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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: University of Washington

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December 17, 2014 at 6:02 PM

UW, WWU rank as best college values by national magazine

The University of Washington and Western Washington University have once again made it on the list of 100 top public schools that offer the most value for the money. The ranking of colleges and universities is done annually by Kiplinger’s Magazine.

The UW ranks 11th in value for in-state students. WWU ranks 91st. They’re the only two Washington public schools that made the list, ranking in the top 100 best values for both in-state and out-of-state students.

On a separate Kiplinger’s ranking that compared private universities, two Spokane schools make the top 100: Gonzaga University, 36th, and Whitworth University, 45th. And among liberal arts colleges, Whitman College in Walla Walla ranks 29th.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: higher education, University of Washington, Western Washington University

December 16, 2014 at 4:13 PM

UW panel: Triple the UW medical school program in Spokane

A University of Washington panel headed by former Gov. Dan Evans believes the best way to quickly increase the number of doctors working in rural Washington is for the UW to expand its medical school program in Spokane.

The panel also recommends creating more residencies in rural areas, particularly Eastern Washington.

It did not weigh in on what’s become a sore point between UW and Washington State University:  whether it’s also necessary for WSU to build its own, separate medical school in Spokane to alleviate the physician shortage. The panel’s report notes that it was not given the task of determining “if a separately accredited medical school is necessary or should be pursued by WSU.”

The UW and WSU, which used to work together to provide medical training at WSU’s Spokane campus, split earlier this year over how best to increase the number of doctors in Washington’s rural areas. There is a shortage of primary care doctors in those areas today, a problem that’s expected to get worse as baby boom-era doctors retire.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: higher education, University of Washington, Washington State University

December 1, 2014 at 7:35 AM

UW academic redshirt program draws more women, minorities into engineering

Devin Pegues, left, and Casiano Atienza work on a math problem during a recent class at the UW. This math workshop uses whiteboards and group problem-solving to bring engineering-level math to first-year students. Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times.

Devin Pegues, left, and Casiano Atienza work on a math problem during a recent class at the UW. This math workshop uses whiteboards and group problem-solving to bring engineering-level math to first-year students. Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times.

When she got the letter in summer 2013, Courtney Seto thought it sounded too good to be true.

A free program that offered automatic acceptance into the University of Washington’s engineering school? Did everyone get this letter?

Seto had already been accepted to the UW as an incoming freshman, but she expected to apply to the College of Engineering at the end of her sophomore year, competing against a thousand other UW students, of which only about 55 percent get in.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: diversity, STEM, University of Washington

November 30, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Rewind: Watch a replay of video chat on diversity in STEM education

On Tuesday, the Education Lab team hosted a Google+ Hangout about diversity in STEM and what some universities are doing to help more people of color and first-generation students earn degrees in fields like computer science and engineering.

The video chat was tied to a Monday story by Katherine Long about programs at the University of Washington and Washington State University that give disadvantaged engineering students a fifth year to complete academic prep work to put them on equal footing with those students from more privileged backgrounds.

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Comments | More in Your voices | Topics: higher education, STEM, University of Washington

November 21, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Videos: College students share struggles, triumphs at Education Lab event

On Nov. 15, five local college students appeared before an audience at the University of Washington to share their journeys of achieving college access despite significant challenges and set-backs. “Storytellers: How I Got into College” was hosted as part of the UW Dream Project’s Admissions Workshop Weekend, an annual event that brings dozens of high-school students from throughout King County to UW for assistance completing their college applications.

Go here for a written recap and photos from the evening’s program. Videos of each storyteller are posted below.

Jenée Myers Twitchell, director of the Dream Project, kicked off the event by sharing the story of her own upbringing in Yakima. “My story is filled with addicts,” she said. “Pretty much everybody in my family had gone through or needed to go through rehab.”

Her own struggles inspired her to begin working with local youth and start the Dream Project.

“I didn’t want it be about luck. I didn’t want getting to college to be about, ‘I just hope I meet the right person,'” she said.

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Comments | More in News, Video, Your voices | Topics: Dream Project, storytellers, University of Washington

November 16, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Student storytellers emphasize persistence, importance of mentors and role models

Update: Videos from the event are available here.

Marcellina DesChamps first set foot in a classroom when she was 27 years old.

