a space to engage with colleagues in conversations that matter
a space to engage with colleagues in conversations that matter

Our Guiding Purpose

We are guided by the academic success of all students. Ultimately, the measures of our success are improvements in students’ persistence, achievement, and graduation rates—particularly students who are the first in their families to go to college and those from groups historically under‐served in higher education. 

A Note from the Director


To our community,

Last week I attended the POD Network conference, which was a timely reminder just how precious it is to belong to a networked community of individuals committed to student equity and success. In her opening address Francine Glazer welcomed attendees with an important statement, “However you show up, we are all the richer for your presence here.” This statement is true for all of us and the work we do on our campuses.  We all come to this work informed by our stories, our roles, and our unique perspectives and circumstances. So, I’d like to start this edition of the newsletter by thanking each and every one of you for the value you bring to your work everyday.  What you do matters.

Looking forward towards summer, I am thrilled to announce two pre-institute workshops that will kick-off the summer institute on July 11. These pre-institute workshops are available to all registered team members and provide a wonderful opportunity to take a deep dive into a topic with resource faculty and colleagues before the institute begins.  

Pre-institute workshops

I’ll continue to use this space in our monthly newsletter to share tidbits about the National Summer Institute for Improving Undergraduate Education. We are proud of the institute and the change-work of the teams that attend.  That’s why we are SO VERY ENTHUSIASTIC about convening the institute in-person this summer. I hope you’ll send a team - or encourage colleagues to consider the institute. Yet, I know that not everyone will be able to join us, which is why we are also offering events and resources in the community highlights section of this newsletter and free mini-workshops by resource faculty

In this edition of the newsletter we highlight the Enduring Legacies Native Case Studies Project in honor of Native American Heritage Month. Additionally, you’ll find announcements for convenings from our community partners and a link to the final issue of Learning Community Research and Practice.

As we head into a season of celebrations and cooler weather, I wish you all the opportunity to enjoy loved ones and the possiblity for a restorative moment for yourself.
Share your stories with us on Twitter (@WaCenterTESC) or the Washington Center Slack Space.

Commit to bringing a team by January 31 to lock in the early-bird registration rate. 

23rd Annual National Summer Institute for
Improving Undergraduate Education

July 11-14, 2022
The Evergreen State College | 
Olympia, WA
Submit a team application now!
After a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus, we are thrilled to invite campus teams to join us on the Evergreen State College's beautiful campus for the Washington Center's 23rd annual National Summer Institute for Improving Undergraduate Education

Application & Fees

$1,400 per team member (Applications received before February 1, 2022). Review the fee structure for additional details

Health and Safety

Your ability to lead is critical to your project. That’s why we’ve taken health and safety as a crucial consideration in our planning. [Read our health & safety statement

As we begin to emerge from these tumultuous times, we must ask ourselves, where do we go from here?

The Washington Center Collaborative hosts monthly mini-workshops led by the dynamic and talented Resource Faculty. These free, virtual workshops offer a taste of what you can expect to experience at the summer institute.  
Where do we go from here, sacred ground or battleground?
Thursday, December 9, 2021 | 10-11:15 am (Pacific Time)
Facilitated by Jen Leptien (Director of Learning Communities, Iowa State University), Larry Roper (Professor, School of Language, Culture, and Society - Oregon State University), and Sonja Wiedenhaupt (Member of the Faculty – The Evergreen State College)

Over the past year, the deep wounds in our nation, local communities, and campus environments have been revealed in astounding ways. Our campuses have experienced conflict, controversy, and activism. Our students, faculty, and staff bring with them to campus personal lived experiences, emotions, attitudes, and behaviors that reflect the impact of the world and our social realities. As we begin to emerge from these tumultuous times, we must ask ourselves, where do we go from here? Do we continue on the path of conflict and confrontation or do we elevate our commitment to health and wholeness and honor the sacredness of our human communities? Our time together will look at the tensions we face and issues to consider as we move towards creating healing as restorative spaces.
RSVP today!
There is still time to RSVP for the November workshopLearning to Think Like a Community Organizer in Order to Advocate for Student Success: Collaboration is Key, facilitated by Emily Lardner (Highline College) and Rachel Singer (Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education).

