Explore the guidelines and processes for scheduling meetings with leadership, addressing concerns, and reporting instances of bias, discrimination, or retaliation at the School of Education. Your voice matters, and we're here to ensure it's heard.
As a professional school of education with a mission to “prepare ethical and reflective educators and leaders who transform learning, contribute to the community, exemplify professionalism, and promote diversity,” we encourage currently enrolled students who have concerns or questions about a course or employee to directly contact the person with whom they have issues with.
At any time, you may contact your academic advisor and/or trusted faculty advocate to discuss your concerns and think through options. The UW Office of the Ombud may also be of assistance in supporting the resolution of interpersonal conflicts or thinking through strategies that may not involve interacting with the party (or parties) of concern.
The Dean and the School of Education also endorse a Restorative Justice Framework for sustaining healthy, productive, and respectful professional relationships.
Some notes to consider:
Due to FERPA requirements, no UW Tacoma employee may provide information about a student to outside parties, including a guardian/parent or spouse, without written permission from the student.
To support confidential and timely resolution, we ask that students, as well as faculty and staff, to consider the following when communicating concerns:
Use factual language. Provide details or examples regarding your concern.
Refrain from using biased, exclusionary, opinionated, and/or unprofessional language.
Feedback and questions about assignments, grading, and other course requirements should go directly to the course instructor.
Please be as proactive as possible when raising concerns by addressing them in a timely manner; do not wait until the last minute. You may reach out to your academic advisor or another trusted source if you need guidance on self-advocacy.
If you do not receive a satisfactory outcome in attempts to communicate with the person in question, contact the appropriate faculty director, leader, or academic advisor for assistance:
Interim Advising Lead (supervises the Advising Team/academic advisors): Ms. Ashley Walker
Director of Operations (manages/supervises all staff): Ms. Maria Hamilton
Dean: Dr. Rachel Endo
Students who do not feel comfortable directly contacting the faculty director or person in question may request a direct meeting with the Dean (for issues with the Director of Operations or a faculty member) or the Director of Operations (for issues regarding a staff member). If the person in question is also serving as a faculty director/program coordinator, the student may request a direct meeting with the Dean. If your concern is about the Dean, you may directly contact the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Please have the following information prepared when requesting a meeting:
Your name and contact information, along with your preferred method of contact for someone to reach you (e-mail or phone) and the best time to reach you.
Your program of study. If applicable, the course/instructor you are having issues with, along with the instructor’s name.
Provide a brief overview of the concern and discuss what attempts (if any) were made to resolve the issue with the person in question.
Briefly explain your desired outcome from the meeting to allow us to prepare for possible solutions to meet your needs.
Indicate your availability with at least a few dates/times and allow at least 2 business days of notice when trying to schedule a meeting.
As in most professional work environments, students in clinical/field placements or practicum with community partners may encounter challenging people or situations, including with field supervisors, mentor teachers/preceptors, peers, site personnel, and/or supervisors.
Following the School of Education’s guiding principles, students with concerns who are placed in a school or site should make all attempts to directly resolve the issues with the parties involved. Please follow the site’s protocols, including communication channels and conflict-resolution procedures.
If there are safety concerns and/or major concerns, including but not limited to bullying, child abuse/neglect, or unethical behaviors, you must follow the building or site policies and procedures to report concerns, which involves contacting the building or site coordinator/manager and possibly contacting emergency services. Please also immediately communicate these incidents with appropriate faculty and staff in the School of Education to allow us to follow up as appropriate.
If a placement/practicum is tied with a specific course, directly contact the instructor of record. If the concern is tied to a field placement, contact Mr. Tom Hathorn, Manager the Office of Field Placements & Partnerships.
This section provides high-level guidance on reporting options and requirements, both within your PK-12 placement/off-site and here at UWT.
When you formally report on behalf of yourself or others, it should be based on what: (a) you have directly experienced or observed, (b) when someone else shares with you their experiences, and/or (c) when you hear or witness something that is concerning, especially from minor children. All must be done in good faith.
Moreover, as representatives of your PK-12 building/site and UWT, you have some professional obligations, including how you respond, when allegations and concerns are raised. Our best professional advice is to refrain from giving the appearance of taking sides, gossiping, or re/sharing information to where you were not a direct party to reduce personal and professional risk.
