Conceptual Framework

Join us at the 2022 Summer Institute

The National Summer Institute for Improving Undergraduate Education is a team event.  You bring a team of invested people with knowledge about an issue that matters on your campus. The Washington Center will provide skillful coaching, a tested action-planning process, and thought-provoking opportunities to learn from well-known experts.

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

Institute framework

Our approach is anchored in the assumption that equity-focused initiatives sustain success when they attend to three critical areas for guiding and managing change:

  1. defined outcomes that close equity gaps for students,
  2. professional learning opportunities to support the individuals charged with implementation, and
  3. a commitment to continuous improvement that is responsive to data and evidence.

Guiding principles

The institute employs a process designed to get teams to success. This process is undergirded by four guiding 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.

    Acceptance Process

    The application is very simple.  We ask you for a brief description of your team's project and to tell us a little bit about the team you plan to bring.  Why?  It is important to us that the institute supports your work.  We use our nearly 30 year experience supporting campus-based change initiatives to determine if the summer institute will work for you.  On rare occasions, we come across a proposed project that is beyond our scope or a team that we feel might need more diverse perspectives.  When this happens, we will set up a consultation with the team lead to ensure the summer institute is appropriate for your goals.

    Join the Collaborative!

    Interested in getting a taste of what the summer institute might offer? Consider attending one of our Collaborative mini-workshops this year. To learn more, visit our Collaborative webpage.