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From the President: Two Opportunities for Central Washington University


Dear University Community,

I write with great news about two opportunities to share our work at the national level and to become leaders in the work of elevating access and equity in our teaching and learning, as well as our recruitment, retention, and success initiatives. These opportunities have come to us because of what has been happening here at Central Washington University, and they will allow us to take our commitment to the next level. The second opportunity is one that I would like your feedback on before we proceed.

First, Central has been selected to participate in the American Association of Colleges and Universities Institute on High Impact Practices and Student Success. We will be sending a team of faculty and staff to share what we are doing and build our capacity to take this work to the next level. A goal of this effort is to create a Central Experience that ensures all students have equitable access to the very experiences that employers say are critical to the success of our graduates: internships, study abroad, service learning, undergraduate research, etc.

The announcement from AAC&U is included below. The Office of the Provost has taken the lead in applying for this opportunity; we have been selected as a participant because of your strong work. As we elevate student engagement and success, these types of convenings will allow us to learn from others and participate in a national conversation about the future of higher education.

Second, Central has been invited to join a new national initiative focused on access and equity in student learning—the key elements at the heart of our new vision and mission. President Philly Mantella from Grand Valley State University has invited CWU to become a founding member and the Pacific Northwest anchor for this work. Convened by Grand Valley State, the Rapid Education Prototyping for Change, Learners, Community, Equity (REP4) program is an alliance aimed at transforming public higher education and building new, inclusive pathways that work with diverse learners from high schools. The founders envision the partnership as a way of rethinking student engagement and success.

The criteria for selecting CWU as a founding member include our ability to:

  • Be a breakout institution leading learner-centered innovations in public higher education 
  • Show strong and committed leadership to learner-centered design and transformation 
  • Demonstrate intentionality and impact serving learners underrepresented and underserved by public higher education 
  • Provide dedicated value in connections to, participation with, and responsibility to local communities in addressing mutual interests and community needs
  • Recognize the responsibility of incorporating the voices and experiences of current and future learners in the pursuit of transformation
  • Contribute to local and national discourse on the responsibility of public higher education to serve all communities 
  • View equity as a guiding principle and share an unwavering desire to innovate as we seek to identify and eliminate barriers to public higher education 
  • Show a willingness to be a site for incubating ideas and sharing results 

Because of my relationship with various members of this new organization and the recognition of the work that you do on a regular basis, we have been given this unique opportunity.

The following are the institution’s commitments if we decide to become a founding member and anchor:

  • Support annual cohort of students and run a regional learner summit; sized by institution 
  • Engage and bring into the work a network of innovative high school partners and community-based organizations whose students can engage curricular or co-curricular pre-summit and summit participation 
  • Designate an institutional point person/decision maker from the institution with dedicated time, commitment and passion for this work 
  • Incubates worthy projects and shares results 
  • Participate in the network and national annual convening 
  • Relentless sharing of experiments and results through virtual collaboration platform to expand the impact of collective work 
  • Assist in the quest for sponsorship for local student participants at $1,000 per participant (travel and cost); all your direct philanthropy remains with your local costs 
  • Each founding university will anchor one of the regions in the Northeast, Southeast, South, Northwest, or Southwest (and now Pacific Northwest with CWU in the mix)

These types of opportunities to join—and lead—national conversations regarding the future of higher education are rare. Because the work of REP4 focuses on teaching and learning, in addition to our recruitment of students and relationships with high schools, I would like to hear back from you directly regarding this initiative either by responding to this email or emailing me at jim.wohlpart@cwu.edu. I will also bring this to the Faculty Senate for feedback.

If you have any questions, please let me know. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Thank you,

Jim Wohlpart
CWU President


Forty-one Institutions Selected to Participate in AAC&U’s Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the forty-one institutions selected to participate in its 2022 Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success. The Institute is designed to strengthen institutional capacity to achieve quality, equity, and student engagement goals through the design, implementation, and assessment of active teaching and learning practices widely known as “high-impact practices,” or HIPs. The Institute will be held virtually June 14–17.

“The AAC&U Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success provides an unparalleled opportunity for colleges and universities to become more intentional in serving all their students and to improve both completion rates and the quality of student learning,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “We look forward to partnering with the participating institutions and to supporting their student success efforts.”

Each participating institution will send a team to the Institute, where they will work with leading experts and practitioners on efforts to implement educational change and bring effective practices to scale in a time of limited resources and variations in modes of delivery. The Institute program will focus on designing equity-centered HIPs and developing action plans to guide campus-based efforts. Drawing on evidence that demonstrates a positive relationship between student participation in HIPs and improved student outcomes, teams will define and start to develop curricular and co-curricular practices to support student engagement, advance curricular coherence, and generate equitable outcomes.

Utilizing The Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) System as a guiding framework, participating teams will define and strengthen processes for directly assessing student achievement of learning outcomes as a result of participation in HIPs. These processes will help campus and system-level teams set and monitor progress toward equity goals to improve educational outcomes for all students.

“The Institute represents AAC&U’s continued partnership with leading experts on high-impact practices and student success to examine the latest research and to address the most pressing issues related to equity, quality, and assessment to design sustainable efforts that are responsive to students’ needs and values the diversity of students’ identities,” said Tia McNair, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and Executive Director for the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers.

The following institutions will participate in the 2022 Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success:

  • Ball State University
  • Bellevue College
  • Bristol Community College
  • Central Washington University
  • Colorado Mountain College
  • Eastern Oregon University
  • Elon University
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Iowa State University
  • Irvine Valley College
  • Lorain County Community College
  • Marian University
  • Massachusetts Bay Community College
  • McDaniel College
  • Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles
  • Muhlenberg College
  • North Shore Community College
  • Northeast Lakeview College 
  • Northern Essex Community College
  • Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Passaic County Community College
  • Pima Community College
  • Purdue University
  • Saint Louis University 
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Texas A&M University–Central Texas
  • Texas A&M University–Kingsville
  • The University of Tennessee Southern
  • Tidewater Community College
  • University of British Columbia Okanagan
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Saint Mary
  • University of Utah
  • University of Washington Bothell
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Volunteer State Community College
  • Waubonsee Community College
  • Westfield State University
  • West Valley College

More information about the AAC&U Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success is available online