It Takes a Village to Raise an Information Technology Project: Suggestions on Collaboration From Our 10-Community-College Consortium

Neal Grandgenett, Levi Thiele, Tom Pensabene, Brad McPeak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article describes the collaborative evolution of the Midwest Center for Information Technology (MCIT)—which is a consortium of 10 different community colleges across the four states of Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota—that was established to improve information technology (IT) education across the region. MCIT has been funded as a Regional Center by the National Science Foundation in three different grants from the Advanced Technological Education program (ATE) due to its successful collaborative model, alignment with research and best practices, focused regional interventions, and data driven decision-making. The fiscal agent for the consortium is unique. It is not one of the community colleges, but rather it is the Applied Information Management Institute (AIM), a business driven nonprofit focused on IT improvement in the midwestern region. The MCIT model, thus, builds a close partnership with local IT businesses and the IT programs in the 10 participating community colleges. This article describes the MCIT model for collaboration, the joint activities undertaken by the 10 colleges and AIM and the results to date of these shared institutional efforts. This article also discusses challenges associated with such a large-scale collaborative effort, and it provides suggestions for collaborative practice for other community colleges seeking to work together in larger consortiums.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-658
Number of pages12
JournalCommunity College Journal of Research and Practice
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 3 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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