ACMP ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM: How ACMP New England's Partnership with Worcester Polytechnic Institute Ignited the Next Big Change

In 1620, the wind of change guided the sails of the Mayflower from England, across the Atlantic Ocean, and finally to Cape Cod, a city in the region that would later be named New England. From that time until now, New England has literally been the harbor of change, where change has always been welcome. Not only has New England been the landing place for change and innovation, it has also on its own delivered so many great innovations and change-milestones, whose effects have resonated across the entire United States and ultimately throughout the world. The founding of the first college in the United States, the influence of Massachusetts and Rhode Island on the US independence, the textile industry boom, the invention of basketball, the drilling of Boston’s subway, to name a few, are examples that go on to prove that change, indeed is woven into the fiber of New England.

ACMP New England ventured into the uncharted waters of ACMP Academic Engagement in the fall of 2019 and has since made great strides in introducing the concept of change management to the academic community. This initiative was piloted by partnering with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to set up one of the first-ever ACMP Campus chapters in the United States. The leadership of ACMP New England identified the opportunity to provide mentorship and learning opportunities to students with an interest in change management. The academic engagement program has so far provided WPI students with annual panel sessions on careers in change management, internship opportunities, and several seminars that are geared towards the professional development of the student members.

The Foisie Business School (FBS) of Worcester Polytechnic Institute has been the competent tag team partner who has helped in bringing this program to fruition. The leadership of FBS has thrown its support behind the formation and the execution of this program, right off the bat. Their effort is a worthy example to all other academic institutions that seek to partake in the ACMP Academic Engagement Program. Being the pacesetters in this program, WPI is currently represented on the ACMP New England Board by two people. This board representation has served as a feedback loop, for both WPI, and for ACMP New England. WPI’s vision for ACMP in the next few years is to help reproduce more campus chapters, mentor these new chapters, and ultimately contribute to the establishment of an ACMP Academic Engagement Curriculum.

The shift towards academic engagement is in itself a change-milestone that should be embraced by ACMP chapters as well as higher education institutions across the country. For ACMP chapters, it serves as an opportunity for growth, and also a talent pipeline for affiliated organizations. These benefits are symmetrical for the higher education institutions, in that, their students will benefit from great professional development opportunities, and also career pipelines for both internship and full-time job placement.

Authored by: Stephen Frimpong-Manso, ACMP NE Board Member (Academic Engagement Committee) & Graduate Student, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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  1. Bill Murphy

    Mar. 6, 2021

    Nickels stated! This represents an early model of how pairing an ACMP chapter with local institutions of higher learning can be a clear win-win activity.


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