Growing up, her father owned a small business. The kids helped out when times got tough and by the time she turned 14, she worked 40 hours a week. Now 32, DesChamps studies political science and law, societies and justice at the University of Washington, where her classmates — and some of her tutors — are a decade younger than her. Along the way, she has learned how to actively read, how to study, to take notes, to use the library and how to ask for help.

“I’m learning how to learn,” said DesChamps, who earned her GED and studied at North Seattle College before arriving at UW.

On Saturday, DesChamps was one of five local college students who shared their stories before a crowd of high school and college students at “How I Got Into College,” a storytelling event presented by Education Lab and the University of Washington Dream Project.

Most of the speakers, several of whom are first-generation students, emphasized persistence and finding good mentors and role models on the path to college. They said despite higher education’s costs, paying for college is the best debt you can have.

Teena Thach, a senior at Western Washington University, tells her story on stage at the University of Washington on Saturday.

Teena Thach, a senior at Western Washington University, tells her story on stage at the University of Washington on Saturday. Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: higher education, storytellers, University of Washington

November 6, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Mr. Marshmallow Test to talk about willpower at UW

Credit: McClatchy Newspapers

Credit: McClatchy Newspapers

The researcher who explored the lifetime benefits of delayed gratification by tempting preschoolers with marshmallows will speak at the University of Washington on Nov. 17.

Walter Mischel, now at Columbia University, devised the now-famous marshmallow experiments in the late 1960s at Stanford University. He tested the willpower of preschoolers by giving them a simple choice: Get one tasty treat immediately, or get two about 15 minutes later.

Kids were left alone in the room with a bell. Ringing the bell brought back the adult and the child got the sweet. Holding out long enough without ringing the bell, and the child got two.

Children employed clever strategies to distract themselves from looking at the marshmallow, like turning their backs on the treat.

Mischel found that kids who were able to delay gratification at age 4 had greater success decades later in school and adult life.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: early learning, Science of learning, University of Washington

October 30, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Pre-K and K-12 leaders gather to talk consistency, collaboration

Donna Grethen / Op Art

Donna Grethen / Op Art

Teachers, school chiefs and other education administrators from across the U.S. are gathered in Seattle this week to brainstorm ideas for better linking early childhood learning with the K-12 education system.

The disconnect, some education advocates say, stems from a common view that learning that happens before kindergarten is separate from a child’s “formal” education. Another problem is the lack of time to thoughtfully plan for pre-K opportunities, they say.

Kristie Kauerz, a research professor in the University of Washington College of Education and director of UW’s National P-3 Center, said schools can have a big influence on kids’ learning trajectories and achievement gaps if they can reach them before kindergarten.

“Why don’t we start doing something when kids are really little to address those achievement gaps, rather than waiting until third grade when that window of opportunity has really passed?” Kauerz said in an interview.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: early learning, University of Washington

October 22, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Record-high enrollment at WSU and UW’s three campuses

The WSU campus in Pullman. Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times 2011.

The WSU campus in Pullman. Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times 2011.

Both the University of Washington and Washington State University are reporting record-high enrollments for this academic year, with UW enrollment up 3 percent from the previous year and WSU up 4 percent.

All told, the UW’s three campuses — Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma — now enroll 54,223 students. That’s almost as many people as live in Redmond.

The Seattle campus alone added more than 1,000 students, bringing its total to 44,786. In its most recent count, The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked the UW 12th-largest among public universities that offer doctoral degrees, and that was based on 2012 figures when total enrollment at the Seattle campus was 43,485.

The UW had both the highest undergraduate student enrollment in its history (41,243 students) and also the highest graduate student enrollment (12,980 students) when all three campuses are added together.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: higher education, University of Washington, Washington State University

October 17, 2014 at 5:00 AM

UW viral video: Toddler leaves toy alone to avoid an adult’s anger

Move over marshmallow test, there’s a new video showing the struggles of a toddler to control his impulses and it comes right out of the University of Washington.

The new UW video — which has tallied more than 750,000 hits since it was posted 10 days ago  re-enacts an experiment in a study from the UW’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences that is published in the current issue of the journal, Cognitive Development.

The researchers wanted to find out if 15-month-old children could resist the natural urge to copy an adult playing with a toy by figuring out that doing so would make someone else mad at them.

Turns out they can.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: early learning, social and emotional learning, University of Washington

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