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

“We have a sacred duty to restore that which is in ruin and make it more beautiful than before”
~Joye Hardiman, 2021 Curriculum Planning Retreat
To our community,
It is with great JOY (and a little trepidation) that we announce that our summer institute will reconvene in July.  We have spent the last 18 months making improvements to the action plan.  Over the next eight months, we will be inviting you to attend free virtual workshops with our talented resource faculty to sample some of those improvements.  Keep your eyes on this monthly newsletter for those invitations.
We know that the work you were doing to improve student success for ALL students didn’t disappear when priorities had to shift in response to the pandemic.  For many, the equity challenge became even more stark as it became apparent who had access to remote learning - and who didn’t.  The summer institute is a place where you can renew those efforts in the company of colleagues with similar goals while being supported by expert guides.
I’ll leave you with the wise words of Joye Hardiman, longtime resource faculty and past director, who reminds us that integrative learning is our opportunity to take that which is in ruin and make it more beautiful than before
Video clip of Joye Hardiman at the virtual Curriculum Planning Retreat 2021
In Community,
Julia Metzker, Director
Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education

How are you celebrating Latinx Heritage Month? Share your stories with us on Twitter (@WaCenterTESC) or the Washington Center Slack Space.

Save the Date!
The National Summer Institute Returns in July 2022

23rd Annual National Summer Institute for
Improving Undergraduate Education

July 11-14, 2022
The Evergreen State College | 
Olympia, WA
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.
The Washington Center Summer Institute offers your campus team the time and support they need to develop action plans for equity-focused initiatives.
You bring a team of invested people with knowledge about an issue that matters on your campus. We will provide skillful coaching, a tested action-planning process, and thought-provoking opportunities to learn from well-known experts. [Learn More.]

Celebrating the Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI)

in our Community

In honor of the Latinx Heritage Month, we have highlighted a few of the campus teams from Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) and the projects they developed at the 2018 summer institute.
  • Central New Mexico Community College (Albuquerque, NM) developed a plan to create a sustainable professional development initiative that integrates evidence-based teaching practices into the Center for Teaching and Learning strategic efforts to cultivate a culture of reflective practice and continually improve in teaching and learning for students. 
  • Humboldt State University (Arcata, CA) developed a plan to implement a new place-based learning community (PBLC) for first-year students majoring in Biology, Botany or Zoology. 
  • Sacramento City College (Sacramento, CA) developed a plan to expand their STEM Equity & Success Initiative, designed to increase the success of Hispanic and low-income students in STEM fields by implementing ‘high touch’ academic supports and ensuring the non-academic needs of students are identified and addressed early in their college career.
  • Stella and Charles Guttman Community College (New York, NY) developed a plan to reorganize the content structure of their First-Year Experience Seminar to include three integrated units emphasizing the social sciences, quantitative skills, and the science of learning.
  • Truckee Meadows Community College (Reno, NV) developed a plan to establish a Learning Community Advisory Council to support and assess learning communities, lead professional development for the faculty and staff that lead them, and promote learning communities as a mission-driven strategy for student success.
  • Yakima Valley College (Yakima, WA) developed a plan to identify equity gaps in student success and use what they learn to create evidence-informed professional development offerings for faculty.

Join the Washington Center Collaborative

The Washington Center is excited to continue to host monthly gatherings where higher education scholars, practitioners, and administrators convene to learn about topics relevant to our collective work supporting student success. This year we will be featuring mini-workshops led by the dynamic and talented Washington Center Resource Faculty.  These free, virtual workshops will give you a sneak peek of the improvements we’ve made to support organizational change for equitable student outcomes. 
There is NO COST to join the conversation series.
For a preview of upcoming sessions, please visit the Washington Center website or join the Washington Center Collaborative Slack to continue the conversation, share resources, and connect with colleagues.

Celebrating the Legacy of the
Learning Community Research and Practice eJournal

As one chapter closes, another begins. The first issue of Learning Community Research and Practice was published in 2013 - a time when there wasn’t a scholarly outlet focused on learning communities. Over the past nine years, the journal has created a welcoming space for learning community practitioners to share their knowledge with the widest audience possible, on a peer-reviewed, open-source platform. It is with deep gratitude to these practitioners that we now retire the journal and turn our attention to advancing learning communities through new endeavors.  [Visit the Washington Center website to learn more.]
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.

Explore Community Highlights

Register Now: National Learning Community Conference 

October 21-22, 2021
Registration is now open for the 2021 virtual National Learning Communities Conference. The theme for this year’s conference -  Cruzando Fronteras, Creating Communities -  is all about how learning communities help build bridges across traditional disciplinary and departmental boundaries on our campuses.  Learn more and register today.
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