We have reached the end of an unprecedented term and many of us are recognizing the toll continuously changing and uncertain conditions have taken on ourselves, our colleagues, our students, and our communities - not to mention the weariness from seemingly endless zoom meetings.  At the Washington Center, we have been thinking deeply about how we can support you in our collective work of educating and supporting students.  This newsletter marks the launch of a new initiative we've named the Washington Center Collaborative.  The Collaborative adds a new offering to the high-touch, intensive summer institute you know us for - opportunities to collaborate and have conversations about what matters with colleagues.  It is our hope that you will join us as a collaboration partner to (re)connect with one another and think collectively about where we go from here.
In Community,
Julia Metzker, Director
Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education
An early snow on the Evergreen campus in 2017

Monthly Conversation Series

Each month, the Washington Center Collaborative host monthly conversations that provide a space for you to engage with fellow higher education scholars, practitioners and administrators on  topics relevant to our collective work supporting student success. 
Join the Washington Center Collaborative slack to continue the conversation, share resources, and connect with colleagues.

Opportunities that Trauma Affords: Trauma-Impacted People as Assets in Communities

Tara Hardy, Writing and Trauma faculty at Evergreen State College
Explore the uses and benefits of trauma-impact showing up in our work with students. We will collectively investigate opportunities that arise from the impact of trauma being expected and accounted for in our learning communities. 
DATE: Tuesday, January 26
TIME: 11:00 pm PST | 12:00 pm MST | 1:00 pm CST | 2:00 pm EST (1.5 hour session) 
LOCATION: RSVP for Zoom link

Post Covid19: What to do when the plan keeps changing?

Jeannette Smith, Interim Associate Dean of Student Affairs & Engagement
Julia Metzker, Director of the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education, Evergreen State College

Nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, what have we learned? How do we take this opportunity to do our work differently as we plan for fall 2021? How do we sustain ourselves while also providing better experiences for students?
DATE: Friday, February 26
TIME: 11:00 pm PST | 12:00 pm MST | 1:00 pm CST | 2:00 pm EST (1.5 hour session)
LOCATION: RSVP for Zoom link 

A New Learning Community Program Directory

Over the last 35 years, learning communities have been adopted by campuses across the country as a high-impact practice that supports student success. Jean Henscheid argued in her 2015 article, It Is Time to Count Learning Communities, that it was time to determine the scope and range of learning community programs in place at America's colleges and universities. 
This Learning Communities Collaborative -- a cohort of practitioners, researchers, and organizations -- is taking up the call to count by creating a national resource directory for living-learning community, residential colleges, coordinated studies programs, linked-course learning communities and others. As this directory is established, institutions will be able to search programs in both their state and region in an effort to build community across institutions, learn from one another, and explore the possibility of sharing resources. 
The Learning Communities Collaborative seeks your help in creating a comprehensive national directory of learning communities in higher education. Use the link below to add program details for each distinct program on your campus to this growing directory. Help realize this ambitious effort by sharing this request with your learning community colleagues. 

Submit directory information

2018 Faculty member, Carrie Pucko, leads a lesson on conifer identification in the Evergreen woods 

Call for Authors:
Learning Community Research and Practice

Explore articles addressing the unique elements and experiences in residential learning community programscurrated by guest editors Mimi Benjamin, Jody Jessup-Anger, Shannon Lundeen, and Cara Lucia in the most recent edition of the journal.

Spring 2021 Special Issue | Learning Communities: Remote Learning & Teaching

This special issue will explore the ways in which learning community programs adapted to the challenges of educating students during a pandemic that required social isolation.  Authors are encouraged to submit manuscripts that share lessons learned and describe the creative responses they used to sustain learning community programs in remote learning environments. 

Submissions are accepted throughout the year with a final deadline of Jan 15, 2021 for the Spring 2021 Special Issue. [Learn more]

OUR GUIDING PURPOSE

We are for 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. As a high impact strategy, learning communities offer a powerful learning environment for students at key points in their educational pathways, and implementing successful learning community programs in an intentional way helps to build institutional capacity for transformation.
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