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Learning & Design Lab

The Office of Strategic Cultural Partnerships collaborates with faculty, teachers, community members, museum professionals and numerous organizations to advance educational partnerships that add value both to William & Mary and those with whom we work. We strive to find common ground and develop innovative approaches to teaching and learning with our museum and cultural heritage site partners. While partnerships and programs continue to emerge, SCP is currently leading the following three signature projects:

3 row table explaining RevEd, Cultural Heritage Internship Program, and Microlearning Academy for Museum Professionals
RevEd: Revolutionary Educators

In today’s complex and politicized classroom environment, teachers face the challenge of engaging their students with more contested, inclusive and honest history. Museums and historic sites and university-based teacher educators can become catalysts for change through teacher institutes and other professional development programming, and by building relationships with classroom practitioners over time.

RevEd is both a community and a convening to create, advance, and share innovative models for education.

  • RevEd is an open community of museum educators, teacher educators, and classroom teachers with regular online engagement in the form of bi-monthly webinars and an online community hosted in Google Groups. Please [[mjhofe, email]] to request access to the RevEd/Teacher Insites Google Group.
  • The RevEd Teacher Summit is an annual conference to bring together the community for professional learning, building networks and collaborations, and sharing emerging best practices.
Cultural Heritage Internship Program

One of the primary goals for W&M’s Vision 2026 is to educate for impact, including leading the nation’s selective liberal arts & sciences institutions in applied learning opportunities. Internships, particularly those that are offered for academic credit and/or compensation, can be a key driver of applied learning and expand career pathways as alumni enter a competitive job market. W&M is uniquely positioned to create a model for how best to engage our students in internships at museums and historic sites. In order to realize W&M’s mission to advance democracy and prepare students to understand and change the world, we seek to leverage established university resources and programs to further expand the range of student opportunities in museums and historic sites.

The Cultural Heritage Internship Program (CHIP) will leverage existing partnerships with William & Mary’s Charles Center, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and other museums and sites in the Tidewater region, Richmond, Washington, D.C., and beyond. Working together, we will create meaningful experiences for interns, position them to contribute important work for partner institutions, and integrate high-impact practices to maximize learning and skill development. The CHIP program will serve all students, but is focused on recruiting first-generation, low-income, veteran, and other under-represented students. Internships that are funded and/or offer academic credit will enable a broader array of students to expand their skills and opportunities within the context of their academic programs. This in turn provides cultural heritage institutions with a pipeline of new employees that will diversify their workforce, integrating new visions and voices in this time of unprecedented change. 

In 2023, the W&M Learning & Design Lab matched W&M students to internship opportunities at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Muscarelle Museum of Art, W&M Bray School Lab, W&M Strategic Cultural Partnerships, the Brafferton Initiative in positions related to media development, web design, research, people, talent, and culture, marketing, education, archaeology, oral history, and more. 

In 2024, the Learning & Design lab will be expanding opportunities for W&M students at museum and cultural heritage organization sites. Partner organizations will be announced in early 2024. 

Microlearning Academy for Museum Professionals

The ever-evolving cultural heritage space requires ongoing professional learning for museum staff to keep pace with change as well as to advance in their careers. Our Microlearning Academy for Museum Professionals will offer online and hybrid learning opportunities for individuals interested in museum and historic site education. This effort, designed to prepare the next generation of cultural heritage site educators and administrators, draws on leaders and innovators from W&M faculty and staff, local and regional partners, and sites across the United States to share their expertise and provide participants the opportunities to build relevant and meaningful skills. This effort advances William & Mary’s Vision 2026 strategic priorities related to democracy and career pathways. Additionally, this effort will expand W&M’s reach and educate for impact.  

To learn more about our three signature programs and emerging possibilities, please contact [[mjhofe, Mark Hofer]], Senior Director, Learning & Design Lab.