Dressing for success: inside Whitworth’s School of Educational professionalization house 

Kylee Feldhusen | Staff Writer

Whitworth School of Education professionalization house, Dec. 17, 2023, in Spokane, Wash. | Caleb Flegel/The Whitworthain

The School of Education is a Whitworth University program providing students in the teacher education department (TED) with professional attire necessary for their field experience through the professionalization house. Dr. Lisa Laurier, chair of TED, and Abby Leman, TED’s program coordinator, originally devised the plan to provide students with gently used articles of clothing that had been donated by the community at Whitworth.

“The staff of the Alumni [Hardwick] House graciously offered an empty office in which the clothing could be displayed. Student interest and the community response was so positive that we quickly outgrew our space in the Hardwick House,” said Kim LaVine, TED’s field placement coordinator.

After receiving growing support from the community, the Professional Resource Center (PRC), the resource center for the teacher education department, moved to one of Whitworth’s off-campus houses for more space. Any education major students currently in a field placement can schedule an appointment with Leman or LaVine to visit the PRC building to select suitable attire.  

Over time, thanks to the growing support of the community, the resource center has gained the ability to provide over 200 students with resources for professional attire.  

“K-12 schools have dress requirements for teachers and fieldwork students which can present a barrier both to the degree and to employment in the field,” said LaVine. The goal for the PRC building is to help eliminate some of the stress students face to help them achieve their goals.

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