Breakthrough Series College April 2013

Session Details

The April 2013 offering of the Breakthrough Series College is now full. If you would like to be added to a wait list for this offering in case of cancellations, or to an interest list for future offerings, please email Lauren Showalter at
IHI created the Breakthrough Series — an improvement method that relies on spread and adaptation of existing knowledge to multiple settings to accomplish a common aim — to accelerate improvement worldwide through the use of Collaboratives. The Breakthrough Series College is a powerful way to help organizations like yours adapt these proven methods to spread outstanding improvements in your organization.
The three-day College Session is designed to prepare participants for Collaborative start-up within four months, and includes intensive one- to four-hour workshops on the following topics:
  • Collaboratives: How and why they work

  • Topic selection

  • Developing key technical content

  • Preparing teams to participate

  • Teaching the Model for Improvement

  • Developing and running Learning Sessions

  • Supporting teams during Action Periods

  • Spreading improvement

  • Science of improvement

The Breakthrough Series College prepares participants for two key roles: Director and Improvement Advisor. You will build on this foundation during the year through conference calls, an email listserv, and access to the College website.

Who Should Attend


Individuals and teams from organizations who intend to rapidly spread improvements through their systems using a Collaborative model in the Director or Improvement Advisor Role.


The Breakthrough Series College trains for two important team roles: Director and Improvement Advisor. You will need to choose one of these roles as some sessions are offered concurrently.


  • Director: Oversees all aspects of the Collaborative; drives the content development for all phases, including the topic content ("change package"), preparatory materials for participants ("prework"), Learning Sessions, and Action Period activities; coaches and guides topic experts; facilitates Learning Sessions and conference calls; teaches and coaches teams about process improvement (with the Improvement Advisor); regularly assesses Collaborative progress and institutes necessary changes to meet Collaborative goals.


  • Improvement Advisor: Participates with the topic experts and Collaborative Director to design the topic content (the charter and "change package") and the preparatory materials ("prework"); develops the Collaborative measurement system with the assistance of the topic experts; teaches and coaches teams on process improvement at Learning Sessions and during Action Periods; assesses progress in the Collaborative and identifies necessary changes in key technical content, measurement, and use of improvement methods.

​What You'll Learn


Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Operate a successful Collaborative improvement project
  • Teach and use the Model for Improvement, an improvement strategy used in the Breakthrough Series (BTS)