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


I am writing this note to you from Florida, where I’ve been attending the Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience. I am so inspired by the many engaged people who have been diligently working through the pandemic to support the students on their campuses.  During our session yesterday, my co-faciliator, Jean Henscheid, asked us to identify three words that described our work over the past two years.  One participant said "walking through mud" and another "dictated by circumstance" - these phrases really resonated with me. We ARE moving forward but it is slow, messy, and frequently interrupted.

What three words describe your work over the past two years? 
Share yours with us on Twitter (@WaCenterTESC) or Slack


I recognize the challenging context many of you have been facing in your campus work. A context that means you haven't had enough time to dig deep and focus on many important initiatives. We want the 2022 Washington Center Summer Institute for Improving Undergraduate Education to help you renew your focus on what matters.  To that end, I am THRILLED to announce in this newsletter the fantastic plenary speakers that will be joining us. Gianina Baker and Peter Felten are remarkable scholar-practitioners who’ve been thinking deeply and writing broadly about centering success for ALL students in higher education. I know they will provide provoking and inspiring sessions to anchor the summer institute.
In Community,

The Washington Center is seeking a program coordinator - Applications close on March 7

This position offers a great opportunity to do a deep dive into the work at colleges and universities and would be appropriate for those interested in starting a career in any aspect of higher education. To apply, visit the job posting at https://evergreen.peopleadmin.com/postings/3016

The summer institute offers thought-provoking plenary sessions by well-known experts 

23rd Annual National Summer Institute for
Improving Undergraduate Education

July 11-14, 2022
The Evergreen State College | 
Olympia, WA

Gianina Baker, PhD.

Acting Director at the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA)
Dr. Baker’s plenary, Centering Healing for Our Students, will pull from her wealth of experience providing leadership and research on assessment of student learning at colleges and universities. Her research interests include student learning outcomes assessment at Minority Serving Institutions, access and equity issues for underrepresented administrators and students, assessment in athletics, and higher education policy. [Read more]

Peter Felten, PhD.

Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University 
Dr. Felten’s plenary, Relationship-Rich Education: Making College Equitable, Flexible, and Humane, draws from a study of 400 interviews with students, faculty, and staff across U.S. higher education.  He works with colleagues on institution-wide teaching and learning initiatives, and on the scholarship of teaching and learning. In his teaching, he aims to help students think critically and write clearly about the connections between the lives of individual people and larger themes in history. [Read more]

Bring a team to build an action plan for a project or initiative that is important to your campus.

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

$1,500 per team member (Applications due June 1, 2022). Review the fee structure for additional details

Health and Safety

Your health and safety is a crucial consideration in our planning. [Read our health & safety statement
Submit a team application now!

Join us for the March virtual conversation:  Thinking strategically about communicating your vision

The Washington Center Collaborative hosts monthly mini-workshops led by our dynamic and talented Resource Faculty. These free, virtual workshops offer a taste of what you can expect to experience at the summer institute.  

Engaging the campus community:
Thinking strategically about communicating your vision

Friday, March 4, 2022 | 10-11:15 am (Pacific Time)
Facilitated by Wendi Dew (Valencia College) and Tate Hurvitz (Grossmont College)
[Register for Zoom Link]

Change is hard, even in the best circumstances.  So how can we avoid making important changes even harder - and maybe even help move them forward - by communicating them effectively?  Who should do the telling?  With whom should we communicate, and when?  How do we tell?  What do we include (and why)?  Come learn some tips and spend some time unpacking the possibilities for communicating a change project at your own institutions.
RSVP today!

Community highlights

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is seeking applicants for a Professor & Department Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is hiring a Professor and Department Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies. This new department is home to University's nationally recognized First-Year Learning Communities Program, as well as interdisciplinary degrees and minor programs. Please visit the job posting for application details

Join the National Learning Community Association for a webinar exploring strategies to build community in the classroom

Final call for proposals: Consortium for Illinois Learning Communities Best Practices Symposium 

Deadline: Friday, February 25, 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. 

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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