This unofficial working group seeks to work with educators, administrators, educational orgs and the Washington State OSPI to increase options for inter-institutional access to language education.

This project was partially inspired by the current situation at the University of Washington. While there are a very few language classes that currently allow non-matriculated UW students to attend, there is no formal policy to allow for this to happen. For example, many years ago, a language course taught at UW Seattle was also taught remotely to UW Tacoma students. The course was assessed and found to be a success (academically and from student feedback). Unfortunately, the course was cancelled as there was no formal policy for the administrative details (e.g., credit sharing).

Although we recognize that these administrative challenges exist, they are not insurmountable. Other institutions, such as the University of Michigan system have found solutions and now have a thriving remote language education system.

Maintaining language enrollment for less-commonly taught languages can be difficult. We are at risk of losing some incredibly valuable and rare language classes (e.g., Indigenous) if we do not find ways to increase and maintain enrollment. External recruitment is a key tool in both preserving these important courses. It is also crucial to provide equitable access to students at other institutions where it is even less likely that unique language programs will be offered and sustained.


  • Prioritize Indigenous (e.g., Lushootseed, Inuktitut) and less-commonly taught (LCTL) (e.g., Nepali, Thai) languages that meet certain criteria, such as those with:
    • capacity
    • willing instructor
    • access to a remote enabled classroom (when physical classes are in session, and if remote capacity isn't sufficient to sustain a fully online course).
  • Provide a system for students outside of a particular higher education system (e.g., UW's system) to allow for cross-institution enrollment in certain contexts (e.g., PLU Students to UW, Washington State High Schools to UW).
  • Work with the OSPI and WAFLT to standardize competency-based credit testing for languages not taught at UW and other institutions. (This includes creating testing opportunities for students who are not enrolled in a school that currently offers them.)
  • Challenge the state Legislature to fund tuition for Indigenous and less-commonly taught language courses to motivate students to take them.
  • Increase support for the development of LCTL Open Educational Resources.
  • If successful, promote this model outside of the state.

Endorsements and Supporting Organizations

OneWorld Now!
South Asia Center, The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington
Southeast Asia Center, The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington
Washington Association for Language Teaching (WAFLT)