Plan Your Professional Development for 15-16!

ATLC listserv
If you are not already subscribed to the Assessment, Teaching, and Learning Community (ATLC) listserv, sign up here!  This listserv is the primary method the office of Assessment, Teaching, and Learning (ATL) disseminates information about events of interest to faculty and staff in our Washington State CTC system, including our Fall and Winter retreats, the new 15-16 Systems Biology Workshop Series, state-wide conversations about issues of importance such as “Standing in the Gap” and “English 101 as ‘Next Space,’” and our Bridge to College English (BCTE) Course Refinement and Development Meetings.

SBCTC Professional Learning Calendar
This google calendar is regularly updated with all of the professional learning opportunities offered by our agency, including the annual Best Practices event, eLearning’s popular Open Educational Resources (OER) training and Introduction to Canvas for Faculty, and other trainings such as Bootcamps for Professional Technical Instructors.

ATL Blog
If you follow Jen Whetham’s Blog, you can find out how to join a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) on hybrid instruction and read meditations on hot topics like Standardized Testing by Bill Moore.  Jen also posts opportunities that fund faculty travel and participation in national projects—like this invitation to participate in an assignment charrette in New Orleans.  Sometimes Jen will even ask for help when she is preparing for an event!

Spring ATL Conference
Save the Dates: May 4-6, 2016
Our annual spring conference brings together educators to broaden their understanding of teaching, relate effective learning practices, and exchange insights, methods, and strategies that promote and support student learning.  This year the keynote is the leading authority on communities of practice, social learning theorists and consultants Etienne and Bev Wegner-Trayner.

FLC Grants
Read about the FY 15-16 FLC grant recipients here!  A faculty learning community (FLC) is a group of educators (faculty, administrators, professional staff) who collaboratively design and then implement a structured, intensive, year-long professional learning experience for its members. Together, the community builds a curriculum of study that engages complex problems and focuses around the members’ individual and collective teaching and learning.  To support system-wide professional learning related to instruction and innovation, the Assessment, Teaching, and Learning (ATL) and eLearning and Open Education departments of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) invites faculty, staff, and administrators to apply for grants of up to $5,000 to fund Faculty Learning Communities.  Applications for FY 16-17 will be available in March 2016.

As usual, Jen welcomes your questions, comments, and suggestions!  Contact her at

Webinars on Launching Full Degree Programs that Use OER for Required Programs

Lumen Learning is hosting several free informational webinars about how to launch full degree programs that use open educational resources for all required courses.

Essential Steps to Launching an OER Degree Program
Tuesday, 9/29/15
Practical lessons and tips for how to launch successful OER degree programs and support their sustainability, based on Lumen Learning’s first-hand experience helping develop programs for individual institutions and statewide systems.

Trailblazing OER Degrees in Virginia
Wednesday, 10/7/15
The Virginia Community College System has broken new ground with “Zx23,” a statewide program to encourage every community college to launch a “Z-Degree” or zero textbook cost degree program using OER. Richard Sebastian, Director of Teaching and Learning Technologies for Virginia’s Community Colleges, and representatives from two colleges discuss their approach and progress to date.

The 5R Framework for OER Course Design
Wednesday, 10/21/15
Open education pioneer David Wiley shares the 5R Course Design Framework, a set of guidelines and best practices to help you capitalize on the unique rights and possibilities afforded by teaching with OER.

Find out more about this series and other Lumen Learning webinars!

October How to Use Open Educational Resources (OER) Training

Due to a number of requests from our faculty, it has been decided to offer another training in October. Thank you so much for your continuous support and interest.

The training will begin on Monday, October 5, 2015.

This two week course is fully online and asynchronous, providing participants with information and experience in adopting and integrating open educational resources (OER) into their pedagogy. In addition to discussing the concept of OER and open licenses, participants will practice locating and sharing open educational resources.

As this is a fully facilitated training that will produce an official certificate to the participants upon successful completion, participants are expected to spend 10 hours to complete the course. This training is FREE for anyone in the WA CTC system.

For those who would like more information from a participant perspective, Read messages to the next class from previous participants.

Interested? Head to the training website.

Technical difficulties in registration? Please contact

Inquiries about the training content? Please contact Boyoung at

In Pursuit of Equity– Solutions and Best Practices

Join us for the
Fall Association Conference!
November 13, 2015


This is the third conference in a series of three focused around system barriers to equity. This capstone experience will focus on solutions and best practices.

