Why Communities of Practice (CoP)?

“Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” (Lane & Wegner, 1994). Those in a community of practice share a common concern or passion and learn how to advance that passion through regular shared interaction.  Members share a domain of interest, engage in joint activities, and have an ongoing, sustained interaction over time contributing to their shared practice. “A community of practice is a particular type of network that features peer-to-peer collaborative activities to build member skills as well as organizational and societal capabilities. They operate as ‘social learning systems’ where practitioners connect to solve problems, share ideas, set standards, build tools, and develop relationships with peers.”  (Snyder and Briggs, 2003)

NYSCAA is developing two Communities of Practice (CoPs) in 2019: 1) Data and 2) Best Practices& Evidence-Based Programming.  The purpose of these CoPs is to enhance and expand the network’s capacity.  The Data CoP will bring a greater understanding of the use and influence of data in a CAA. The Best Practices & Evidence-Based Programming CoP will review best practices and evidence-based models currently is use in CAAs and consider replicability of particular models. 

Both CoPs will identify resources, and research findings, program models, insights, etc., to build the knowledge, use and applications of data, best practices, and evidence-based programming in CAAs in NY.

What do the CoPs look like?

CoPs will take place online and will include diverse staff from CAAs in New York. Each CoP will have 8-12 participants, led by two co-chairs.

The CoPs will meet six times over the course of the year starting in October, 2019. Each CoP meeting will be 90 minutes long and take place via webinar/conference call.  It is also expected that NYSCAA will create opportunities for CoP members to meet at NYSCAA events, specifically the annual Professional Development conference.  

Who can be a CoP participant?

CoPs are open to CAA staff in NY.  The CoPs are being developed on the belief that regardless of formal role in our agencies, we have valuable knowledge to share and learning to do. The CoPs are designed to leverage connections and open conversations that might not otherwise occur. Those interested in participating will complete a short application, to be reviewed by NYSCAA’s Best Practices committee members.