Guide, provide a brief overview and history of physics education research, and will then provide some examples of how the PER community can use the EP3 Guide to advance its goal of studying teaching and learning within complex academic systems and structures.

  • Ethnographic investigations of the emerging culture on departmental teams: Evidence of transforming physics faculty's practices and values around departmental change

    April 06, 2024 | 05:30 PM–⁠07:18 PM PST

    A session of the APS April Meeting

    Presented by Diana Sachmpazidi

    Many organizations and researchers within the physics community have highlighted the need to improve undergraduate programs in areas such as pedagogy and recruitment and retention of marginalized students. As these reforms often pose challenges and require additional resources, initiatives such as the Departmental Action Leadership Institute (DALI) have been developed. In these investigations of this institute, we developed case studies of five DALI physics programs. We document the dominant and emerging cultures around how physics faculty approach and pursue change work. We see evidence of DALI participants' growing awareness of taken-for-granted assumptions about educational change processes within their departmental cultures and coming to recognize and value alternative ways of collaborating and enacting change in their local contexts. For example, we found that while faculty in the department typically approach change work in a rushed and ad-hoc way, ignoring the use of formal evidence, DALI faculty participants take a deliberate and strategic approach to departmental change, centering formal evidence. In this talk, I will show how the emerging micro-culture is situated within the dominant departmental culture around educational change and discuss implications for practice.

    Venue: SAFE Credit Union Convention Center, Sacramento, CA, Ballroom A5-6, Floor 2.

  • Supporting change in physics undergraduate programs: Lessons learned from the DALI initiative

    April 05, 2024 | 06:00 PM–⁠08:00 PM PST

    A session of the APS April Meeting

    Presented by Robert P. Dalka

    The Departmental Action Leadership Institute (DALI) is a community engagement activity of the Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) initiative, led in partnership by APS and AAPT. DALI works with undergraduate physics programs to pursue departmental change. Each participating program sends a pair of faculty members (change leaders) who attend ongoing DALI meetings for one year to learn about and implement effective change practices. During that year, these change leaders facilitate local teams based on the Department Action Team (DAT) model. In this poster, we share the essential factors for the success of DALI through experiences of ~25 change leaders and their DATs across four cohorts of DALI. The outcomes of this program are tracked by interviews and surveys of DALI change leaders and DAT members. These outcomes span areas such as change leaders' facilitation skills, ways that students are partnered with, and how joint sense-making about data is informed by DALI. Additionally, we will share change leaders' experiences of factors that support or challenge the sustainability of their change efforts. We see that this work has implications for the development of change leadership and the evolving efforts within the physics community to improve undergraduate education.

    Venue: SAFE Credit Union Convention Center, Sacramento, CA, Exhibit Hall A, Floor 1.

  • Don't Fall off the Enrollment Cliff!: EP3 Office Hours for Faculty

    April 03, 2024 | 07:20 PM–⁠07:50 PM PST

    A session of the 2024 APS April Meeting

    Presented by Michael Jackson and David Craig

    As you reflect on the current state of your department, how do you approach student recruitment and retention? How will you be impacted by demographic trends, such as trends in the diversity of incoming students and/or the predicted "demographic cliff" as fewer students graduate high school as a long-term result of decreasing US birth rates? Take a short break from the wonders of physics to join colleagues and authors of the Effective Practices for Physics (EP3) Guide for informal discussions around how to empower your department to be ready to face the challenges of the higher education landscape.

  • Don't Fall off the Enrollment Cliff!: EP3 Office Hours for Faculty

    March 05, 2024

    A session of the APS March Meeting 2024

    Presented by Michael Jackson

    As you reflect on the current state of your department, how do you approach student recruitment and retention? How will you be impacted by demographic trends, such as trends in the diversity of incoming students and/or the predicted "demographic cliff" as fewer students graduate high school as a long-term result of decreasing US birth rates? Take a short break from the wonders of physics to join colleagues and authors of the Effective Practices for Physics (EP3) Guide for informal discussions around how to empower your department to be ready to face the challenges of the higher education landscape.


  • The EP3 Initiative and its Role in Advancing Departmental Change Efforts

    March 05, 2024

    A session of the APS March Meeting

    Presented by Michael Jackson

    The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) initiative (ep3guide.org) is a grassroots effort developed for, and by, department leaders and change agents.  Its goal is to facilitate departmental-led efforts to improve physics programs based on practices deemed effective either through research or by community practice.  The next phase of this initiative involves (1) investigating how individuals and programs have used the EP3 Guide’s content to improve elements of their department and (2) learning how to better support departments in using the EP3 Guide.

    This “How Departments are Supporting the Future of Physics” session, sponsored by the APS Forum on Education, highlights a range of change efforts that departments have successfully implemented.  Following a brief overview of the EP3 Guide, we will explore some of the strategies that will be highlighted in this session’s presentations and examine their alignment with the EP3 Guide’s content.  In highlighting the success these physics programs have had, we will identify ways departments have implemented the EP3 Guide’s content.

