Join the Washington Center Collaborative Slack space for future workshop announcements, event resources, and to connect with colleagues. 

The Washington Center Collaborative is a space for higher education faculty, scholars, practitioners, and administrators to come together and discuss emergent issues of importance to our collective work educating and supporting students. We launched the collaborative in fall 2020 as a way to keep connected to our higher education community during a pandemic-induced hiatus from our national summer institutes. If you’ve ever attended one of our institutes, you know first hand the magic that can happen when a team of people who’ve chosen to work on an issue come together to have the conversations that matter and will ultimately lead to change for their students. This is what we are hoping the Washington Center Collaborative will do in small ways by helping us sustain relationships across institutions.

The Collaborative consists of free monthly convenings like those listed below, a newsletter, and a slack space. If you haven’t yet joined the slack workspace, we encourage you to do so. We will post an invitation link to the chat and can support you getting connected to that text-based, asynchronous space for continuing the conversation, sharing resources, and building your network. If you aren’t a slack aficionado, don’t worry we can help you get connected - or sign you up for the monthly newsletter.

2021-22 Events


Applying an Equity Lens to Assessment: Practical Frameworks and Institution and Program-Level Examples
Friday, April 15, 2022 | 12:00 - 1:15 pm (Pacific Time)
Facilitated by Jillian Kinzie (Indiana University Bloomington), Aaron Moehlig (Highline College), and Shawna Freeman (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.

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)

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.

Where do we go from here, sacred ground or battleground?

Thursday, December 9, 2021 | 10-11:15 am (Pacific Time)
Facilitated by Jen Leptien (Director of Learning Communities, Iowa State University), Larry Roper (Professor, School of Language, Culture and Society - Oregon State University) and Sonja Wiedenhaupt (Member of the Faculty – The Evergreen State College)

Over the past year, the deep wounds in our nation, local communities and campus environments have been revealed in astounding ways. Our campuses have experienced conflict, controversy and activism. Our students, faculty and staff bring with them to campus personal lived experiences, emotions, attitudes and behaviors that reflect the impact of the world and our social realities. As we begin to emerge from these tumultuous times, we must ask ourselves, where do we go from here? Do we continue on the path of conflict and confrontation or do we elevate our commitment to health and wholeness and honor the sacredness of our human communities? Our time together will look at the tensions we face and issues to consider as we move towards creating healing as restorative spaces.

Learning to Think Like a Community Organizer in Order to Advocate for Student Success: Collaboration is Key

Thursday, November 18, 2021 | 10-11:15 am (Pacific Time)
Facilitated by Emily Lardner (Vice President of Academic Affairs – Highline College) and Rachel Singer (Senior Resource Faculty – Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education)

The need to make our institutions work for students has never been clearer. Considering the past 2 years, the challenge of making genuine, substantial change is daunting. How can we learn from the traditions of Community Organizing and Collaborative Leadership to help us move forward to make the changes our students deserve? Join us in a deep dive to understand how we can take action on our campuses in order to make positive and lasting change. 

2020-2021 Events

Post-COVID: What will we take forward?
Friday, April 23, 2021
Facilitated by Julia Metzker (Director – The Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education)

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.

Affective Labor: The Need for, and Cost of, Workplace Equanimity
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Facilitated by Lee Skallerup Bessette (Learning Design Specialist with the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship – Georgetown University)

What is affection and emotional labor, and how have staff in particular been asked to perform this form of labor during COVID-19 and beyond? Join us for a discussion about what we can do to start recognizing and rewarding this important form of labor we perform.

Post Covid19: What to do when the plan keeps changing?
Friday, January 26, 2021
Facilitated by Julia Metzker (Director – The Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education) and Jeannette Smith (Vice President of Student Affairs – Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts)

Nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, what have we learned? How do we take this opportunity to do our work differently as we plan for fall 2021? How do we sustain ourselves while also providing better experiences for students?

Opportunities that Trauma Affords: Trauma-Impacted People as Assets in Communities
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Facilitated by Tara Hardy (Member of the Faculty – The Evergreen State College)

Explore the uses and benefits of trauma-impact showing up in our work with students. We will collectively investigate opportunities that arise from the impact of trauma being expected and accounted for in our learning communities. 

How can political science help us understand the results and implications of the 2020 Elections?
Monday, November 16, 2020 
Facilitated by Carlos Huerta (Professor of Political Science – Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi)

In this conversation, we will discuss explanations for why individuals choose to vote and how they make their vote choices. In addition, the Dr Huerta will provide some analysis of the 2020 election results and implications for governing and democracy.