The Center to Advance Interprofessional Education and Practice will be a nationally recognized leader in campus-to-community interprofessional, interdisciplinary, and collaborative education, practice, scholarship, and research.


To transform education in health care and other fields by preparing future and practicing professionals with the knowledge, values, and skills needed to participate as members and leaders of dynamic collaborative clinical and community teams.

Collaborative learning environments are where education and collaborative practice come together to improve the overall health and well-being of people and society with the goal of delivering the greatest value to individuals, families, populations, systems, and communities.


Building and enhancing students’ skills for the contemporary workplace are foundational goals of the Center to Advance Interprofessional Education and Practice. Working closely with faculty and community stakeholders, we endeavor to stay abreast of the myriad of changes in health care (physical, oral, and behavioral), public and population health (prevention, education, advocacy, and systems), cross-disciplinary research, and fields where collaborative initiatives aim to serve the greater good.

The Center to Advance Interprofessional Education and Practice builds collaborative learning environments (CLE) inclusive of the following:

  1. Interprofessional Health Sciences Education and Collaborative Health Care Practice
    1. Competencies: We value the core competencies that guide cross-professional teamwork and that enable members of health disciplines to be effective practitioners. These competencies include:
      • Fidelity between classroom learning and clinical and community care delivery
      • Relationally- and culturally-informed skills for team-based practice1
      • Cross-professional and patient-centered communication skills
      • Promotion of psychological safety whereby everyone feels free to speak up, ask questions, voice concerns, and make suggestions no matter their role on the team
      • Knowledge of one’s role and that of others to promote the health of patients and populations
      • Cultivation of culture based in mutual respect
    2. Safety and Quality: We value the practice of interpersonal, interprofessional, organizational, and systemic behaviors that result in reduced risks to and improved outcomes for health care consumers.
    3. Social Justice and Health as a Human Right: We value the application of core principles that advocate for the right of every person, regardless of circumstance, to receive the best possible health, welfare, and social care informed by contemporary science, and we believe that care must be delivered respectfully, without bias or judgment.
      1. Patient/Person Centeredness: We value the cultivation and support of attitudes and skills that:
        • Empower health and social care recipients and stakeholders
        • Integrate patient/family/community expertise
        • Promote shared decision-making
  2. Cultural Humility: We value a willingness to:
    1. Learn about, from, and with diverse individuals and cultures
    2. Respect the perspectives, values, and preferences of others
    3. Use cultural and linguistically appropriate communication
    4. Maintain a welcoming environment respectful of diverse perspectives and backgrounds
  3. Collaborative Leadership: We value the development collaborative and cross-disciplinary skills for promoting respectful communication, assertion, and advocacy based on relevancy -- not on predetermined roles.
  4. Student Empowerment: We value the recognition that students, as future practitioners, leaders, policymakers, and change agents, are necessary and respected informants to collaborative education.
  5. Learning Through the Arts and Humanities: We value engagement with the humanities as a means to realize the intersectionality of all disciplines and value art as a mechanism to bring marginalized voices into education to foster empathy and promote advocacy for individuals, populations, and the communities that graduates will inhabit and serve.

Trends in health education parallel those in health care. Learning outcomes, competencies, and accreditation standards across health education mandate that curricula include “knowledge and skills in teamwork, communication, health information systems, quality and process improvement, social determinants of health, and population health” (Earnest & Brandt, 2014). Students graduating from programs that emphasize such foundational knowledge and skills go to the front of the employability line (Dow, Blue, Cohen Konrad, et al, 2012).


The Center’s response to workplace and education trends is to create a continuum of interconnected, interactive learning streams. Informed by academic best practices, we believe that effective communication and team-based skills are best taught sequentially, through the scaffolding of learning activities, including exposure to desired competencies, classroom instruction, demonstration in pre-clinical/professional simulation-based settings, and application of and reflection upon knowledge and proficiency in a range of practice/workforce settings. We further subscribe to learning that is relational; knowledge, values, and skills are best developed in the context of interpersonal relationships. Along with the purveyance of content, relational learning methods attend to how information is shared, within the context of psychological safety and mutual respect.

1Interprofessional Education Collaborative. (2016). Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: 2016 update. Washington, DC: Interprofessional Education Collaborative.