  • Supporting Physics Departments for Planning and Implementing Transformational Change

    March 04, 2024

    A session of the APS March Meeting 2024

    Presented by Joel C Corbo

    As part of the Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) initiative, a joint effort of APS and the American Association of Physics Teachers, we have been running Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs), which support physics faculty members and their departments in implementing changes to their undergraduate programs. Starting in January 2021, two faculty members from each of five departments joined the first DALI cohort. They were charged with leading cross-constituency teams in their departments to engage in a change effort, following the Departmental Action Team (DAT) model. This DALI started with a virtual kickoff workshop followed by twice monthly meetings and the opportunity for individual consultations with the DALI facilitators. These activities were designed to to help the DALI participants engage in a change effort, support a high-functioning team, interface with external stakeholders, and develop change agency. In total, we have successfully run 4 DALI cohorts to date, with cohort 5 in process and cohort 6 planned to launch in May 2024 (given adequate funding). Taken together, these 6 cohorts included participants from 30 physics programs in the United States and Canada. In this presentation, we will describe the goals and structure of the DALIs, present our findings with respect to DALI's impacts on participants and their departments, and discuss our plans for the future of the DALI model.

  • 2023 Levers for Change Meeting

    July 30, 2023–⁠August 01, 2023

    EP3 is participating in the 2023 Levers for Change Meeting. Hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), attendees will take part in a gathering of peers to discuss the state (and future) of undergraduate STEM education, with a specific emphasis on evidence-based practices that will deepen and strengthen teaching and learning in each field with equity and inclusion.

  • EP3 DALI Event: Amplifying student voices and creating spaces for difference

    July 26, 2023 | 07:00 PM

    Virtual Event

    Presented by Kevin Aptowicz, Ph.D., Professor of Physics, West Chester University & Murphy Pyankov, Undergraduate Physics Major, West Chester University and President, Underrepresented Genders in Physics WCU

    Abstract:

    This webinar is brought to you by SEA Change.

    Many physics departments are striving to make gains in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. At West Chester University, a group of faculty, students, and staff were part of the inaugural cohort in a Department Action Leadership Institute (DALI). DALIs support the implementation of robust and meaningful change by providing a framework to view complex issues from multiple points of view and make data-driven decisions. In this webinar, we will discuss how participating in the DALI has impacted our department and highlight the creation of a new student group: Underrepresented Genders in Physics (UGP). A team leader for the DALI and the student president of UGP will cohost the webinar and discuss why this group was needed and the barriers to creating it.

    You can register for the webinar here.

  • Strengthening STEM and Humanities Departments with the Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) Guide

    July 19, 2023–⁠July 20, 2023

    A poster for the Physics Education Research Conference 2023

    Authors: Christine O’Donnell


    The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) Initiative has developed a comprehensive “EP3 Guide” (ep3guide.org) to empower departments to engage with intentional and effective change through self-reflection, evaluation, and implementation of evidence-based strategies and resources. The Guide includes topics such as how to recruit and retain majors; how to enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion; and how to design courses for non-majors. Many of these topics, as well as the practices described in the Guide, are not unique to physics: understanding students’ diverse career pathways, having a formal mentoring structure, and addressing departmental culture are relevant to many disciplines. In 2022, EP3 was invited to present a workshop series to humanities faculty. Participants reported the material in the EP3 Guide was applicable to their contexts, and the workshops helped them think through and consider potential actions to address issues such as how to increase enrollments. However, they faced obstacles, especially having the time and power to enact change. EP3 has gathered similar data from physics faculty. Based on surveys and interviews of physics department chairs, nearly a quarter have used the Guide, but many are hampered by situational overwhelm, limiting their ability to enact departmental changes.


  • Understanding Tensions in Student-Faculty Partnerships for Departmental Change Work

    July 19, 2023–⁠July 20, 2023

    A poster at the Physics Education Research Conference 2023

    Authors: F. N. Adurrahman, Chandra Turpen, Diana Sachmpazidi, Robert Dalka


    "Students as Partners" (SaP) is a pedagogical approach that considers students co-creators of an educational environment along with faculty, rather than passive participants. While an increasing body of literature evidences a multitude of positive outcomes from the SaP approach, there remains limited research on the challenges that inevitably arise. Quan et. al. (2021) outlined such challenges in a paper showing that different members of a Departmental Action Team (DAT), in which students, staff, and faculty collaborate on a change effort, had different perspectives of their partnership. In this work, we confirm and expand upon those findings in a case study of another DAT. We find not only that the same points of disconnect are present in our case study, but additionally identify three areas of differing perspectives: motivation, commitment duration, and information transparency. We evidence these tensions with interviews from DAT members and discuss how they may be navigated successfully.


  • Considering the implications of communities of transformation as a lens into the Departmental Action Leadership Institute

    July 17, 2023

    A poster at the AAPT 2023 Summer Meeting

    Authors: Robert Dalka, Chandra Turpen, Diana Sachmpazidi, F. N. Adurrahman


    The Departmental Action Leadership Institute (DALI) brings together physics faculty through sustained programming that supports them in enacting effective change practices within their local physics departments. In this poster, we present our attempt to model DALI with the Communities of Transformation (CoT) framework. CoTs are a variation on Communities of Practice that can be used to understand how groups are organized to change existing practices through challenging underlying value systems. We will share examples of how DALI aligns with the three core elements of the CoT framework; (a) challenging existing values and adopting new philosophy, (b) offering space for observing and living the new practice, and (c) networking with a community to help enact new practice. We will outline the affordances and constraints of the CoT framework and what aspects of DALI are foregrounded and backgrounded in this type of analysis. Our goal is to open a dialogue around the structure and implementation of DALI and to what extent CoT can be used to model DALI and other transformative spaces.


