“There is overwhelming evidence that increasing the IPE/IPP focus will position UNE to be a national leader in this arena. Many of the identified skills, attributes, and competencies of the future health care provider transcend the various disciplines and present multiple opportunities for refined areas of programmatic focus and new collaborations between all of UNE’s six colleges.” (Findings of the Future of the Health Professions Education Task Force, 2018).
The Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education’s mission aligns with that of the University of New England’s Strategic Plan, Our World, Our Future, to prepare students to thrive in a rapidly-changing world. It fulfills strategic aims, providing a hub to help all UNE programs create and engage with distinctive interdisciplinary and interprofessional programming and collaborative practices across departments, colleges, centers of excellence, and academic disciplines.
The creation of the Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education addresses the need for an “institutional IPE/IPP presence that unifies current initiatives” as recommended in the June 2018 Report by the Ad Hoc Task Force Appointed by President Herbert: Visioning the Future of Health Professions Education at the University of New England. The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) currently serves UNE students, faculty, and the broader UNE community through the design, implementation, and evaluation of interprofessional/collaborative education, workforce training, and development of collaborative practice models. A designated center expands IPEC’s scope and cements its identity as a University-wide program guided by national and global evidence-based competencies1. It centralizes operations that provide a continuum of integrated, experiential, and clinical educational opportunities across collaborative learning environments (CLEs) available to undergraduate and graduate students in campus and online programs, service-learning settings, and clinical rotations. Faculty development and workforce training extend the continuum of CLEs to providers in primary and tertiary clinical settings; to workers in community agencies; and to other health, public health, and health-related workplace environments.
Visioning the Future of Health Professions Education (June 2018)
“There is significant potential for UNE becoming a prominent national leader in IPE/IPP, to be at the forefront of innovative education across its various health professions programs, and to have deep local and regional community impact. Realizing this aspiration will require an institution-wide commitment to interprofessionalism as the way we conduct business.
The Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education is committed to quality assurance through rapid-cycle and continuous evaluation of all programming. It is further dedicated to advancing knowledge through student and faculty scholarship supported by mini-grants and mentorship. The Center promotes scholarship dissemination and provides writing, research, and doctoral consultation and support to faculty and students. On a national level, in 2016, IPEC was selected to be a Nexus Innovation Network site by the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education2. A strategic aim of the Center is to expand local and national scholarship production and to engage in CLE-related research.
Center leadership and faculty affiliates work with national and international organizations (e. g. National Center for Interprofessional Practice & Education; Collaborating across Borders; American Interprofessional Health Collaborative; Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative, The Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (UK)) to transform health education, improve the quality of health care delivery, and to advance population health. The Center’s 2019–2024 strategic initiatives reflect these goals:
- Provide interprofessional/interdisciplinary (IP/IND) programming to UNE students and faculty based in adult learning and experiential methodologies
- Coordinate efforts to integrate IP/IND learning methods across health professions curricula
- Develop innovative and flexible hybrid (on-campus and online) IP/IND learning models in conjunction with CAS, CETL, and CGPS
- Infuse social determinants and population health across IP/IND programming content
- Provide IP/IND professional and institutional faculty development and training
- Work with institutional leaders and faculty to fully integrate UNE’s IP/IND learning culture
- Offer local and regional IP/IND workforce training
- Prioritize active collaboration with community stakeholders and external partners
- Evaluate all programming utilizing feedback for quality improvement, scholarship, and research
- Encourage and mentor faculty and student IP/IND research and scholarship
- Coordinate with UNE schools, colleges, and Centers for Excellence to capitalize on existing expertise to enhance IP/IND programming, research, and grant initiatives
- Apply for private, state, and federal grant opportunities
- Convene a community advisory council that provides oversight to ensure coherency, relevance, and coordination of IP/IND programming initiatives
- Enhance relationships between health education and the humanities fostering relevant IP/IND undergraduate and graduate programming and research collaborations
- Incentivize cross-professional collaborative initiatives
1 Interprofessional Education Collaborative. (2016). Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: 2016 update. Washington, DC: Interprofessional Education Collaborative.