United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona:
The Great Expectations for Children and Families program is nationally recognized for its communities of practice focused on improving the quality of early childhood education and teacher qualification and professional development.
Desired Outcomes and Project Goals:
Apply systems thinking to bring about improved outcomes for early childhood educators and their students, develop the systems thinking capacity of children and adults, and increase the number of early childhood educators with college degrees.

  • Waters Center provided an initial two-day training in systems thinking which laid the foundation of the initiative.
  • The initial training for leaders of the various communities of practice was focused on using the tools of systems thinking to help them as an organization, including: creation of a work plan, documentation of progress, making systems changes and bringing stakeholders together.
  • Practitioners from the organization are now conducting the ongoing professional development in systems thinking. They have sufficiently built capacity, such that practitioners are not fully dependent on the Waters Center.