  • Considering the Departmental Action Leadership Institute as a Community of Transformation: What's highlighted and what's missed?

    July 17, 2023 | 06:00 PM–⁠07:00 PM

    A session of the American Association of Physics Teachers 2023 Summer Meeting

    Presented by R. Dalka, C. Turpen, D. Sachmpazidi, and F. Aburrahman

    The Communities of Transformation (CoT) framework is a variation on the Communities of Practice that models groups aimed at changing existing practices within institutions by challenging underlying value systems. The CoT framework has the potential to provide insight into STEM initiatives that are designed to promote institutional change. The framework is built around three core elements; (i) challenging existing values/adopting a new philosophy, (ii) space for observing and living the new practice, and (iii) network of peers/community to help enact new practice. In previous work, it has been shown how these core elements define a CoT as a unique type of community and how each element functions to support institutional transformation. In this paper, we share results from applying this framework to the Effective Practices for Physics Programs' (EP3) Departmental Action Leadership Institute (DALI). DALI supports cohorts of physics faculty (change leaders) in leading change efforts in their departments. DALI change leaders are apprenticed into effective change strategies through sustained DALI programming while enacting these strategies within their own Departmental Action Team (DAT). In analysis of interviews with one cohort of change leaders, we have identified the ways in which the DALI model aligns with each of the three CoT core elements. However, we also find that there are departures from the core elements as the DALI model uniquely centers the DATs' importance in enacting institutional change. The results of this initial study are presented to showcase what can be highlighted within STEM change initiatives through a CoT lens. The unique DALI features identified serve as examples for other professional development programs and motivate further study to develop a more complete model of DALI.

  • Recognizing Dominant Cultures around Assessment and Educational Change in Physics Programs and Apprenticing into Alternatives

    July 17, 2023 | 06:00 PM–⁠07:00 PM

    A session of the American Association of Physics Teachers 2023 Summer Meeting

    Presented by D. Sachmpazidi, C. Turpen, J. Petrella, R. P. Dalka, and F. Abdurrahman

    Physics departments may face challenges regarding student retention and a lack of diverse student representation. In an effort to address challenges, many engage in programmatic change efforts that are challenging and may require a second-order change to be effective. Physics faculty who are responsible for carrying out these efforts may not be prepared with the necessary experience and support to do so. Moreover, there is a limited understanding of the culture within physics programs, a critical aspect that shapes change efforts. The American Physical Society (APS) developed the Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs) to support physics faculty in learning to effectively design and implement departmental change. In this project, we developed case studies of five DALI-active physics programs across two cohorts. We see evidence of DALI participants becoming aware of taken-for-granted assumptions about educational change processes and assessment practices within their departmental cultures and coming to recognize and value alternative ways of collaborating and enacting change in their local contexts. This study lays the ground to explore critical aspects of the dominant physics culture that may constrain enacting particular forms of programmatic change and how specific forms of professional development can build departments’ capacity for pursuing second-order change.

  • Improving Enrollment in the Undergraduate Physics Program

    June 21, 2023

    A session of the 2023 Canadian Association of Physicists Congress

    Presented by Michael Wittmann

    Abstract: Following a brief overview of the EP3 Guide, participants in this workshop will be provided information (e.g., graduation rates and other student data) on a physics department at a fictitious institution "Stellar University" for which they serve as an external consultant (e.g., external program reviewer). With this information, participants speculate about the issues facing this department, in part by considering their own experiences. Participants will gain experience in using the cycle of reflection and action outlined in the EP3 guide and learn how the EP3 guide could be used to identify potential strategies that may be helpful for this fictitious department to consider (or perhaps their own department). Note: this is a highly abbreviated version of a half-day workshop that is currently under development.

  • Improving Enrollment in the Undergraduate Physics Program

    June 12, 2023 | 07:30 PM–⁠09:00 PM EST

    A workshop at the 2023 Physics Department Chairs Conference

    Presented by Michael Jackson

    Abstract: Following a brief overview of the EP3 Guide, participants in this workshop will be provided information (e.g., graduation rates and other student data) on a physics department at a fictitious institution "Stellar University" for which they serve as an external consultant (e.g., external program reviewer). With this information, participants speculate about the issues facing this department, in part by considering their own experiences. Participants will gain experience in using the cycle of reflection and action outlined in the EP3 guide and learn how the EP3 guide could be used to identify potential strategies that may be helpful for this fictitious department to consider (or perhaps their own department). Note: this is a highly abbreviated version of a half-day workshop that is currently under development.

