Dipping Your Toes in the Water: A Low-stakes, Experiential Strategy to Recruit and Engage Faculty in Interprofessional Education
With the substantial growth of Interprofessional Education (IPE), there is increasing demand for engaged, trained faculty to support ongoing IPE innovation, expansion and sustainability. While there is growing literature regarding IPE faculty development, limited literature exists regarding effective, best-practice strategies to recruit and engage new IPE faculty.
A “dip your toes in the water” faculty recruitment and engagement strategy was developed using personalized, collegial outreach and invitation to an experiential, exposure level “faculty observer” IPE experience. This strategy focused on “exposure before commitment.”
Faculty were invited to be “faculty observers'' for an existing IPE program. "Faculty observer" roles were clearly delineated with an anticipated online, total time commitment of 6-7 hours over eleven weeks. Engagement included review of program content, attending two experiential sessions observing IPE faculty teaching, pre and post faculty huddles focused on “observing faculty” perspectives, and opportunities to review and provide written feedback to student teams. “Faculty observers” were paired with core IPE faculty who served as mentors and were available throughout the program.
A cohort of 15 diverse faculty with no or limited IPE teaching or training experience was successfully recruited to an experiential, exposure level “faculty observer” IPE experience. “Observing faculty” completed pre and post feedback surveys. Post-surveys after completion of the program, indicated that 85% of participating faculty were willing to serve as future IPE faculty and expressed interest in specific IPE areas. All faculty reported they would recommend this low-stakes, experiential format to increase faculty IPE involvement, and identified that the most rewarding part of being a “faculty observer” was learning more about IPE teaching at our university. Additional specific barriers and supports regarding IPE faculty engagement are being further analyzed.
A personalized, low-stakes outreach strategy was effective in recruitment of new faculty using exposure to IPE teaching and facilitation through observing an existing experienced, high-functioning and collaborative IPE faculty team. This approach provided a real-life experience which addressed known barriers to faculty recruitment and engagement including “not knowing about” and “feeling unprepared” to engage in IPE.
A highly applicable and adaptable recruitment strategy utilizing authentic, experiential faculty exposure to IPE successfully engaged new IPE faculty across diverse academic programs and appointment levels, and increased faculty readiness to consider further IPE engagement.