What's New

Posted on March 17, 2015

College Events What's New

First Annual Washington Statewide Community College Conference

The buzz began before breakfast. 250 participants, including faculty from 34 community colleges across Washington and Oregon, two social service agencies and three universities, gathered at Renton Technical College on March 14, 2015, to gain more knowledge of and share lessons learned about working with the Reading Apprenticeship framework. Presenters from seven Washington community college campuses facilitated 21 diverse workshops (some repeated), including “Taming the Math Monster with RA”, “Surfacing Reading Strategies for the Interactive Digital Text” and “Reading Apprenticeship as Service Learning.”

By the end of the day, energy was still high. When conference convener and “master of ceremonies” Michele Lesmeister, a Reading Apprenticeship national consultant and leader at Renton, asked the assembled participants whether they wanted a repeat event in one year or two, they answered with a resounding, “Next year!” Lesmeister, who was supported in producing this major event by a loyal team of Renton RATS (Reading Apprenticeship Teachers and Supporters), gave a huge sigh of feigned resignation. “OK, then I’ll be emailing all of you for help,” she joked. Within two days, plans were already in motion, “We’ve set the date for next year’s conference: March 12, 2016!” Lesmeister says, “…and this time we’re planning for 350 to 400 people!” Based on the buzz from this year’s conference, there is no doubt that such a large a crowd will convene next year. And there is no doubt that the energy from this first successful conference will generate many new connections within and across campuses as well as many new ideas to be shared at next year’s gathering.

To learn more about Reading Apprenticeship at Renton Technical College, visit their website. Presentation slides from selected conference workshops can be found by clicking “Resources” from the navigation bar on the home page of the website.

View a short video of conference highlights:

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