  • Bridging Research and Practice: How the EP3 Initiative Supports Faculty Uptake of Departmental Change Strategies

    June 12, 2023 | 05:15 PM–⁠06:15 PM CST

    A session of the ASCN Transforming Institutions Conference 2023

    Presented by Chandra Turpen, David Craig, Joel Corbo, Kathryn Svinarich, and Robert Dalka

    Abstract: There is abundant evidence of practices that support strong undergraduate programs, such as shared leadership and using data to guide programmatic changes. Yet in many physics and other STEM departments, motivating uptake of these strategies can be difficult due to factors such as time constraints and cultural assumptions of the disciplinary community. The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) initiative responds to these challenges.

    EP3 is led by two professional societies that are trusted among physicists: the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). The EP3 Guide was created by gathering knowledge from both research and practitioners within physics and education. It serves as a resource for stakeholders who wish to transform their programs by bringing together effective practices across a wide range of departmental facets, such as student mentoring, course design, and departmental leadership.

    The Departmental Action Leadership Institute (DALI) was created as the initial community engagement arm of the EP3 initiative. DALI is an intensive, year-long professional learning community led by expert facilitators that supports physics faculty in apprenticing into effective change strategies, and adapting practices—including those outlined in the EP3 Guide—to match their local contexts. During this year, DALI participants engage with a local team of departmental stakeholders to work on a change effort that is specific to their program's concerns.

    Research on DALI has found that faculty participants value learning skills around facilitating teams and designing purposeful approaches to change. This learning is supported by the consistent, high-touch approach of DALI. This presentation will focus on three primary leadership practices that faculty members brought into their local teams: shared vision for success, purposeful use of data for decision making, and partnerships with students.

    Join us to learn about EP3 and discuss ways to enable uptake of effective change practices.

  • Transform Your Department Culture – Helpful Examples for Inspiring Change

    May 09, 2023 | 06:00 PM–⁠07:30 PM EST

    A session of the AAAS IUSE On-Demand Workshop

    Presented by Michael Wittmann

    Abstract: How can we transform our STEM departments towards a culture that values evidence-based teaching, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and that better supports faculty and students? Dr. Michael Wittmann showcases the Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) guide. EP3 helps STEM departments engage in a continuous cycle of improvement that facilitates cultural change benefiting both faculty and students.

  • Making informed decisions: Documenting how physics programs shift towards a culture of assessment

    April 20, 2023

    A session of the 2023 NARST Annual International Conference

    Presented by Diana Sachmpazidi

    As calls for increased accountability influence institutional practices, a cultural facet that has received increased attention is the culture of assessment. In this project, we study the change process enacted by local Departmental Action Teams (DATs) resulting from physics faculty members' participation in the Departmental Leadership Action Institutes (DALIs). Following a collective case study approach, we investigate three DALI participating physics programs in-depth. We followed these case study programs for over a year, collecting data from multiple sources. Drawing on interviews with physics faculty change agents we investigate cultural shifts. In particular, we document the departments’ dominant culture around the use of data and how the emerging microculture within the DATs is situated within that dominant culture. For example, we found that past data collection efforts were a primary responsibility of a single person, rarely becoming the focus of joint attention. Whenever data received joint attention, it was approached in a rushed, surface-level way without meaningfully informing the change effort. However, we found that within the DATs, data played a significant role in understanding the problem at hand. Finally, we found that a broad set of DAT stakeholders engaged in extensive collective discussions around data collection and sensemaking.

  • Session C00: Strengthening Departments with the Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3)

    April 15, 2023 | 05:00 PM–⁠07:00 PM CST

    A session of the April Meeting 2023

    Presented by David Craig

    Abstract: The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) Guide is an online living document designed to enable departments to engage with intentional and effective change through self-reflection, evaluation, and implementation of evidence-based strategies and resources. According to a 2022 survey of physics departments, 72% are aware of the Guide, and nearly a quarter have used it to address issues such as how to recruit and retain majors; how to enhance equity diversity and inclusion; how to support effective mentoring; and how to include computation skills in physics courses. In this session, participants will learn key strategies for successfully and sustainably implementing change drawn from from case studies of Guide usage. Participants will use Guide tools, such as Goal Maps and the Toolkit for Departments Under Threat, to identify sections relevant to the challenges their departments are facing or might expect to face, and they will reflect on how to apply the Guide to their local contexts. Participants will leave the workshop with a plan outline for leading their departments to implement desired and effective change.

  • Departmental Action Leadership Institute: faculty members’ development of effective change leadership

    April 03, 2023–⁠April 05, 2023

    A poster at X-DBER Conference

    Authors: Robert Dalka, Joel C. Corbo, David Craig, Chandra Turpen


    Abstract: The Departmental Action Leadership Institute (DALI) works with physics programs to implement institutional change within their departments. Each participating program sends a pair of faculty members (change leaders) who attend ongoing DALI meetings for one year to learn about and implement effective change practices. During that year, these change leaders facilitate local teams based on the Department Action Team (DAT) model. We present outcomes associated with individuals’ professional growth from two cohorts of DALI. These outcomes are tracked by survey data, comparing current states of change leaders’ abilities and their retrospective accounts prior to the DALI. These outcomes span areas such as change leaders’ self-efficacy in facilitating DATs, partnering with students, and joint data sense-making. These data also highlight aspects of DALI participants attribute their growth to, as well as what could be improved. We see that this work has implications for the development of change leadership within many disciplinary contexts. We hope this poster serves as inspiration and lessons learned for others partnering with faculty, across disciplines, to develop capacity for change in STEM programs.


