Monday, February 06 | 1:00PM–2:00PM

ELI Webinar | Lessons from the Field: Making a Culture of Inquiry Work for You

Special Guest

Rob Johnstone
Senior Research Fellow
The Research and Planning (RP) Group

In addition to leading current national research and planning efforts on Completion by Design and the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, Johnstone led the multiyear Bridging Research, Information, and Cultures (BRIC) grant that provided professional development, technical assistance, and publically available resources such as inquiry guides to the field. Through his RP Group work and as an independent consultant, Johnstone has worked closely on a variety of projects with dozens of community colleges in California and across the country. Johnstone also served as a strategic consultant in industry prior to joining the community college system and brings this unique dual perspective of working at the senior management level in both industry and higher education to his work. Johnstone holds a PhD in social psychology and the law from the University of Oregon, an MA in psychology from San Jose State University, and a BA in psychology from Stanford University.


Join Malcolm Brown, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative director, and Veronica Diaz, ELI associate director, as they moderate this webinar with Rob Johnstone from the Research and Planning Group. The RP Group works with community colleges in California and across the country to gather, analyze, explore, derive insight from, and act on a wide range of research, evidence, and analysis. While numerous groups exist in the community college landscape that crunch numbers, the RP Group is unique in that it has a 10-year history of working on projects that make data and research authentic and real for community college practitioners. This is facilitated by the fact that they themselves are primarily practitioners from the community college sector.

Most recently, they have worked on three major projects that have provided strategic thinking, technical assistance, professional development, and a unique lens into the world of community colleges:

  • The Bridging Research, Information, and Cultures (BRIC) grant worked directly with California community colleges to further develop cultures of inquiry designed for action
  • Completion by Design, the national Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation–funded initiative to design innovative pathways to completion for community college students
  • The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, designed to shine a light on community college excellence as well as identify the key features that lead colleges with higher completion rates to success