Engagement Academy Programs Virginia Tech COTA

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COTA - Engagement Acacemy Programs
Ideal Plan, Ideal Process, Ideal Team

Ideal Plan

The ideal plan for engagement is aligned with the strategic plan or direction of the university and is consistent with the historic context and the current academic culture. While each plan will be customized, the plans create a focus and a direction for institutional engagement and set the tone for campus-community partnerships. A good plan identifies goals, strategies, timelines, intended outcomes, and those responsible for early stages of implementation.

Ideal Process

Teams meet with their champion, the president or provost, and assess their current institutional context prior to attending the Academy. Their champion gives them a team charge (goal, role, responsibilities, and resources) and a timeline for implementation. The team may meet several times prior to attending the program. The team can contact us and receive coaching or other services prior to their formal team launch or after the team returns to campus. For more information, please contact Jeri Childers at jlc@vt.edu. At the Academy, each day the team formulates and refines their plan and receives coaching and feedback from program faculty and the executive-in-residence. The team has access to benchmarking data and a variety of resources. After the Academy, the team meets again with their champion to share the plan and to determine the appropriate steps toward implementation. This process can be success with individuals attending the Academy. In this case, they would meet with their champion and follow the steps outlined above. Teams and individuals attending the Academy should build into their plan a step for expanding and developing their team when they return to their institution.

Ideal Team

The ideal team is composed of representatives from top management in the areas of academic affairs, outreach, extension, or engagement, college or departments, student affairs, institutional advancement. The best teams represent a cross section of the university's constituents (administration, faculty, staff, student, community partner). Some examples of position titles of the intended audience could include but are not limited to:

  • Senior line managers with positional responsibility for engagement (e.g., Vice President, Vice Provost, or Director for Engagement/Outreach, Strategic Partnerships, Workforce Development, Governmental Affairs, Continuing Education, Extension, Economic Development, Community Affairs, Service Learning)
  • Presidents, chancellors, vice presidents, and directors with responsibilities for engagement in institutions without central or formalized outreach/engagement units
  • Provosts/Vice Provosts for Academic Affairs
  • Vice Presidents/Associate Vice Presidents/Associate Provosts for research and instruction who are actively involved with engagement as part of their strategy for success of their functions
  • Deans, associate deans, and department heads, directors of service-learning units with responsibility for engagement or developing an integrated, coordinated engagement strategy.

Team Leader - The team leader is a top executive or representative of top management who has the authority and responsibility to ensure that the institutional engagement plan is fully implemented upon the team's return to campus. This team member would travel to and participate in the program in Roanoke. This person should be:

  • an excellent communicator
  • a respected leader
  • technically competent
  • experienced at delegation
  • experienced in implementing change
  • capable of transferring information learned and developed at the Academy back to campus.

Team Member - The team member(s) should have the following characteristics:

  • strong knowledge of the campus
  • respected by the organization
  • possess strong communication skills
  • effective at delegation
  • exhibit leadership characteristics
  • have the management authority to implement changes as necessary.


Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement - COTA