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

This week we began the process of selecting resource faculty for the summer institute. We know that the choosing the right resource faculty will equip teams with coaching and expertise they need for the projects they bring to the institute. We do this because investing in campus teams is how we can collectively create change that supports student success. Every step of planning the institute is designed to get teams to success.
We anchor our process with four core principles:
Tailored supports. The topics for sessions and expertise of resource faculty are selected in response to teams needs. Teams receive significant coaching from experts as they work together to build their plan.
Strong teams. Successful teams have diverse perspectives and campus roles; work through difference with the understanding that the end product will be better for it; and represent critical constituencies on their campuses. 
Time to think and plan. The one thing most teams don’t have at home is dedicated time together.  The summer institute provides time away from campus, giving them the space and time to dig deep collectively.
A supportive network. No plan is bullet-proof.  When teams hit hurdles or need help, they can fall back on the network of talented resource faculty and peers they develop at the institute.
Do you have a campus project that could use some dedicated time and support? Perhaps your campus is developing a learning outcomes assessment for an upcoming accreditation visit or implementing guided pathways or tuning a first-year experience.
Submit your application before May 31 to avoid late fees. If you are on the fence, I encourage you to schedule a call with me to see if the institute is right for you.
In Community,

Our summer institute offers your campus team the time and support they need to develop action plans for equity-focused initiatives.

23rd Annual National Summer Institute for
Improving Undergraduate Education

July 11-14, 2022
The Evergreen State College | 
Olympia, WA
Almost any initiative that has the goal of improving equitable outcomes for students is appropriate for the institute. $1,500 per team member
[Rate increases to $1650 per person after May 31]
Submit your team application now!

Plenary Sessions

Centering Healing for Our Students

Dr. Gianina Baker
Acting Director at the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA)

Relationship-Rich Education: 
Making College Equitable, Flexible, and Humane

Peter Felten
Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University
The institute also includes several pre-institute workshops!
Visit wacenter.evergreen.edu/institute-sessions for details

Join us for a virtual workshop on Friday

Applying an Equity Lens to Assessment 

Friday, April 15, 2022 

12:00 - 1:15 pm (PT) / 3:00 - 4:15 (ET)

Jillian Kinzie 
Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University Bloomington
Shawna Freeman & Aaron Moehlig
Highline College
Conducting assessment in ways that recognizes and centers our increasingly diverse student populations, improves equity in learning, and that helps close achievement gaps is critically important in higher education today. What does assessment look like when we attend to issues of equity? This collaborative workshop introduces equity-centered assessment and then highlights the efforts at Highline College to assess college-wide outcomes and implement program reviews and improvement with an equity lens.
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.  

Welcome our new Program Coordinator!

Please join us in welcoming our new Program Coordinator, Emily Johnston! Emily brings a wealth of experience and expertise in event planning, project management, and communications. We are thrilled to have her join our team at the end of April. 
To learn more about Emily, and other Washington Center staff, please visit our website

Community highlights

The Society of Professors of Education Award Honorable Mention for Outstanding Book 

Learning That Matters: A Field Guide to Course Design for Transformative Education

Julia Metzker, Cynthia Alby, Karynne Kleine, and Caralyn Zehnder
Learning that Matters: A Field Guide to Course Design for Transformative Education is a pragmatic resource for designing courses that engage college students as active citizens. This "work" book provides research-informed approaches for creating learning experiences and developing innovative, intellectually-engaging courses. Through the implementation of critical concepts such as connected and authentic assessments; dilemmas, issues, and questions; portable thinking skills and engaging strategies; and a purposeful focus on inclusivity and equity, readers begin the process of change needed for preparing students who will be able to address the monumental challenges facing our society. [Learn more.]

Register for the 2022 Best Practices Symposium

Friday, April 29 2022
Loyola University Chicago

Creating Inclusive Communities: Promoting Equity Through Learning Communities

Co-sponsored by the Consortium for Illinois Learning Communities and the
Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago
 Visit www.consortillc.org/symposium/ for the symposium program and registration details. 

Accepting Proposals:
2022 National Learning Community Conference

November 17-19, 2022
Gila River Hotels & Casino - Wild Horse Pass, Chandler, AZ

Like Water in the Desert | Learning Communities Replenished, Renewed, Reimagined 

The theme for this year’s NLCC Like Water in the Desert: Learning Communities Replenished, Renewed, Reimagined invites LC practitioners to share their innovations in sustaining and renewing learning communities during the pandemic. How have you reimagined your LCs as you respond to changing student needs? How are learning communities replenishing teaching and learning at your institution? How are you planning for a more resilient future even as you face the “droughts” caused by pandemic-era disruptions to education?
 Visit https://www.cgc.edu/campaign/nlcc? for the conference program and registration details. 

Join the National Learning Community Association
for their virtual happy hour series!

Virtual "Happy Hour" on Celebration and Ritual

Tuesday, April 26 | 1-2 pm (Pacific Time) 
You are invited to join the NLCA Community to discuss envisioning coming back together after our collective pandemic experiences; how do we celebrate? How do we reinvent rituals? To register, please visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZArfuCqrjgiHdzkC1OflhKx17JACGnIuaJP
Virtual “Happy Hour” on Professional Development
Thursday, June 2 | 1-2 pm (Pacific Time)
You are invited to join members of the NLCA Professional Development Committee for a virtual happy hour conversation about how we can best support your ongoing professional development needs. To register, please visit: https://iastate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_be0LcUGwFcW9kYS
A Zoom link will be sent via email to all registrants in advance of the happy hour session. 

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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