Managing by Network
Requirements and FAQ
Managing by Network is a live, six-month, 17-webinar course held virtually from January to June. The course focuses on 22 competencies related to partnership and community collaboration.
- Start Date: January 13 or 14, 2021
- End Date: June 9 or 10, 2021
Our teaching style encourages participants to take an active role in webinar discussions. Participants build skills and knowledge that can be applied immediately to their position responsibilities. Participants will spend 2 hours a week in a live webinar, interspersed with 4 Study Hall weeks with optional learning activities.
Managing by Network is designed for federal managers, specialists, coordinators, and front-line supervisors working in agencies responsible for natural, cultural and recreational resource management. To facilitate peer learning, this course relies on participants who have demonstrated interest and a compelling need for training in partnership and community collaboration, and are currently working with partners, permittees, and community stakeholders.
Managing by Network alumni include representatives from BLM, DOD, DON, EPA, NOAA, NPS, USACE, USBR, USGS, USDA FS, USDA NRCS, USFWS, and employees of states, counties, and nonprofits.
Cohosting agencies for the class include the BLM, NPS, USDA FS, USFWS, DOI Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR), and USACE Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise (CPCX).
We invite applications from employees in the federal workforce, including National/Headquarters; Multi-State Program Areas; State, Regional, or District Offices; and Site-Based or Field Offices. Employees with critical support roles, such as grants and agreements, contracting, public affairs, information collections, and law enforcement are eligible to apply.
The Academy also invites applications from individuals who work with at least one cohost agency of the course. Federal, state, regional authority, county, municipal, tribes, and nonprofit representatives who work with cohost agencies are invited to apply. Contractors for these agencies are also eligible to apply.
The Managing by Network course is limited to 120 participants. Selection is competitive and opens in October of each year.
1. Is this course right for me?
- Do you spend at least 25% of your time working with partners, permittees, or stakeholders?
- Does your position description include partnerships and community collaboration responsibilities?
- Do you work with at least 5 formal or informal partnerships, facilitate public meetings, or interact with advisory committees or community collaboratives?
- Do you serve in a critical support role, such as G & A, public affairs, information collections, or law enforcement associated with partnerships and stakeholder engagement?
- Are you willing to dedicate at least 2 hours a week for six months to improving your practice?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, this training is a good fit for your professional development.
2. What is the format of this course?
The Managing by Network course is a series of 17 live webinars held from January to June. Class sessions are held entirely online on a virtual learning platform; no travel is required. Each session includes:
- 2 hours of live instruction, facilitated discussion, and interactive exercises. Some sessions also include guest speakers and case study presentations.
- Optional pre-webinar assignments that take about 10-30 mins to complete.
- Access to course materials, resources and links.
Regular sessions are interspersed with Study Hall weeks. During this time, participants can enrich and apply their learning through optional activities such as networking sessions, homework, and self-study to make up missed sessions.
3. What are the expectations for participation?
- Attend 10 or more live webinars to earn a certificate of course completion. Participants will not receive a certificate by completing self-study in place of attending 10 or more live webinars.
- Complete an individual Training Needs Self-Assessment and Course Evaluation; each survey takes about 20-30 minutes. Self-Assessment results serve as a benchmark for course participants and enable us to tailor the course to meet the training needs of the incoming class.
Voluntary learning and development activities:
- Self-Study allows participants to catch up on missed sessions or take a deeper dive into course materials. Note that self-study does not take the place of the course requirement to attend 10 live webinars.
- Pre-webinar materials provide a context for webinar discussion. Completing these assignments will enrich class discussions and peer-learning.
- Homework exercises are additional opportunities to learn skills, assess gaps, and apply knowledge from the course.
- Networking sessions provide a forum for engaging with peers and instructors outside of class time and exploring topics of interest to you.
Case Study Program:
- Up to 12 participants will have the option to present a peer-to-peer Case Study in class. Case study presenters share their aspirations and lessons learned about their work in partnerships and community collaboration.
- Case Study presentations are voluntary and not required for course completion. Case Study presenters do qualify for an Honors certificate of completion.
- Presentations promote peer-learning and networking, and are posted to the Academy's case stud y catalog of more than 200 presentations.