Derek Greenfield, Author, Visionary Speaker
Dave Stolier, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Bob Hughes, Associate Dean, College of Education, Seattle University

This is the third conference in a series of three focused around system barriers to equity. This capstone experience will focus on solutions and best practices.

Register 5 people from your institution and receive a 6th registration free!
$175 for attendees from member colleges
$275 for non-member colleges
Fee covers breakfast, lunch, all materials, and a book by Derek Greenfield

Skamania Lodge
Rooms are at per diem rate of $151.
Reservations MUST be made by October 30!

Questions?  Contact Kati Hays, Executive Director

Register Now! Beyond HB 1079

Beyond HB 1079 is a conference dedicated to advancing and providing educational opportunities for undocumented students in Washington State– regardless of their immigration status.

The 4th Annual Beyond HB 1079 Conference is open to undocumented high school and undocumented college students, family members, educators, community members, and advocates.

Saturday October 10th, 2015
7:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Everett Community College

Register Now!

FREE for high school students, college students, and family, parents, and guardians.
$20 for educators and community members.

This is a conference from undocumented youth to undocumented youth.

Through a series of workshops, panels, and interactive discussions we hope to provide awareness and resources, foster student empowerment, build a strong community, and take action.

We know that as a community we work better when we are one.

But most importantly we believe in you, and the power within you.

Questions?  Contact Maria Peña

Register Now for the 15-16 Systems Biology Workshop Series!

As the world changes, so must our classrooms. Now more than ever, our students require authentic learning experiences that connect the content of their science courses to real world problems— not only to foster skills that allow them to enter the rapidly evolving workforce, but to participate in their communities as effective citizens. Faculty need time, space, structure, and community to “refresh” their learning in ways that invigorate their disciplinary knowledge and expertise—while leveraging precious workshop time to produce new materials to use in their classrooms.

Overview of Workshop Series
Working with scientists and educators at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB), we have designed a three phase workshop series focused around two big data sets—one health and one environment. Working with ISB scientists and colleagues from across the CTC system, faculty will collaboratively design, develop, test, and refine new materials to use in their classrooms.

Primary Faculty Learning Outcome
To increase faculty content knowledge and pedagogical strategies for integration of computational thinking (e.g., access to, integration of, and analysis of big data) into undergraduate biology experiences.

Phase I: Learning and Initial Design
Workshop Date: October 16th, 2015

Phase II: Materials Development
Workshop Date: January 29th, 2016

Phrase III: Reflection and Refinement
Workshop Date: April 22nd, 2016

Who Should Attend?
The ideal team will consist of 3 to 5 faculty members who teach the diversity of undergraduate biology courses offered by Washington State CTCs. Depending on institutional potentials for collaboration, Chemistry and Statistics faculty, as well as other STEM faculty, may benefit.

College sends one faculty member to attend the series of three workshops— $450 flat fee.
College sends more than one faculty member to attend the series of three workshops— $390 per faculty member.

Questions About Content: Dana Riley Black or Jennifer Whetham
Questions About Registration: Jackie Eppler-Clark

15-16 Faculty Learning Community Grants

SBCTC’s Assessment, Teaching, and Learning (ATL) and eLearning departments are pleased to announce the recipients of the 15-16 Faculty Learning Community (FLC) grants.

A faculty learning community (FLC) is a group of educators (faculty, administrators, professional staff) who collaboratively design and then implement a structured, intensive, year-long professional learning experience. Together, this special kind of community of practice builds a curriculum of study that engages complex problems and focuses around the members’ individual and collective teaching and learning.

To support system-wide professional learning related to instruction and innovation, the Assessment, Teaching, and Learning (ATL) and eLearning and Open Education departments of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) annually award grants of up to $5,000 to fund Faculty Learning Communities.

Cultivating Growth Mindsets: Fortifying the Foundation of Teaching and Learning
Growth mindset is a term developed by Stanford professor Carol Dweck, and is defined by its divergence from fixed mindsets. Dweck explains that “in a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.” Without a growth mindset innovation cannot occur. Revision cannot occur. True teaching and learning cannot occur. While there is general agreement on the value of growth mindsets, there is little available as far as practical and researched means of instilling, cultivating, and measuring them. Our FLC will seek to quantify and develop specific strategies and assessments in pursuit of this overarching goal.
Contact: Justin Eriksen & Kaatje Kraft

