Managing by Network

Requirements and FAQ

 

Managing by Network is a live, six-month, 18-webinar course held virtually from January to June. The course focuses on 22 competencies related to partnership and community collaboration.  
MbN Class of 2025
  • Start Date: January 29 & 30, 2025 (Optional Orientation on Jan 15 & 16)
  • End Date: June 11 & 12, 2025

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 Self-Study weeks with optional learning activities. There is also an optional Orientation/Tech Test.

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). 

The Managing by Network course is limited to 120 participants. Selection is competitive and opens in the fall each year. 

Course eligibility:

We invite applications from members of agencies, organizations, Tribes and Indigenous Communities who are working cooperatively in natural, cultural, and recreational resource management at the national, regional, state or local level.  

To facilitate peer learning, this course relies on participants who have demonstrated interest and a compelling need for training, and who have position responsibilities that include multi-agency collaboration, partnerships, community collaboration, and/or Tribal consultation. Employees with critical support roles, such as grants and agreements, contracting, public affairs, information collections, and law enforcement are eligible to apply. Contractors for these agencies or organizations are also eligible to apply.

Managing by Network alumni include representatives from BLM, BOEM, DOI, DHS, DOD, EPA, HHS, FAA, NOAA, NPS, USACE, USBR, USGS, USDA FS, USDA NRCS, USFWS, as well as Native Nations, states, counties, nonprofits, and educational organizations.

 

FAQ

  • 1. Is this course right for me?

    • Do you spend at least 25% of your time working with partners, Native nations and/or community members?
    • Does your position description include multi-agency collaboration, partnerships, community collaboration, and/or Tribal consultation?
    • 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 public 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. 

    Is this course right for you?

    1. Do you spend at least 25% of your time working with partners, permittees, or stakeholders?
    2. Does your position description include partnerships and community collaboration responsibilities?
    3. Do you work with at least 5 formal or informal partnerships, or facilitate public meetings, advisory committees, or community collaboratives?
    4. 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?
    5. 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. Read more about the application process, course requirements, and logistics of this online course below.

     

  • 2. What is the format of this course?

    The Managing by Network course is a series of 18 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 homework to complete before and after webinars. Assignments include videos, reading, and worksheets varying from 10-30 minutes.
    • Access to course materials, resources and links.

    Regular sessions are interspersed with Self-Study 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. There is also an optional Orientation / Tech Test.

  • 3. What are the expectations for participation?

    Course requirements:

    • Attend 10 or more live webinars to earn a Certificate of Completion. Participants will not receive a certificate by watching recordings 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 provides one pathway to enrich learning and support application. This work is NOT required and may be completed at any time during the course. Activities include:

    • Optional assignments that may be completed before or after class:
      • Pre-webinar assignments 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.
    • Watching webinar recordings to make up missed sessions or dive deeper into course materials.

    Case Study Program:

    • 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. 12 case study spots are available each year.
    • 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 18 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.

    View the 2024 Course Schedule

  • 5. What are the rules of engagement for this class?

    • We'll do our best to start and end on time.
    • Mute yourself when not speaking to reduce background noise.
    • Video is encouraged during interactions, but not required.
    • The chat box is a judgment free zone.
    • You can always pass on a question.
    • Be respectful and hold confidentiality.
    • Eliminate distractions where possible. 
    • Let facilitator know about your participation needs.

     

  • 6. What if I have a schedule conflict?

    Participants should plan to attend live classes to get the most out of this training experience.

    • Each of the 18 Managing by Network sessions is offered as a live, 2-hour webinar, at four different times. Participants may switch from their regular group to another group as needed, to accommodate occasional schedule conflicts.

    • In the event a participant must miss class, they may watch a session recording. Make-up work for missed sessions may be submited for credit towards and Honors Certificate of Completion.

    • The review of live webinar recordings is exclusive to Managing by Network registered course participants, instructional team members, and Federal Coordinators. Passwords for these webinars may not be shared.

  • 7. Is there homework?

    Assignments are provided to enhance learning and are NOT required.

    • Before a session, videos, self-assessments, and readings provide a conext for webinar discussion. Complete these pre-webinar assignments before class to enrich class discussions and peer-learning.
    • After a session, apply concepts and practices featured in class. Complete these homework assignments any time to explore ideas further and connect learning to current 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 38 hours of training in 22 partnership and community collaboration competencies defined by OPM.
    • Participants who present a Case Study are awarded an Honors Certificate of Completion.
    • Participants who attend 15 or more webinars are awarded an Honors Certificate of Completion. Participants may earn an Honors Certificate by submitting make-up work for missed sessions, after the minimum attendance requirement is met. 
    • Participants will not receive a Certificate of Completion by watching recordings 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 Federal Coordinator. Note: 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. 

    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. 

  • 10. May I receive continuing education credits for this course?

    Participants may receive 3 Continuing Education Units for Managing by Network.  A learner may use their record of learning to support their earning CEUs (1 CEU per 10 hours of instruction).

    Participants may receive 2 undergraduate college credits for Managing by Network, based on a rate of 15 instructional hours per credit. Undergraduate credits are certified by Shepherd University, WV.

    The USFWS National Conservation Training Center manages requests for any individual who wishes to receive these credits. Requests may be made up to 2 years from the completion of the course.

  • 11: What is the tuition cost for this course?

    Tuition for 2025 is $2,100. Scholarships are available. Learn more about tuition.

    Contact us for more information.

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