However, whenever in doubt about what to do and/or where to report, we encourage you to contact your advisor, faculty director, and/or Dean directly, and/or to explore the resources listed below. All field-based concerns should be sent to Mr. Tom Hathorn, Manager of Field Placements & Partnerships.
Download the Reporting Requirements and procedures guide here:
B. Scenario(s) & Stakeholder(s)
C. What to do
Outside of UWT
In PK-12 schools or other outside organizations serving minor children.
When any minor child directly shares with you (or you clearly hear or see that individual) experiencing or witnessing abuse, harm, neglect, and/or safety issues.
When you have reasonable cause to believe a minor child is being abused, harmed, or neglected, even if the individual does not share anything with you directly.
Immediately notify both your building/site administrator and Mr. Hathorn/UWT Manager of Field- both verbally and through e-mail.
Immediately notify the WA Department of Children, Youth, and Families and/or local law enforcement, unless your building administrator takes the lead on this.
Please check with your building administrator about proper intervention protocols, including local resources.
WA DCY&F: https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/ (also provides details about the reporting process)
Outside of UWT
In PK-12 schools or other outside organizations serving minor children.
Any minor child directly shares concerns about experiencing or witnessing bias, bullying, or discrimination- that does not rise to the level of abuse, neglect, or safety concerns or emergencies.
Immediately notify your mentor teacher and the building administrator- at UWT, notify Mr. Hathorn/Manager of Field - both verbally and through e-mail.
The building administrator will likely take the lead on appropriate next steps. Follow all instructions.
And/or- misconduct allegations by any UWT or UW employee or student, irrespective of the location (includes e-mail, other interactions not involving a face-to-face interaction, etc.).
You believe you personally have experienced or witnessed inappropriate behavior or misconduct by a UWT or UW employee or student.
Someone shares with you their own experiences with a UWT or UW employee’s or student’s behavior/conduct.
Immediately contact local law enforcement when your or others’ safety is at risk.
For other non-emergency but sensitive or other matters that need timely guidance, we first advise you to contact your advisor or faculty director. You may also contact the Dean. Note: as a mandated reporter, the Dean, must notify the UW Title IX Office when there are allegations of sex- and gender-based violence, harassment, or discrimination, although those who are victimized have the option not to take formal action.
If someone shares information directly with you, you may refer them to resources. You are not required to report but are advised to contact someone in the School of Education or UW Safe Campus.
Otherwise, see Column C for options.
Our UWT campus and UW (system-wide) offer several resources for students wanting to explore different options, including having confidential conversations about a concern or situation. You may also cross-report or request that one office notify another (e.g., UWT Bias Incident- you may request it go to UW Civil Rights Investigation Office, etc.). You are not required to contact anyone in the School of Education, although we encourage you to contact your advisor and/or faculty director; you may also contact the Dean.
If you believe you have experienced bias, discrimination, retaliation, and/or sexual harassment while at UW Tacoma (this also includes by any UW Tacoma employee or student, including individuals in or out of the School of Education), you may contact the Dean for assistance and support.
The Dean is the School of Education’s main point person to ensure that such incidents are properly documented and reported to the appropriate University officials, which includes notifying UW Safe Campus. The Dean will ensure the person who experienced harm is connected to resources and support systems. She is also able to offer support that is deemed most useful, such as accompanying a victim of harm to a UW Safe Campus intake session.
Victims of bias, discrimination, and/or unwanted sexual harassment have additional options as follows, and may proceed with these processes without meeting with the Dean on their own, unless they would like her support:
Students who believe they have experienced bias may submit a report through UW Tacoma’s Bias Incident Reporting (BIR) system. You may disclose your name or remain anonymous. Note: whether or not you notify her, the Dean will directly intervene with any report that pertains to a School of Education faculty, staff, or student.
The Civil Rights Investigation Office investigates complaints that a university employee has violated the University's non-discrimination or non-retaliation policies. Students may contact CRIO for more information; they may also file a BIR and seek other concurrent resources such as with the UW Ombud Office.