The Role of the Passport State Facilitator

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Interstate Passport Briefing
This is one of 8 articles in the November 2019 newsletter.

Dr. Richard Dubanoski is the Passport State Facilitator for Hawai’i, and has been since the inception of Interstate Passport. Dean Emeritus of the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and a former professor of psychology, he received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Dubanoski has directed Hawai’i’s participation in the project as one of the original seven states that developed the processes and guidelines—including the Passport Learning Outcomes (PLOs)—for operation of the Interstate Passport Network (Network). Dubanoski has worked with faculty and administrators at the three universities and seven community colleges that make up the University of Hawai’i System to ensure that campus learning outcomes are aligned with the PLOs, and that institutions’ Passport Blocks encompass all of the PLOs in the nine knowledge and skill areas. In addition, Dubanoski has overseen development of the data collection process for submitting Passport data to the National Student Clearinghouse, aligning this process with the data collection system utilized in the Hawaii System. Currently two Hawai’i institutions are members of the Network: Leeward Community College and University of Hawai’i West Oahu. The other eight institutions have developed their Passport Blocks are awaiting approval from the appropriate campus authority. All 10 System institutions are expected to be enrolled members of the Network by the end of the fall semester.

As the longest-serving PSF in the Network, Dubanoski is well qualified to identify the essential responsibilities and champion the critical role of the Passport State Facilitator.

The role of the PSF—one representing each participating Network state—plays a key role in the program. The PSF serves as the local champion of the Interstate Passport program, oversees all intrastate activities involving stakeholders at participating institutions and other interested institutions, and coordinates the involvement of representatives from the partner institutions in the program’s intrastate activities. As the state’s primary representative in the Interstate Passport Network, the PSF represents the perspective of constituents in planning, implementing, and evaluating the program’s interstate activities and serves as an official representative on the Passport Review Board.  

A critical responsibility of the PSF is to ensure that campuses are fully aware of what Interstate Passport is all about. It is centered on students and is faculty driven. The program does not dictate what faculty and other campus representatives are to do, but rather provides the framework for identifying institution learning outcomes, ensuring their quality, and aligning them with the PLOs. By streamlining the transfer process, the Interstate Passport program makes it easier for students to transfer to and from the institution with lower-division general education learning achieved and credited. This reduces time spent on course-by-course articulation, and frees up time for counselors and advisers to help students focus on degree programs and career paths.

It is worth noting that acceptance of the program at any institution depends on where the PSF is perceived as coming from. Whatever position the PSF may have in the state’s higher education environment, he or she should be conscious of the campus culture at all member and prospective institutions.

Passport State Facilitators make sure that the appropriate personnel and stakeholders at each institution are carrying out their responsibilities for implementation—faculty, registrars, academic advisors, and marketing and communications representatives. PSFs serve as the local expert on the program and communicate regularly and frequently about issues to resolve, deadlines, next steps, and milestones achieved. In addition, as the state representative to the Network, PSFs bring a unique perspective to Board discussions and deliberations and, as such, are integral to determining the policies and direction of the program.

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