A Southeastern Massachusetts Public Higher Education Partnership

CONNECT'S MISSION: to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability
of higher education; and to advance the economic, educational and cultural life of Southeastern Massachusetts.


Human Resource directors from the five CONNECT institutions combine efforts and expertise to host a professional development series designed to enhance the leadership skills and competencies of mid-level professionals. The program curriculum focuses on topics such as communication skills, diversity awareness, conflict resolution, collective bargaining, labor relations, and performance management. A cohort of 45 participants from CONNECT institutions and other colleges attend eight, day-long sessions which rotate among the six CONNECT campuses. Both in-house expertise as well as outside consultants are on hand to provide high-quality professional development.

Activity Description

In support of its mission, CONNECT engages in the sharing of institutional resources and expertise. The Collaborative Leadership Development Program is a model example of such a collaborative effort. A discussion between statewide human resource directors revealed the common challenge of developing leadership and management skills for mid-level professionals. It was agreed that to offer high-quality, affordable, and convenient professional development it was best to share resources and expertise. Collaborative efforts led to the creation of a professional development seminar series for mid-level managers that focused on enhancing leadership skills and competencies specific to higher education. Training sessions are held once per month from October through May and the locations rotate among the five CONNECT campuses. Seminars are conducted by a combination of in-house human resource experts, in-house counsel, and outside consultants.

Objective(s) of Activity

Impact/results of the Activity

why program/activity is considered a best practice?

This program provides a model for collaboration and sharing of institutional resources and expertise to provide first-rate training on an affordable basis. Because in-house consultants offer training in conjunction with outside experts, and because the program is housed on the campuses of the CONNECT Partnership institutions, the cost of this high-quality training is kept to a minimum. Furthermore, this collaborative effort results in a highly relevant seminar series that specifically addresses the professional development needs identified by human resources directors across the state. The high level of interest generated by the first and subsequent cohorts clearly indicates long-term sustainability and potential for growth.