frontier set december 2018 newsletter

In This Issue:

  • Letter from the Editors
  • Reminders & News

Letter from the Editors

As we race toward the end of 2018, we wanted to offer up a few nuggets of our year in review.  We want you to know we’ve noticed all that you’re doing! 

In the calendar year 2018, Frontier Set members have had access to:

  • 1 major in-person event (annual convening),
  • 17 opportunities to attend virtual events (webinars or table talks),
  • 14 virtual meetings of working groups,
  • and have participated in 6 events sponsored by the Connection Fund.

 This document lists out the year’s activities, along with links to recordings and notes that are posted on the Platform.

Of Webinars in 2018,  Supporting Digital Learning (May) had the highest attendance (81), followed by Producing a Communications Map (June – 57 attended) and Understanding KPI Reports (September/October – separate versions for 2-year and 4-year institutions – 56 combined attendance)

Of Table Talks in 2018, Online Teaching Strategies (October – 24) had the highest attendance, with Preparing Faculty to Teach Online following close behind (August – 20)

Of Virtual Working Groups, Producing a Communications Map 2018 attracted the highest number of participants (20) and the Predictive Analytics (Tech Working Group Series) had 13 (notes not shared publicly).

$63,725 was distributed in Connection Fund activity.  

225 attended the Frontier Set Annual Convening in March.  Identification and engagement with the Frontier Set increased as a result of the annual convening, with:

  • 90% of respondents more committed to working together,
  • 70% more committed to student success, and
  • 95% agreeing that Frontier Set sites have much to learn from each other.
  • Among participants, the average number of new connections made (at the Annual Convening) was 7, and people reported leaving with an average of 3 new tools.  The most new connections were reported by Jackson State, with 19 each; the most new tools were reported by Delaware State, at 6 each.

The Advisory Group (selected site representatives, speaking on behalf of their site and other sites in their segment) met in March, April, May, July, September and October, providing input on the design of key Frontier Set activities and needs.

Annual Learning Logs provided a wealth of information and feedback.  Among the striking observations:

  • 93% of site respondents indicated the most significant and driving value of the Frontier Set for sites is the facilitation of peer networks.
  • 62% of respondents indicated that content-driven network engagement is what will bring value to the FS.
  • Institutional research is by far the most highly valued domain at this time, with over half (55%) requesting more learnings in this area.


Resources related to Frontier Set activity are compiled in the Platform.  Click here for a listing of 2018 activities (through VentureWell), with links to related resources.

Please accept our gratitude and respect for the significant work you are doing, and your generosity in sharing it with Frontier Set colleagues (and beyond).  As we approach the shortest day of the year and all of the various seasonal celebrations, let’s remember that we are, indeed, turning toward the light. We send our best to you and yours for the end of the semester, and for a well-deserved holiday break.

Victoria, Gila, Lisa, and KD

Reminders & News

New Quarterly Reflections/Dashboard:  As part the webinar on 11/1/18, Intermediaries described a new dashboard tool for sites, the reflective portion of which will replace Learning Logs. All sites should have received their dashboard templates, and submission of this new dashboard tool by sites is due 12/18/18.  In this Platform post, you will find the recording of the webinar,  and the slide deck and tools shared. The dashboards are discussed toward the end of the webinar, following discussion of the State of the Frontier Set report.

The 11/16/18 BMGF Webinar on Frontier Set site visits and the use of the Institutional Transformation Assessment Tool gave great background information on recent revisions to the ITA, and how the tool will be used, moving forward.  The webinar recording and slide deck can be found here on the Platform.  

Working Together for Equitable Student Outcomes: The State of the Frontier Set report was released at the end of October (see here for the website, where you can find the report itself, and the video; the ToolKit is available on the Platform).  Did you see Campus Technology’s ‘Frontier Set’ Schools Share 5 Secrets of Student Success? See here.  Please post to the Frontier Set Platform any opportunities you have had to share the report and how it was received.

Frontier Set Annual Convening 2019: Leveraging Connection  Planning is well underway for the Leveraging Connection convening, to be held March 3-5, 2019 at the J.W. Marriott Houston. The convening is designed for the “transformation team”  at your institution or system, including up to five attendees. These changemakers are intimately familiar with your student success priorities, eager to collaborate within the network to plan for what’s next, and will take learnings from the convening back to advance change efforts for all. Still have questions about who should attend? Check with your team lead and your Intermediary.   

VentureWell is delighted to announce that Jerry Weissberg is joining the Frontier Set team as Program Lead.  Jerry comes to VentureWell with over 20 years of experience in education, training and publishing. In addition to start-up experience, Jerry also has held senior program management roles in a variety of sectors.

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