Honor Native American Heritage by integrating Native Case Studies into your curriculum

Written by Barbara Smith, Senior Scholar and co-director Native Cases Initiative and Enduring Legacies Reservation-Based Project
In her 2014 article, "All Indians are dead? At least that’s what most schools teach children", Alysa Landry points to recent research findings by Sara Shear that “87 percent of references to American Indians in all 50 states’ academic standards portray them in a pre-1900 context.”
The Enduring Legacies Native Case Studies Project offers interdisciplinary curriculum about the lived experiences and real-world issues of contemporary Indigenous peoples. The collection contains over 130 case studies on a rich diversity of topics, from arts to activism, environmental studies to human services, entrepreneurship to government relations—and many more. The cases are readable narratives that involve controversy, unresolved issues, and puzzling situations that can trigger curiosity, debate, and further research and discussion.  Each case contains a case study and discussion prompts to engage students in developing problem-solving skills as they work through the case.  Cases also align with the storytelling traditions in many communities, which often promotes intergenerational learning
Funded by the Lumina Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Science Foundation, and many tribes-- especially the Nisqually Tribe and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Enduring Legacies: Native Case Studies project offers ways to engage your students and expand your curriculum.

Explore the final issue of the
Learning Community Research and Practice

The Fall 2021 Special Issue of the Learning Community Research and Practice journal explores ways in which learning community programs adapted to the challenges of educating students during a pandemic that required social isolation. [Explore the final issue of the journal.]
For the past nine years, the Washington Center has been proud to host Learning Community Research and Practice. As the journal retires, we invite readers to explore current and past issues of the journal in our new journal database.    

Community highlights

A new book from Joye Hardiman, former director and long-time resource faculty

Many of you know Dr. W. Joye Hardiman as a long-time resource faculty at the Washington Center. After serving as Director from 2017-2019, Joye launched Ancestral Art Works – a creative production company that uses Ancestral Wisdoms to solve Contemporary Problems.  She translated her lifetime of research and celebration of ancient ancestral and indigenous knowledge into a new book, The Ra-Surrection of Truth From The Chains of Falsehood
Joye has a special flare for making the essence of the story simple and cheerfully visual to all ages. I hope the messages that are carefully crafted in this story will inspire readers to collectively remove falsehoods while choosing and maintaining truth.
Dr. Marcia Tate-Arunga

Call for Proposals: Consortium for Illinois Learning Communities Best Practices Symposium 

April 29, 2022
Proposals are currently being accepted for the 2022 Best Practices Symposium, "Creating Inclusive Communities: Promoting Equity Through Learning Communities." The Consortium for Illinois Learning Communities (CILC) invites faculty, staff, and administrators involved with or interested in establishing learning communities (LCs) at two– and four-year colleges/universities from across the country to submit proposals for sessions focusing on innovative course offerings, programs, pedagogies, and assessment efforts. Explore the CILC website for more details on submitting a proposal. 

8th Annual Residential College Symposium

November 10-12, 2022 
The Residential College Symposium is the annual meeting of the Residential College Society whose mission is to transform higher education by providing a learning network for faculty and student affairs educators to share knowledge, build community, and advance scholarship about the residential college experience. The 8th Annual Residential College Symposium is fully virtual and is co-hosted and organized by Elon University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Please visit the symposium website for more details. 

About the Collaborative

In 2020, the Washington Center launched the Washington Center Collaborative as a place where higher education scholars, practitioners, and administrators convene to learn with supportive colleagues. The Collaborative consists of monthly convenings, a newsletter, and a slack space
We encourage you to join the Washington Center Collaborative Slack for future workshop announcements and to connect with colleagues. 
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