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

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 numerous organizations that have empowered and continue to support this collaborative effort through co-sponsoring events and providing meeting space, expertise, and communication support. Special thanks to Eastern Washington University, Northwest Indian College, University of Puget Sound, Whatcom County Library System, and Whiteswan Environmental for their ongoing dedication to the work.

©2020 Community Engagement Fellows