Becoming Culturally Responsive Educators; From the Parking Lot/Bus Stop to the
Classroom, Part II
This is year two, as we complete and deploy the Culturally Responsive Educators (CRE) modules across our campus. Last year, we created modules around cultural responsiveness and we discovered areas we wanted to include and go into more depth than we had anticipated. We connected with more departments and divisions and our group and work has grown. We now have a solid framework for an online course of study about being a culturally responsive educator, including staff and faculty.
Highline College
Contact: Allison Lau 

Integrative Learning
This FLC will take a deeper look at integrative learning practices such as learning communities, common read programming, transfer theory, and civic engagement. Stakeholders include faculty, staff (Student Affairs & Instruction) that are either new to integrative learning or new to the practice. Members will discover how these practices and initiatives can be infused between disciplines and also in curricular and co-curricular activities.
Clark College
Contact: Janette Clay

Developing Sustainability Content
The primary goal of the FLC is to increase the likelihood that WCC faculty members will infuse sustainability concepts and content into at least one of the courses they teach, and to share their work-in-progress both internally among WCC colleagues as well as externally in the online Curriculum for the Bioregion Curriculum Collection.

Contact: Barry Maxwell

Purpose and Vocation Groups: Exploring Spirituality
A number of key issues converge around students’ development of a sense of personal
mission/purpose: The continuously expanding understanding that teaching and learning happen best when the whole person is involved (i.e., students are not just brains that walk into a room to download information); Retention and completion data consistently points to “student engagement” – the desire to show up each day because one feels valued and understands the value of what is occurring through teaching and learning – as a key element of student success (i.e., are we satisfying the need to know and be known?); 3) Wrestling with the tensions surrounding the role of spirituality in the classroom and on campus, in the lives of students and instructors, and how best to facilitate conversations about the meaning of our work and our lives.
Lake Washington
Contact: Sally Heilstedt

Service Learning
Service learning offers applied learning opportunities and unique, meaningful experiences for both students and faculty. According to LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise), service learning is field-based “experiential learning” that collaboratively includes community partners as part of course curriculum. The two important components of service learning that distinguish it from other instructional strategies are students are given the opportunity to 1) apply what they are learning in a “real-world setting” and 2) reflect on their service in a classroom setting. Essentially, service learning allows students to gain experience in their field of study by working in the community. Often, it is more meaningful than an internship opportunity because students connect with mentors within organizations who help the students to continuously reflect on their career choices, life challenges, and professional growth.
Contact: Jennifer Santry 

Universal Design for Learning
At Pierce College (PC), over the years, faculty have been exposed to an array of standards, technologies, theories of practice and interventions designed to address one or more specific areas in course design, assessment, and teaching. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) promises to provide a wider framework for considering how we approach content/course creation, how we assess learning and how we organize and deliver our courses. We have a group of interested faculty from across the district who are eager to participate in a deeper learning experience about UDL, experiment with implementation of UDL strategies within their personal teaching practices and share their successes and challenges with the college as a whole. The work of this FLC will benefit not only the students in the participants’ classes, but
provide concrete examples of UDL implementations for other faculty to view and consider in their own practices.
Pierce College
Contact: Renee Phoenix 

Institutionalizing OER
We want to reduce barriers to student success by getting Open Educational Resources (OER) institutionalized and implemented in every academic division. The college serves a large number of low-income students, many of whom are immigrants and refugees, and the high cost of textbooks is a barrier to their success. In addition, Highline has a very diverse student population, and many are not well served by commercially available materials. The members of this FLC will identify, evaluate, and incorporate OER in their classes as an example to their peers. In the course of this work, we will identify institutional processes that support or hinder OER adoption, and begin the work of changing them.
Contact: Deborah Moore

Exploring Hybrid Instruction
Creating an FLC where faculty can work together to test online instructional ideas, get
feedback from peers and share best practices will help RTC improve the hybrid courses now available as well as expand into additional hybrid courses to meet the needs of students.
Renton Technical College
Join this FLC!
Contact: Liz Falconer

An average of 12% of community college students have a disability. Instructors are required to make online course content accessible to students. Accessibility needs vary. There will not be one checklist that fits all purposes. We need a diverse group of thinkers creating a variety of solutions to meet students’ needs. This group wants to deepen our understanding of the need, the variety of solutions, and create a sustainable and scalable system that can be adopted and adapted in other schools in Washington.
Contact: Deb Padden

2015 Best Practices Exchange: From Emerging Practice to Excellent Performance: Our Journey to Culture Change

You are invited to send a team (up to six people) to the sixth annual statewide Best Practices Exchange.

