ALC Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply – Am I eligible to apply?

If you are a member of the Advancement team, you are eligible to participate in the ALC if you have also been employed at the UW for three or more years. Occasionally, employees who reach this service time milestone during the course of ALC may be considered depending upon space available.

Why the 3 year service time requirement? Can I get an exception?

While it may seem arbitrary, the 3 year service time requirement is not. There are two primary reasons for it. One, for people to gain as much as possible from the ALC experience, they must have a certain amount of experience within the UW. Put another way, participants need to have been with the UW long enough to “know what they don’t know.” Second, the ALC program is a highly valuable experience. As such, the return on this investment is greatest if ALC participants continue on as UW employees. Three years of service is a strong indicator that participants are likely to stay on after their ALC experience. The closest thing to an exception to this rule is for people who pass the 3 year service time mark during the course of the class. Even so, preference will be given to applicants with greater service time.

Isn’t ALC really designed for senior staff and managers?

Not at all. A guiding principle of the ALC is diversity in all forms. One of the primary goals of the Selection Committee is to build a class that represents all areas of our profession, including job classification, years of experience, etc. It is important to remember that ALC selection is competitive. The committee will take into account all information included in the application packet.

Why is membership limited to 16 participants?

Class size is capped at 16 so individual sessions could provide an intimate learning environment that provides an opportunity for equal participation by all members and supports the development of a strong community.

What’s this “personal statement” on the ALC application?

The personal statement is an essay of 750 words or less that asks applicants to share their views on several topics important to our profession. Questions are designed to offer applicants an opportunity to address professional values and goals, capacity for reflection, focus, and vision. Questions may be answered individually or in one collective response.

How will I know if I’ve been selected for ALC membership?

All applicants will be notified regarding their selection status a week after the close of the application period. The selected class will be announced at the Fiscal Fling.

Is there any personal financial cost to participate?

The program is funded by University Advancement.

Do I have to use leave to participate in monthly ALC sessions?

No. Participation in ALC is considered a formal work assignment and class participants do not have to claim any type of leave for sessions that take place during the normal work day. Class members are expected to coordinate with their supervisors for any time away from their normal work duties for monthly sessions. Monthly ALC sessions may require some pre-reading or other “homework.” Class members are expected to prepare for sessions outside of work.

What is a Capstone Project?

ALC members will be asked to design and complete a group project during the program year. This “capstone” project is designed to encourage collaboration and teamwork while providing value, increasing efficiency, or improving service in one or more areas of advancement. The scope of projects is unlimited. Beginning in 2014-2015 projects will be done in pairs. Work is done outside of ALC and business hours, though some concession may be made by supervisors to allow work during business hours, especially when the project leads to direct benefit and/or if interaction with other employees is required. Sample past project topics/titles include:

  • Engaging Alumni Volunteers in a Meaningful Way
  • Making the UW a Choice for Students of Color
  • Turning Grateful Patients into Grateful Donors
  • Student Philanthropy, Engagement from Day One
  • Pass It On – Advancement and Social Media
  • Student Veteran Health & Wellness at the UW
  • Gender and Philanthropy at the University of Washington
  • Visual Storytelling

What have past participants said about their ALC experience?

“I enjoyed meeting and getting to know cross campus colleagues. I also really enjoyed seeing the sides of the University I didn’t previously know about.”


“ALC provided me with wonderful insight into how the University of Washington operates. From our TechTransfer office to UW Medicine, I now have a much clearer picture of how all the pieces of the University fit together. The other undeniably awesome part of ALC is getting to know so many people from other parts of DAR. I not only have a better understanding of how DAR operates, but I have gotten to know colleagues much better: my professional network has expanded, and I’ve made new friends.”


“The speakers were INCREDIBLE, and I learned so much about the UW and individuals and their leadership styles and career paths. It enhanced my macro-knowledge of the UW and of state higher education. I was made to feel like an “insider” at our classes. I also deeply value the time that was spent with peers across Advancement that I might never have been able to get to know – career networking/mentoring possibilities was invaluable.”


“I am appreciative of the opportunity to participate in this class and have encouraged many of my colleagues to apply. The connections and content of the course will be carried with me throughout my Advancement career.”


“My experience with the ALC was everything I envisioned and more. My biggest goal was to absorb as much information as I could from my instructors and classmates, and I was determined to do my best to reach outside of my comfort zone. I discovered that many of the topics presented were somehow relevant to my role at the University, and the discussions motivated me to do additional research outside of class.”


“ALC gives a 360 degree view of the University of Washington, answering: what does this institution look like from outside my small world? After a year of exploring UW from the broadest perspective, I’m now taking a more complete picture back into my role as a development officer. It has expanded my strategy and approach greatly, giving me a deeper, fuller purpose for the work we do for the impacts on the immediate community and the greater world that we support with our work in development.”


“Thank you so much for leading this important opportunity. I have definitely taken much from this experience, and am thankful for the chance to dig deep into the operations of UW. Certainly lends to feeling a part of the bigger picture.”


“When I enrolled in the ALC’s inaugural class, I expected to “graduate” better informed for the experience. I’m delighted to report that nine months later, not only do I possess a deeper understanding of what it means to be a “University citizen”, but also a greater appreciation for our institution and my place in it in a way that has far-exceeded my expectations. Thank you to the DAR leadership for investing in us and in the future of our University.”

What if I have a question that isn’t addressed here?

Email your question to Mark Lanum or Kim Isaac

Thank you for your interest in the Advancement Leadership Class!