The Evergreen State College Welcomes Groundbreaking National Institute to Improve Student Learning

July 29, 2016

(Olympia, Wash.) – Teams of faculty, administrators and students from 30 two-year and four-year institutions from the U.S., Canada and Colombia are gathering July 31 to August 3 at The Evergreen State College to develop comprehensive plans to improve student learning on their campuses.

The Teaching and Learning National Institute (TNLI) represents a partnership between Achieving the Dream, Inc., the National Survey of Student Engagement, the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, and the Washington Center at The Evergreen State College

Participating teams from individual colleges will be challenged to create two-year action plans to make improvements to student learning on their campuses. That work will be supported by in-depth workshops exploring evidence-based initiatives that improve students’ experiences inside and outside the classroom; informational sessions designed to address questions and deepen conversation about the action plans being developed; opportunities to meet with members of the institute resource faculty team; and other events and activities designed to encourage the sharing of ideas and strategies across institutions. Teams will use data to identify shortcomings in student outcomes and study what is known about successful learning practices.

Participating four-year institutions include Bastyr University, Eastern Washington University, Seattle Pacific University, The Evergreen State College, Belmont University (Tenn.), Rider University (N.J.), Santa Clara University (Calif.), St. Bonaventura University (N.Y.), the Universidad del Norte (Atlántico, Colombia), University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) and University of Windsor (Ontario, Canada).

Among two-year institutions, Washington community and technical colleges are well represented. Those attending include Bates Technical College, Bellingham Technical College, Everett Community College, Grays Harbor College, Green River College, Lower Columbia College, Olympic College, Renton Technical College, and Tacoma Community College. Austin Community College (Texas), Community College of Baltimore County (Md.), Community College of Philadelphia, Delta College (Mich.), Patrick Henry Community College (Va.), Valencia College (Fla.), and William Rainey Harper College (Ill.) are also sending teams.

Most of the community colleges attending the institute are members of Achieving the Dream, Inc. a national nonprofit dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree.

“This Institute is the first nationwide event to engage faculty as leaders who are preparing to use data and evidence to change the quality of student learning at their campuses,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Institutional transformation that results in more students completing credentials is going to take focused attention to teaching practices in individual classrooms, so I’m proud that ATD and our institute partners are getting the work started now.” 


Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, today, Achieving the Dream is leading the most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. With over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams – working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia – the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps nearly four million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

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Contact:         Lynn Reddy, Achieving the Dream