Charting a New and Improved Course

 MCAN10 Constellation Graphic FINAL-Labels Page 1

Above: The Constituent-Sea graphic shows the relationship between a developing LCAN and its constituents.

Below: The Network Navigator graphic represents the relationship between leadership team and staff activities, organizations' individual activities, and collaborative action, as they relate to the LCAN.


Lessons We Have Learned 

In February, Michigan College Access Network proudly introduced the second edition of Charting the Course: A community’s guide for increasing educational attainment through the lens of collective impact. This updated version of the publication was developed from MCAN’s experience of working to build local college access networks in partnership with more than 50 communities from throughout the state of Michigan and multiple communities from across the country. Since Charting the Course was first published in 2013, MCAN has fine-tuned its recommended LCAN development process. We are eager to share this information with our partners, funders and local networks; following are highlights of the changes. 

Revision of the 10 Steps
The second edition of Charting the Course still contains the 10-step process for building a network. However, the order, descriptions, and names for some of those steps have changed. As MCAN assessed how LCANs were implementing the steps, it became clear that there was some deviation from the recommended process. We discovered that most networks were deviating from the steps in the same way, and realized there must be something to learn from.

The 10 steps are now ordered in a way that is more representative of the network-building process. MCAN also has learned more about best practices for building networks, which caused some significant changes in how we describe each step. Once the changes were made, a better-fitting name for the step was often necessary. With that in mind, the 10 steps now better reflect the process that is described, and each step builds upon the foundation laid by previous steps.

National Examples 
Charting the Course: Second Edition is intended for a national audience. Like the first edition, much of the information draws upon the experience of building LCANs in Michigan. However, the information and resources are useful to communities throughout the country. New to this edition, the samples and templates include documents from organizations based not only in Michigan, but also other states. Our good friends at Lumina Foundation, who funded both the first and second editions, connected MCAN to many collaboratives through their Community Partnership for Attainment grant program. MCAN has been serving as a coach for nine of their 75 grantee communities, and is a technical assistance partner to the entire national cohort.

New and Improved Graphics 
The latest edition of Charting the Course contains new and improved graphics, which help to more effectively illustrate the examples and concepts that are discussed. We think readers will especially enjoy the new and improved K-12 Pipeline graphic, the phases of constituent-sea development, and the Network Navigator graphic. Additionally, the book utilizes a vibrant color scheme and clearly displays the symbols that represent the five conditions of collective impact. These reoccurring colors and symbols help guide readers through the content and make the key themes easier to identify.

We hope you enjoy the second edition of Charting the Course as much as we do. Be sure to download a free copy!


Ryan webAuthor: Ryan Fewins-Bliss
Posted: March 30, 2016

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