Why Collaborative

We are more than communicators and consultants. We are your partners in achieving your goals. Each of our team members, to a person, is invested in your success. We see our efforts, aligned to yours, in service to a shared aspiration to build a more educated, engaged, and equal society.

Our Purpose

Promote educational equity.

Build purposeful relationships.

Create exquisite client experiences.

Develop a high-performance and purpose-driven team culture.

Our Expertise

Our knowledge and skills set us apart. For more than 20 years, we have combined a deep understanding of education content with an array of communications skills to help improve education outcomes at local, state, and national levels—from early learning to college completion. Our aim, like that of our partners, is to change policies and practices to ensure that all students have equitable access to quality learning opportunities—in and out of school—that prepare them for success in college, career, and life.

Assessment

We are contributing to the national dialogue on the power of assessment to support positive learning outcomes for all students. We help states and organizations communicate about assessments and accountability systems in ways that build understanding across an array of key stakeholders.

Learning More About State Testing: Information for Parents and Families
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Afterschool

Collaborative is a recognized national leader in working with statewide networks and intermediaries that support the growth of quality after school and summer learning programs.

We coordinate the 50 State Afterschool Network, manage learning communities among those state networks, facilitate cross-state convenings, and create products that, together, are helping to create systems to improve student learning before and after the school day.

College Access and Success

We support schools and organizations across the country that are working to create college-going cultures, increase access to college, and increase college graduation rates, especially for low-income and minority students.

We write and develop data-informed policy briefs, design and execute communications outreach and campaigns, and convene people to create strategic approaches that influence both legislation and classroom practice.

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Early Learning

High-quality early learning opportunities are essential to preparing students for success in K-12 as well as college learning.

We help influence policies and share best practices that strengthen early learning and ensure that all children have the support, resources, and experiences—including play—that they need to enter to create a foundation for learning all through their academic journey.

Higher Education

We work with two- and four-year colleges and universities, including colleges of education, to design and execute campaigns that advance brand, thought leadership, and research. By strategically combining earned media and paid media and social media strategies, we have helped universities connect groundbreaking research with those who can use it, and to improve their national profiles and US News & World Report rankings.

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Social and Emotional Learning

We see the need to convey the importance of social and emotional competencies, such as empathy and self-awareness, as well as the sensitivities of these discussions. We work to share the immediate-and long-term value of social and emotional learning (SEL) for youth, both during the school day and in after school and summer learning programs. We ground our work in multiple frameworks for SEL and evaluations of their impact.

STEM Learning

Through media, innovative competitions, engaging collateral, and coalition building, we increase awareness and support for STEM learning both in and out-of-school among educators, policymakers, and the public.

We partner with a broad array range of organizations—including science museums, educational organizations, advocacy groups, associations, and networks—to promote high-quality STEM learning opportunities that provide young people with hands-on activities and opportunities to explore, discover, and experiment. We strive to make STEM inclusive across gender and race.

Gallery of children in various educational settings
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Workforce Development

We work with state-level and national organizations, as well as industry-specific groups, to design strategies and develop products that inform the business community, parents, and students about workforce initiatives, and that leverage changes in K-12 and postsecondary education systems to improve workforce opportunities for all learners.

How We Work

Collaborative strives to ensure that every project team is high-performing. Members of high-performing teams say that their work is fun and satisfying because they are asked to contribute at their highest potential and because they learn a lot by doing so.

Collaborative has defined 10 characteristics of high-performing teams. These characteristics guide how we work with one another and how we work with our partners and clients.

1
1

People have deep respect for each other and trust in the team’s purpose.

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2

Everybody works toward the same goals.

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3
3

Team members are clear on how to work together and how to accomplish tasks.

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4
4

Everyone understands performance goals, both for teams and individuals, and they know what is expected of them.

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5

Team members cultivate a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

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6

The team engages in meaningful discussion, and everyone—even the introverts—get a chance to contribute.

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7

Disagreement is viewed as a good thing, and conflicts are managed. Criticism is constructive and is oriented toward solving problems and removing obstacles. Team members actively diffuse tension.

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8

The team makes decisions when there is natural agreement. In the cases where agreement is elusive, a decision is made by the team lead and the team respects that decision.

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9

Each team member carries his or her own weight and supports the team processes and other members.

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10

Team participation shifts, from time to time, to accommodate project and client needs. No individual is seen as more important than the team.

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