Our programming takes place on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish Peoples, who have lived in the Salish Sea basin, throughout the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades watershed, from time immemorial. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, particularly the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.

(For more information: WWU Tribal Relations)

Thank you to the organizations that have empowered and continue to support this collaborative effort including (alphabetically) Children of the Setting Sun Productions, Eastern Washington University, Friends of the San Juans, Galiano Conservancy Association, Geneva Elementary School, Northwest Indian College, Opportunity Council, University of Puget Sound, WWU Center for Community Learning, WWU Salish Sea Institute, WWU Sustainable Communities Partnership, Whatcom Community College, Whatcom County Library System, and Whiteswan Environmental.


Many additional organizations have provided meeting space, expertise, and communication support. Thank you all.

©2019 Community Engagement Fellows

Dear Friends,


I’m delighted to share this guide to initiating a Community Engagement Fellows program in your community. 


The program’s goal is to create a more rich and interconnected educational ecosystem that is responsive to local needs and opportunities. We’re helping society become less compartmentalized and competitive by building pathways for integration and collaboration. 


Community Engagement Fellows is for anyone who wants to become a more skilled, effective, community-engaged educator. Fellows may include community organization leaders, government representatives, P-12 teachers and administrators, business owners, higher education faculty, staff and student leaders, and more. Learning is enriched by diversity. Think broadly about who the educators are in your community.

If you start a version of the program in your community, I’d love to hear from you so we can learn from each other. To stay updated on new resources, please join the coalition.


I work for Western Washington University, and programs like this are a wonderful way for higher education to serve the public. Many other types of organizations could convene the program, including:


  • Public libraries

  • County extension offices

  • Faith communities

  • P-12 schools


I hope you have fun trying out the program and adapting it to your skills, interests, and contexts. 

Travis P. Tennessen, Ph.D.

Convener, Community Engagement Fellows

Western Washington University