Institute for Improving Undergraduate Education

At the Institute for Improving Undergraduate Education, campus teams turn hopes for improving outcomes for undergraduate students into a two-year action plan. Our planning process provides campus teams with a framework informed by the lessons we’ve learned in 20+ years of hosting the team-based institutes.

About the Institute

This four-day intensive, residential institute is all about planning for action. Teams of invested people with knowledge about an issue that matters on their campus convene to build a two-year action plan.  The Washington Center provides skillful coaching, time away from campus and thought-provoking opportunities to learn from our expert resource faculty.

The institute design is anchored by four guiding principles.

  1. 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.
  2. Strong teams: Successful teams have diverse perspectives and campus roles; work through differences with the understanding that the end product will be better for it; and represent critical constituencies on their campuses. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

To get a taste of what the institute is like, download the 2022 promotional flyer.

Equity Statement

The Washington Center is committed to higher education’s promise to produce an equitable and participatory democratic society. This vision cannot be realized without confronting the systemic inequities that function as gatekeeping to the benefits of an undergraduate education. The Washington Center’s approach is anchored in supporting campus teams as they engage in this critical work by developing equity-producing change initiatives.  We recognize that successful change initiatives are grounded in institutional culture and attend to people’s beliefs, feelings, and commitments to eliminating equity gaps and increasing student success.

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.