  • Strengthening STEM and Humanities Departments with the Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) Guide

    April 02, 2023–⁠April 04, 2023

    Virtual Event

    A session of the X-DEBER Conference

    Presented by Christine O’Donnell

    Abstract: The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) Initiative has developed a comprehensive “EP3 Guide” (ep3guide.org) to empower departments to engage with intentional and effective change through self-reflection, evaluation, and implementation of evidence-based strategies and resources. The Guide includes topics such as how to recruit and retain majors; how to enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion; and how to design courses for non-majors. Many of these topics, as well as the practices described in the Guide, are not unique to physics: understanding students’ diverse career pathways, having a formal mentoring structure, and addressing departmental culture are relevant to many disciplines. In 2022, EP3 was invited to present a workshop series to humanities faculty. Participants reported the material in the EP3 Guide was applicable to their contexts, and the workshops helped them think through and consider potential actions to address issues such as how to increase enrollments. However, they faced obstacles, especially having the time and power to enact change. EP3 has gathered similar data from physics faculty. Based on surveys and interviews of physics department chairs, nearly a quarter have used the Guide, but many are hampered by situational overwhelm, limiting their ability to enact departmental changes. Given the common challenges faced by many disciplines, the EP3 Initiative is seeking new partners interested in developing and assessing community engagement strategies. These efforts will contribute to refining the effective practices in the Guide, enabling EP3 to support even more departments in effective change processes.

  • Linking institutional priorities to departmentally-based action: Using a cycle of reflection and action to assist departments improve

    March 27, 2023

    A session of the Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference

    Presented by Michael Jackson, David Craig, Noah Finkelstein, Kathryn Svinarich, and Kathryne Sparks Woodle

    Abstract: Many campus-level priorities, ranging from student-success initiatives to climate issues, are realized at the level of the academic unit. However, many departments do not have localized resources or expertise to enact such change. In this highly interactive workshop, we present a model for linking high-level institutional priorities to the departmental and disciplinary-based activities, specifically focusing on three key areas of action: program review, assessment, and student recruitment & retention.

  • EP3 Guide Recommendations for Improving EDI in a Physics Department

    January 14, 2023–⁠January 17, 2023

    A session of the AAPT Winter Meeting

    Presented by Sarah “Sam” McKagan

    Abstract: The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) Guide (www.ep3guide.org) is a living collection of knowledge and practices to support physics programs with collections of knowledge, experience, and proven good practice for responding to challenges and engaging in systematic improvement. Produced by the American Physical Society, in collaboration with the American Association of Physics Teachers, the EP3 Guide draws from the expertise of hundreds of contributors and reviewers to produce recommendations for how to improve nearly every aspect of your undergraduate physics program. Our section on equity, diversity, and inclusion is a synthesis of contributions and reviews from experts in the physics community and beyond on equity, climate, and issues facing people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people, and disabled people, along with recommendations from key reports and publications. This section provides an extensive collection of recommendations for making your department more equitable and inclusive for members of marginalized groups.

  • Growing Your Undergraduate Physics Program – Insights from the Effective Practices for Physics Programs Initiative

    June 08, 2022

    A session of the 2022 CAP Congress

    Presented by David Craig

    Abstract: Physicists study subjects such as quantum mechanics and relativity that capture the popular imagination, yet physics departments often struggle to recruit and retain enough students to satisfy cost-conscious administrations. The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) Initiative of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers has tapped the expertise and experience of over 250 members of the physics community to create a Guide to help physics programs face challenges and enact change. In this workshop we’ll review some of the lessons Canadian physics departments can take from the EP3 Guide in order to help themselves build vibrant and growing undergraduate physics programs.

  • Improving equity, diversity, and inclusion in a physics department: Recommendations from the EP3 Guide

    June 06, 2022–⁠June 09, 2022

    Virtual Event

    A session of the Annual RHIC & AGS Users' Meeting

    Presented by Sam McKagan

  • Changing the culture: A guide to implementation of effective practices for physics programs

    June 01, 2022–⁠June 03, 2022

    A Poster at the 2022 IUSE Summit: Propelling Change: Moving From Strategy to Effective and Equitable Undergraduate STEM Education

    Authors: David Craig, Michael Jackson, Robert Hilborn, Chandra Turpen, Michael C. Wittmann


