Next Steps for the Faculty Program

The Faculty Program was launched in May of 2022 in order to form a dedicated group of volunteers for the Training Team. This program was formed to better identify volunteer positions for folks joining the team, organize work, and ensure that the team is meeting the targets set together.

The program has grown over the past year, and the team has learned from the experience. To continue the program’s growth and improvement, a closer look at our experiences helps inform how the program is iterated upon. With that in mind, a survey was conducted in February 2023 to ask existing Faculty members for insights into their experiences and perspectives.

Based on the feedback in the survey, it is suggested for the Faculty program to:

  • Improve communication and collaboration
  • Increase engagement on the Training team blog
  • Recruit and/or train more Administrators
  • Improve onboarding and processes

Improve communication

There has been a strong desire expressed for improved communication and collaboration within the Faculty. This would help the Faculty share their experiences and blockers, as well as help encourage more collaboration and social interaction. We have tried synchronous (Zoom) and asynchronous (Make/Training blog posts) formats, which both faded in engagement. I propose that the Faculty schedules monthly meetings in the public #training Slack channel, as this is a meeting format that the team is accustomed to. This would also make the Faculty’s work more visible/public.

Increase engagement on the team blog

The proposed Faculty meetings would be an appropriate time to bring posts on the Make/Training team blog to the team’s attention. During these meetings, the host should stay aware of any discussions that go on too long, and/or heated debates that start to happen, in order to guide folks to post/comment on the team blog for further discussion. The host would then post a summary of any discussion(s) that happened after the meeting on the team blog.

Train more Administrators

Although the Administrator workload has been manageable, the team should plan for more growth. In addition, the Faculty has the least amount of members focused on admin tasks. Admin tasks include:

  • Task and project tracking
  • Facilitating meetings
  • Taking notes in meetings
  • Vetting applications for tutorials, facilitators, and faculty
  • Managing the Help Scout queue

I propose that we either recruit at least 2 new Administrators to the Faculty, or identify existing Faculty members that would be interested in adding some admin tasks to their responsibilities. If you are interested in helping out, please apply to join, or if you are an existing Faculty member, please notify a Team RepTeam Rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts..

Improve onboarding and processes

The Faculty handbook has been updated to include the new onboarding process that launched in February 2023. We will also continue to build out the Training Team handbook to ensure that we document tasks for every Faculty role, so team processes are more clear.

If you are not a Faculty member, but are interested in joining, please see the Faculty Handbook for more information, and apply to join the program!

Do you have any thoughts on the proposed improvements to the Faculty program? Or perhaps you have additional ideas? Please share in the comments.