4. When does this class meet?
Each of the 17 course sessions is offered four times as a live, 2-hour webinar. Course participants are assigned to one of the four webinar cohorts (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta) based on their day and time preference. Applicants indicate their first and second choice cohort on their MBN application.
To support interaction and peer learning, each webinar will be hosted in a virtual classroom with 25-30 participants.
We anticipate schedule conflicts and participants may use the “flex option” to attend any one of the four webinars in any given week, as best suits their schedule. The four cohort meeting times are as follows:
- Wednesday, ALPHA cohort: 11AM Eastern, 10AM Central, 9AM Mountain, 8AM Pacific, 7AM Alaska, 6AM Hawaii
- Wednesday, BETA cohort: 2PM Eastern, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific, 10AM Alaska, 9AM Hawaii
- Thursday, GAMMA cohort: 11AM Eastern, 10AM Central, 9AM Mountain, 8AM Pacific, 7AM Alaska, 6AM Hawaii
- Thursday, DELTA cohort: 2PM Eastern, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific, 10AM Alaska, 9AM Hawaii
Because the Academy observes Daylight Saving Time, class times will change accordingly in March.
5. What are the rules of engagement for this class?
- Webinars start on the hour.
- Sign in 5-10 minutes early to troubleshoot any technical difficulties.
- Sign in with your first and last name, followed by agency.
- Mute yourself when not speaking to reduce background noise.
- The chat box is a judgment free zone. Typos and misspellings are welcome.
- Eliminate distractions where possible. Close your email and turn off notifications.
- Send the webinar facilitator a private chat if you are in “listening mode” due to background noise or competing interests.
6. What if I have a schedule conflict for my cohort or miss a weekly session?
We anticipate schedule conflicts and participants may use the “flex option” to attend any one of the four cohorts in any given week, as best suits their schedule. Prior notice of schedule changes are appreciated, but not required.
If you know you will miss a session altogether, please email us beforehand. Participants can make up work by:
- Reviewing session materials at the Course Notebook and submitting a Self-Study record.
- Inviting a colleague to sit in for you and debriefing later (Guest Pass).
- Following up with a peer in the class or with the instructors to discuss materials covered.
7. Do I need to prepare before class? Is there homework?
- Pre-webinar assignments offered throughout the course include watching or listening to instructional videos and podcasts ranging from 5 to 30 minutes, short gap assessments or reflection exercises, and/or reading articles. These materials provide a context for webinar discussion. Completing these assignments will enrich facilitated discussions and peer-learning.
- Optional homework assignments are provided as additional opportunities to learn skills, assess gaps, and apply knowledge from the course. Homework includes self-assessments and workbook exercises designed to hone your skills.
- While taking this class, participants are encouraged to apply the concepts and skills featured in the course to their position responsibilities.
8. Will I receive a certificate for this training?
- Participants who attend 10 or more live Managing by Network webinars are awarded a certificate of completion as an official record of 36 hours of training in 22 partnership and community collaboration competencies defined by OPM.
- Participants who present a Case Study are awarded a certificate with honors.
- Participants who attend or complete 15 or more webinars (attend a minimum of 10 live and complete live or self-study up to 15) are awarded a certificate with honors.
- Participants will not receive a certificate by completing self-study in place of attending 10 live webinars.
- Agencies may have their own policies and procedures regarding attendance. Please review your attendance obligations with your assigned Managing by Network Training Coordinator. The acceptance of a scholarship obligates the recipient to fulfill the course requirements, on behalf of their work unit. In the event that a scholarship recipient needs to withdraw from the course, prior to completing certificate requirements, work unit reimbursement of the scholarship may apply, per agency policy.
9. Is supervisor approval required to attend this course?
Yes, as applicable. If you are required to seek supervisory approval for training, please request completion of the Supervisor Approval Form as part of your application process. (link will be active 10/1)
The Supervisor Approval Form provides us with:
- Written confirmation of approval from your Supervisor.
- Supervisor input on your training needs. Their responses, in addition to your own, inform our selection process and decisions on curriculum content for the year.
- Contact information for course follow-up with your supervisor.
- Assurance that your supervisor is aware of your time commitment throughout this 6-month course.
In completing the form, supervisors will approve or decline an applicant's participation.
Applications are considered incomplete without supervisor approval when required; this will affect your eligibility for the course.