  • Who: Faculty, staff, and administrators from Student Services, Institutional Research, and Instruction (including Basic Education for Adults and Workforce Education).  As you build your team, think about how to represent multiple areas on your campus.
  • What: We invite colleges to attend this event as a team to learn about and customize strategies that advance student achievement and success.
  • When: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 27, 2015.  Lunch will be provided.
  • Where: McGavick Center (Building 23), Clover Park Technical College
  • How: The Institutional Research Department will register up to six team members from your college.

Keynote Speaker
Dr. Karen Stout President and CEO of the Achieving the Dream, will present on learnings and successes from this decade of reform and speak to the next big things that colleges must address to keep the momentum of the movement moving forward.

Plenary Sessions

  • Student Success Principles In Action: Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges Show the Way
  • Working Families Success Network (WFSN): Building Capacity in High Need Programs

Concurrent Sessions

  • Equity:  Strategies that close the achievement gap for historically under-represented students.
  • Student Achievement Initiative:  Practices that have led to significant gains in the student achievement milestone areas of basic skills and pre-college transition to college, retention and progression, and completions.
  • Workforce:  Responding to the workforce needs of the local community.
  • AtD:  Culmination of Achieving the Dream experiences.


  • Questions about the event: Joe Holliday (360-704-4334)
  • Questions about registration: Brooke Allinder (360-704-4315)

2016 National Summer Institute on Learning Communities!

Send a campus team that includes faculty, student affairs professionals, and administrators to

“…the best boot camp for learning communities in the country…”

This institute is designed to help two- and four-year institutions:

  • Explore the potential for learning communities on their campus
  • Start a new learning community (LC) program
  • Expand an existing LC program

Find out more details and access an application!

Institute Dates: July 11th to July 15th, 2016
Location: The Evergreen State College
Cost: $1,350 per person
Team size: 5-10 people
Application Deadline: 1st review of applications begins January 16, 2016.

Participate in an Assignment Charette!

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA)
invites YOUR application
to participate in an assignment charrette!

Applications are due by November 15, 2015

Selected Participants will meet on Saturday, February 20, 2016, in New Orleans, from approximately noon to 6:00 pm, following the conclusion of the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ General Education and Assessment Conference.

Please only apply if you are available on February 20th!

What is a Charrette?
A charette is a collaborative assignment-design process. The charrette is intended for faculty members and related staff who are designing and using assignments linked to proficiencies set forth in the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP).  The charrette provides an opportunity to share your assignment with others and to contribute to an online library of high quality, peer-endorsed assignments as part of the Assignment Library Initiative.

What is the DQP?
Read more about the DQP.

What is the Assignment Library Initiative?
View the current version of the Library.

What does the Project Cover?

  • Travel
  • Onsite costs
  • $500 honorarium upon completion

Following the meeting, participants will fine tune their assignments based on feedback and submit them to the library in Fall 2016.

NILOA is open to assignments of all types, addressing any DQP proficiency in any discipline or field. However, they are especially eager to receive applications from 2-3-person teams working on linked assignments that students experience over time or across contexts. This might mean, for instance, one participant who teaches a first-year seminar submitting an assignment highlighting the Use of Information Resources, and a colleague who teaches a subsequent course with an assignment that requires students to apply those skills. Teams might also be composed of faculty from a 2-year and from a 4-year institution working together on assignments. One application should be submitted per team. They welcome applications from both full-time and adjunct or part-time faculty and especially encourage those who work at minority-serving institutions or who teach diverse student populations to apply.

Please send your application materials electronically to:

Applications should include

  1. Participant name, department affiliation, and institution.
  2. A copy of the assignment in the form that you present it to students along with a rubric or set of criteria used to evaluate it.
  3. An explanatory memo about the assignment, which covers the following:
    1. Which DQP proficiencies the assignment is intended to assess—please be as specific as possible, using language from the 2014 version of the document;
    2. In what course the assignment is used, and at what point in the course;
    3. Any pertinent information about the students in the course–majors vs. non majors, what they might find most challenging about the assignment, etc.;
    4. How the assignment builds on earlier work and/or prepares students for more advanced work in later courses (or for success beyond graduation).
    5. Your experience with the assignment to date and what aspects of the assignment might be strengthened or about which you would like feedback from other participants at the NILOA event.
    6. Who else might find this assignment useful?