    Abstract: The new economics of higher education, changing demographics, and the economic wake of COVID-19 compel universities to reconsider how education survives and thrives. The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) initiative (EP3guide.org) is a collaborative effort between the American Physical Society (APS) and American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) designed to help departments improve through continued self-reflection while drawing on practices deemed effective, as demonstrated either through research or by community practice. The Guide includes, for example, the Toolkit for Departments Under Threat, to help departments facing threats to their existence, as well as guidance on curriculum, pedagogy, advising and mentoring, recruiting and retention, research and internship opportunities, equity and diversity, scientific skills development, career preparation, staffing, resources, faculty professional development, how to be an effective chair, and more. The Guide also offers a wealth of guidance on supporting equity in physics departments, both in a section on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and interwoven throughout all sections. We have published over 20 of the planned 36 sections of the Guide, including over 2400 individual strategies. Over 230 individuals in the greater physics community have contributed to and/or reviewed materials for the peer-reviewed Guide. As development of the inaugural edition of the EP3 guide concludes, our focus turns toward implementation. What can departments do to identify valuable elements and strategies within the guide’s substantial material and adapt them for implementation within the context and constraints of their local environment? We have held workshops, often for departments under threat, and have done site visits to institutions to help with recruitment and retention of underrepresented students. Several cohorts of faculty have joined in Departmental Action Learning Institutes, which support faculty members and their departments in implementing significant changes to their undergraduate programs. Over time, the guide and associated supporting activities and tools will impact nearly every physics department in the USA. The continuous cycle of improvement implicit in the guide's design will impact courses ranging from introductory physics through advanced courses required of all physics majors. This project will impact a large fraction of pre-service high school physics teachers, physics majors, and ultimately most students studying engineering or other sciences that require a physics course. This poster will provide a brief overview of the EP3 guide, describing its development, structure, and how the guide’s content will be updated and improved going forward. We also present tips and strategies for using the guide.


  • Roundtable on Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education Hybrid Meeting

    May 23, 2022 | 02:00 PM–⁠07:45 PM EST

    A session of the National Academy of Sciences: Roundtable on Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education Spring Hybrid Meeting

    EP3 Program Manager Kathryne Woodle participates in a roundtable discussion about connecting stakeholders in education, government agencies, and professional societies to explore how the changing landscape of the workplace and the workforce has implications for reform of undergraduate STEM education.

  • Supporting Departmental Change Efforts with Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs)

    April 12, 2022 | 02:45 PM–⁠04:33 PM EST

    A session of the APS April Meeting

    Presented by Joel C. Corbo

    Abstract: As part of the Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) initiative, a joint effort of APS and the American Association of Physics Teachers, we are piloting Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs), which support faculty members and their departments in implementing changes to their undergraduate programs. Starting in January 2021, two faculty members from each of five departments joined the first DALI. They were charged with leading cross-constituency teams in their departments to engage in a change effort, following the Departmental Action Team (DAT) model. This DALI started with a virtual kickoff workshop followed by twice monthly meetings and the opportunity for individual consultations with the DALI facilitators. These activities were designed to to help the DALI participants engage in a change effort, support a high-functioning team, interface with external stakeholders, and develop change agency. The first cohort wrapped up after a year, the second is ongoing, and two more are scheduled to launch this fall. In this presentation, we will describe the goals and structure of the pilot DALI, present some initial feedback from our participants, and describe our plans to document the impacts on participants and their departments.

  • Tips and Strategies on Using the EP3 Guide for Improving Physics Departments

    March 13, 2022–⁠March 17, 2022

    A session of the APS March Meeting 2022

    Presented by Michael Jackson

    Abstract: The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) initiative (EP3guide.org) is a collaborative effort between APS and AAPT designed to assist departments improve through continued self-reflection while drawing on practices deemed effective, as demonstrated either through research or by community practice. As development of the inaugural edition of the EP3 guide concludes, our focus turns toward implementation. What can departments do to identify potential nuggets within the guide’s substantial material and adapt them for implementation within the context and constraints of their local environment?

    This presentation will start with a brief overview of the EP3 guide, that includes its development, structure, and how the guide’s content will be updated and improved going forward. Following this overview, we will discuss tips and strategies for using the guide. This may include how to (a) frame the local problem or concern, (b) identify relevant sections of the guide, (c) recognize and promote strategies the department is already engaging in, (d) select potential directions to consider, (e) facilitate conversations regarding issues surrounding implementation (e.g., resources, space), (f) assess the effectiveness of the initiatives undertaken, and (g) design efforts to change your program in a sustainable way.

  • Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs): A scalable model for supporting departmental change efforts

    February 24, 2022 | 09:00 PM–⁠10:00 PM EST

    Virtual Event

    A session of the Accelerating Systemic Change Network Working Group Meetings and Informal Discussions

    Presented by Joel C. Corbo and David A. Craig

    Abstract: How can individual departments gain expertise in leading change locally?

    We are piloting Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs), which provide intensive support for departments in implementing changes to their undergraduate programs. DALIs are designed to scale this intensive support to the national level; the same model could be used to support multiple departments and programs at a single institution as they engage in change efforts. To accomplish this scaling, two change leaders from each of five departments join the DALI. These change leaders are charged with leading cross-constituency teams in their departments to engage in a change effort, following the Departmental Action Team (DAT) model. Two cohorts of five departments each are currently participating in a DALI, the first of which launched in January 2021. Each DALI begins with a virtual kickoff workshop followed by twice monthly meetings and the opportunity for individual consultations with the DALI facilitators. These activities are designed to help the DALI participants engage in a change effort, support a high-functioning team, interface with external stakeholders, and develop change agency. In this presentation, we will describe the goals and structure of the pilot DALI, present some initial feedback from our participants, and provide opportunities for the audience to reflect on how this model might be useful at their institutions.

