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About the Center

Guiding Purpose

We are for 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 who have been historically under-represented in higher education. As a high impact strategy, learning communities offer a powerful learning environment for students at key points in their educational pathways, and implementing successful learning community programs in an intentional way helps to build institutional capacity for transformation.

Our Work

With a sustained record of educational reform, the Washington Center, a public service center at The Evergreen State College, is a national resource to two- and four-year higher ed institutions intent on making a difference for students, particularly through the strategic use of learning communities.

We focus on:

  • Helping campus teams develop sustainable, high-quality learning community programs that engage and support learners at critical points in their educational pathways
  • Collaborating with campuses to insure that their learning community programs are in synch with other campus reform efforts and student success initiatives
  • Providing high quality professional development workshops focused on effective teaching, on campuses and at state and national gatherings
  • Working with statewide and regional consortia to provide curriculum planning retreats aimed at strengthening classroom and institutional practices
  • Collaborating with other professional organizations to provide technical assistance and coaching for national educational reform projects
  • Expanding connections between campuses and communities through projects like Curriculum for the Bioregion

As the National Resource Center for Learning Communities, the Washington Center organizes the National Summer Institute on Learning Communities; publishes Learning Community Research and Practice, a biannual, open-access peer-reviewed electronic journal; supports the development of statewide and regional learning community networks; offers an online integrative learning library; and hosts the learning community directory and the LEARNCOM listserve.