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

A note from the director

We’ve been experiencing a global pandemic for a year now. What a year it has been! Filled with uncertainty and sadness, but also tremendous growth and resilience. We, at the Washington Center, have been thinking of all of you. We continue to hope that you, your families, and your friends remain safe. We also hope you’ve managed to find moments to reflect on what you’ve learned this past year and how that learning will contribute to a more bright and equitable future for our students.  To that end, we are mixing things up a bit for  the final Collaborative Conversation of the academic year. Instead of a conversation, we'll take an hour to move through a guided reflection to help us identify and name the learnings we want to take forward with us - and those we want to let go of with intent.

It's almost a year since we made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the 2020 Summer Institute. At that time, we had high hopes we’d be able to welcome many of you onto the Evergreen campus this coming summer. We REALLY wanted to beable to connect in person to learn about the amazing work you are doing on your campuses OR share a meal in the Longhouse OR take an afternoon walk in the Evergreen woods. Unfortunately, summer is fast approaching and we are not confident that we can offer the summer institute to our standards.  So, we are putting the summer institute on hiatus for one more year.  

While we regret not being able to gather this summer, we will take advantage of this time to build a new vision for the summer institute and help our campus return to face-to-face instruction.  So make plans now to join us in Summer 2022! 
In Community,
Julia Metzker, Director
Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education

How is equity being produced at your campus or institution? We invite our readers to consider submitting short stories of success or challenge to be featured in our monthly newsletter.  If you have an idea, send an email to the Washington Center.
Students walk across the Evergreen campus by flowers in the spring.
The Evergreen State College Campus in Spring

Book Announcement & Webinar

We are thrilled to announce that the Washington Center’s director has co-authored a book!  Join Julia Metzker and her fellow authors for a webinar where they will discuss their book, Learning that Matters: A Field Guide to Course Design for Transformative Education
DATE: Wednesday, March 24
TIME: 9:00 am PDT | 10:00 am MDT | 11:00 am CDT | 12:00 pm EDT
LOCATION: Register in advance for this event
The Zoom webinar is co-hosted by Myers Education Press and Stylus Publishing  
Register Here!

Monthly Conversation Series

Each month during the academic year, the Washington Center Collaborative hosts free monthly conversations where higher education scholars, practitioners and administrators convene to discuss topics relevant to our collective work supporting student success. 
There is NO COST to join the conversation series.

Post-COVID: What will we take forward?

Julia Metzker, Director of the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education Evergreen State College

This last year has been like none other. Many of us have changed the way we teach and work drastically. We are moving into a season of anniversaries, which include loss and change. For the final conversation of the year, Julia Metzker will guide you through a structured reflection  designed to help  articulate the learning and growth we’ve collectively experienced over the past year. And to make commitments to carry forward new approaches and, say goodbye to parts of the last year we won't miss.

DATE: Friday, April 23
TIME: 11:00 am PDT
LOCATIONRegister for Zoom link
Join the Washington Center Collaborative Slack to continue the conversation, share resources, and connect with colleagues.
Register Now!

Events & Updates

Consortium for Illinois Learning Communities

Virtual Best Practices Symposium

Friday, April 30, 2021
Registration is now open!  The symposium, co-sponsored by the College of DuPage, offers sessions that explore the theme "Creating Communities During COVID: What We’ve Learned and What We Can Take Back to the Classroom."  
Registration is free! To register or learn more about the symposium, visit https://www.consortillc.org/symposium/
Register Now!

Call for Proposals: National Learning Communities Conference 

Due Friday, April 16, 2021
The NLCC 2021 planning committee welcomes proposals from educators, researchers, administrators, and practitioners engaged in creating, implementing, assessing, and sustaining high quality learning communities.  

For the purposes of this conference, we use the definition of learning communities developed by the Learning Communities Association
Learn More!

Call for Authors: Learning Community Research and Practice

Explore articles addressing the need for us, in our practices, to remain steadfast in our view that individual students are empowered through their social activity in the most recent edition of the journal.

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

The Washington Center is seeking reflections from learning community practitioners about their experiences teaching or leading a learning community during a global pandemic. What have you learned that you will carry forward? How have trauma-informed teaching strategies impacted your practice? What barriers have been lowered as a result of distance learning, and what strategies have you employed to tackle challenges?
As members of the LC community, we thrive best when we can connect theory to practice in meaningful ways, while simultaneously hearing a variety of perspectives and strategies. The Learning Community Research and Practice Journal offers a platform for documenting and sharing your experience with a community eager to learn and grow.
The Fall 2021 Special Issue of the journal will focus exclusively on ways in which learning community programs adapted to the challenges of educating and supporting students during a pandemic that required social isolation. The deadline for the special issue has been extended to July 15, 2021. 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 still being accepted for the Spring 2021 Special Issue. [Learn more]


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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