  • EP3: A Comprehensive, Community-Sourced Guide for Improving Departments

    July 30, 2021–⁠August 03, 2021

    A session of the AAPT Virtual Summer Meeting

    Presented by Sam McKagan, Theodore Hodapp, Joel Corbo, Jim Borgardt, Willie Rockward and Rob Dalka

    Collecting effective practices across all areas of a physics department’s operations is a daunting task for any chair or faculty member bent on improving their program. EP3 (Effective Practices for Physics Programs) is a community-sourced guide to help chairs and members of their department improve. The guide includes sections on topics including recruitment, retention, introductory-courses, laboratory and computational skills, undergraduate research, culture and climate, equity and inclusion, leadership, program review, capstone experiences and much more. Guide development is ongoing, but a substantial portion is now available at EP3guide.org and the national task force is set to complete all sections by early 2022. This talk will provide an overview of the guide, its design, and how to begin to use the practices. Our interactive session will provide an opportunity for attendees to provide feedback on design and content, and to see how you can use the guide most effectively.

  • Supporting departmental change efforts in physics with Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs)

    June 09, 2021–⁠June 11, 2021

    A session of the Transforming Institutions 2021 Virtual Conference

    Presented by David Craig and Joel Corbo

    Abstract: The APS Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) project aims to help physics programs respond to challenges with a collection of knowledge, experience, and proven good practice disseminated via the EP3 Guide. As part of the project, we are piloting Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs), which support faculty members and their departments in implementing significant changes to their undergraduate programs. Starting in January 2021, two faculty members from each of five departments joined the first DALI. These faculty members were charged with creating and leading cross-constituency teams in their departments to engage in a change effort, following the Departmental Action Team (DAT) model. This DALI started with an intensive virtual kickoff workshop, followed by twice monthly meetings and the opportunity for individual consultations with the DALI facilitators. These activities were designed to to help the DALI participants learn about and implement critical aspects of engaging in a change effort (e.g., defining a vision, setting goals, gathering and analyzing data, assessing results), of supporting a high-functioning team (e.g., recruiting diverse team members, managing conflict and power differentials), and of interfacing with stakeholders outside the team (e.g., cultivating allies, managing resistance). These are all practices that align with the literature on organizational change and effective teams, both within and beyond the higher education context. In this presentation, we will describe the goals, structure, and curriculum of the pilot DALI. We will also present some initial feedback from our participants about their experiences with the DALI and with leading their change efforts and describe our long-term plans to systematically document the impacts of DALI on participants and their departments.

  • Toolkit for Departments Under Threat

    June 03, 2021

    A session of the 2021 Physics Department Chairs Conference

    Presented by Jim Borgardt and Courtney Lannert

    Guidance in the Toolkit for Departments Under Threat was sourced from over 50 interviews with administrators and physics faculty representing a wide range of institution types and experiencing varying threat levels. While many thematic patterns emerged, one lesson is that each department represents a unique ecosystem. There is no silver bullet: some departments doing “all the right things” still find themselves under serious threat, and a tactic that has been effective at one department may be ineffective at others. However, while there are circumstances out of a department’s control, we believe there are opportunities to improve one’s standing within the institution and to positively influence any potential decisions.

  • Supporting Departmental Change Efforts with Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs)

    June 03, 2021

    A session of the 2021 Physics Department Chairs Conference

    Presented by Joel Corbo and David Craig

    As part of the APS Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) project, we are piloting Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs), which support faculty members and their departments in implementing significant changes to their undergraduate programs. The DALIs are designed to help participants support their local change teams in engaging in a change effort, functioning well as a team, and interfacing with stakeholders outside the team. In this session, we will describe the goals, structure, and curriculum of the pilot DALI, present some initial feedback from our participants, and answer questions about how your department can apply to be part of the next DALI.

  • EP3 Guide: Managing Threats to Your Department and Building a Thriving Physics Program

    June 02, 2021

    A session of the 2021 Physics Department Chairs Conference

    Presented by Theodore Hodapp and Michael Jackson

    Abstract: In these uncertain times, many departments find themselves under threat in a number of ways. The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) guide and Toolkit for Departments Under Threat are available to provide insights into strengthening your department and looking to strategies that make physics highly relevant in the changing student demographic and financial landscape of higher education. We will briefly review guide and toolkit content that focuses on critical areas such as recruitment, retention, advising/mentoring, climate/culture, program review, strategic planning, implementing change, and tips for effective leadership. This presentation will identify tools for implementing change and strategies for focusing efforts that will allow departments to position themselves as innovators and leaders within the institution.

  • Managing Threats to Your Department: Building a Thriving Physics Program

    April 16, 2021 | 06:00 PM–⁠08:00 PM CST

    A session of the APS April Meeting

    In these uncertain times, many departments find themselves under threat in a number of ways. The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) guide and Toolkit for Departments Under Threat are available to provide insights into strengthening your department and looking to strategies that make physics highly relevant in the moving target that is higher education. We will review guide and toolkit content that focuses on critical areas such as recruitment, retention, advising/mentoring, climate/culture, program review, strategic planning, implementing change, and tips for effective leadership. This workshop will provide tools for implementing change and strategies for focusing efforts that will allow departments to position themselves as innovators and leaders within the institution. Prior to attending today's session please explore the content found on the EP3 website.

    Speakers: James Borgardt (Juniata College), David Craig (Oregon State University), Theodore Hodapp (APS), Courtney Lannert (Smith College, U-Mass Amherst)

    Schedule:
    2:00-2:15 pm CT Overview of the new Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) Guide (Hodapp)
    2:15-2:55 pm CT Using the EP3 Guide to discuss challenges and potential initiatives focused on Retention of Undergraduate Physics Majors (Craig)2:55-3:00 pm CT Break
    3:00-3:15 pm CT The EP3 Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs) – Supporting departments in using the EP3 Guide to undertake significant, sustainable change efforts (Craig)
    3:15-4:00 pm CT APS Toolkit for departments under threat (Borgardt/Lannert)

  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion in the EP3 Guide

    April 08, 2021 | 05:00 PM EST

    Virtual Event

    A session of the 2021 SEA-Change Webinar

    Presented by Willie Rockward (Morgan State University)

    Abstract: The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) guide, produced by the American Physical Society (APS) in collaboration with the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), aims to help physics programs respond to challenges with a collection of knowledge, experience, and proven good practice. The Guide includes a set of effective practices and guidelines for self-evaluation suitable for departmental review. It includes guidance on curriculum, pedagogy, advising and mentoring, recruiting and retention, research and internship opportunities, equity and diversity, scientific skills development, career preparation, staffing, resources, faculty professional development, and more. This webinar will focus on how you can use the EP3 Guide to support equity goals in your program. The Guide offers a wealth of guidance on supporting equity in physics departments, both in a section on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and interwoven throughout all sections.

    Classification: Presentation, Virtual Event

  • Managing Threats to Your Department: Building a Thriving Physics Program

    March 16, 2021 | 08:00 PM CST

    Virtual Event

    A session of the APS March Meeting

    Abstract: In these uncertain times, many departments find themselves under threat in a number of ways.  The Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) guide and Toolkit for Departments Under Threat are available to provide insights into strengthening your department and looking to strategies that make physics highly relevant in the moving target that is higher education.  We will review guide and toolkit content that focuses on critical areas such as recruitment, retention, advising/mentoring, climate/culture, program review, strategic planning, implementing change, and tips for effective leadership. This workshop will provide tools for implementing change and strategies for focusing efforts that will allow departments to position themselves as innovators and leaders within the institution.

    Classification: Workshop

  • Teacher Preparation and Departmental Survival: Using the EP3 Guide

    March 05, 2021 | 08:00 PM EST

    Virtual Event

    A session of the 2021 PhysTEC Conference

    Presented by Theodore Hodapp (APS) and David Craig (Oregon State)

    Abstract: Many physics departments are facing threats of closure, consolidation, or other more dramatic shifts due to economic and demographic forces on higher education. The Effective Practice for Physics Programs (EP3) Guide is an effort by the American Physical Society in collaboration with the American Association of Physics Teachers to provide a synthesis of knowledge and scholarship that informs improvements of all areas of undergraduate physics departments. Teacher education can be a potent component of a comprehensive plan to reinforce the quality of a program, increase majors, and provide directly realizable benefits to the surrounding community. This interactive discussion will provide attendees with an introduction to the Guide, a look at recently published initial sections, and some strategies for using the Guide to improve your programs. We will welcome feedback on ways to make this valuable resource available more broadly and especially any improvements we can make to strengthen our offerings that support teacher preparation.

    Classification: Presentation, Virtual Event

  • Thriving physics departments: Proactive steps to take in difficult economic times

    February 04, 2021 | 05:00 PM EST

    Virtual Event

    A session of the APS Annual Leadership Meeting (ALM)

    Presented by Bob Birgeneau (Berkeley), Jim Borgardt (Juniata), David Craig (Oregon State), Mike Dubson (UC Boulder), Frances Hellman (Berkeley), Theodore Hodapp (APS), Michael Jackson (Millersville), Mary James (Reed), Courtney Lannert (Smith College/UMass Amherst), Cathy Mader (Hope), Kevin Pitts (UIUC), Willie Rockward (Morgan State)

    Moderators: Frances Hellman (Berkeley) and Theodore Hodapp (APS)

    The new economics of higher education, changing demographics, and the economic wake of COVID-19 compel universities to reconsider how education survives and thrives. Join us for perspectives from faculty and administrative leaders, followed by small group discussions on how physics departments can take a proactive stance to adapt, grow, and thrive in this new environment.

    Parallel Sessions Topics include:

    1. Departments threatened with closure
    2. Improving undergraduate instruction to find relevance and value
    3. Understanding administrative perspective
    4. Building respect between administration and physics faculty
    5. Building respect between instruction-focused faculty and research-focused faculty
    6. Department culture affects everything: Why your culture matters and how to make it better
    7. Preparing for the evolving dynamics of university finance constraints

    Classification: Presentation, Virtual Event

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1738311, 1747563, and 1821372. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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