What Is Cultural Collaborative, Our Professional Development?

The Cultural Collaborative Regional Professional Development Program of the West Metro Education Program is intended to provide timely and effective high impact training and development programs for leaders and staff of its member districts. This training targets the improvement of their cultural competence and effectiveness that will assist in closing opportunity and learning gaps among groups of students. In so doing, the predictability of student achievement will be eliminated. 

Under the overarching statement above, a protocol for courageous conversations is offered to form the vocabulary and framework for understanding and discussing the variability of learning outcomes for students, by race, as a result of history and institutional practices. Further, we recognize that it is valuable and a larger number of participants will be engaged if multiple perspectives are offered about how to improve achievement for all students while simultaneously closing any learning gaps. 

In the end, it is the result of this work that is important, not the exact path that gets to the result. Improvement is likely to occur as a result of a variety of approaches that are tested, modified, and tried again and again if necessary. WMEP intends to offer many “on ramps” for quality equity and excellence work and will support its member districts in a variety of ways toward the outcomes stated in the goals below. 

What Is Our Adult Learning Vision?

WMEP’s Cultural Collaborative Professional Development promotes strategies and the necessary system transformation to eliminate racial predictability in student achievement and provide authentic engagement with students and families of ALL races.

a. Participation in the Cultural Collaborative will increase cultural competence and racial equity consciousness in all member district employees to help authenticate relationships and increase personal racial and cultural identity development for students and district employees of ALL races.

b. The Cultural Collaborative will provide equity leadership training and student programming, and provide a forum for shared wisdom, collaboration, and accountability.

c. Through the Cultural Collaborative, districts will sustain and accelerate racial equity work as well as disrupt institutional racism and predictable patterns of resistance.

WMEP Racial Equity Professional Development Framework

WMEP recommends a common protocol for racial discourse. Many of our participants have found that professional development is more effective with a common vocabulary and frameworks. These aide understanding and help facilitate discussions around the variability of learning, our history, and the systematic institutional practices that impact student success by race.  A strong foundation in cultural competency and equity leadership supports the development of effective practices and strategies to positively impact student success and achievement.


Each circle in the framework identifies a subset of our professional development. Courses are color-coded to correlate to its position on the chart. Educators are encouraged to experience learning in all of the “colors” in order to achieve the result – racial equity achievement and opportunity. By using this framework and paying attention to prerequisite requirements, educators can maximize their experience in the WMEP Cultural Collaborative and impact on student achievement for students of all races.

Practices and Strategies workshops promote strategies and the necessary system transformation tools to eliminate racial predictability in student achievement. Practices and strategies, focused on students’ strengths versus a deficit model, enable teachers to utilize best practice to impact student engagement, growth, success and achievement. 

Cultural Competency workshops increase cultural competence and racial equity consciousness. They also assist in authenticating relationships and increase personal racial and cultural identity development for youth and adults of all races. Cultural competency helps educators successfully prepare for and teach students who come from a culture other than their own, thus positively impacting student success and achievement.

Equity Leadership workshops provide leadership support for districts to sustain and accelerate racial equity work as well as disrupt institutional racism and predictable patterns of resistance. This disruption makes way for access and opportunities for students who are often systematically excluded, which in turn leads to increased student engagement, success and achievement.

Cancellation Policy and Procedure

All workshop registrants are subject to a five business day cancellation policy. If the individual fails to cancel prior to five business days from the start of the workshop, they will be billed a $100/day no-show fee. This fee covers the cost of materials, food and other administrative costs associated with the event. In the event of a multiple/day workshop, where the days are separated by weeks or months, each day in the session will be treated as a separate event in terms of the cancellation policy. 

WMEP’s Non-Attendance Terms and Conditions

Please be sure to understand our Cancellation Policy and Procedure described above.

You are responsible for providing current and accurate employment information in your keep certified account. WMEP will bill your district for any costs associated with your participation in the Cultural Collaborative. If your district refuses to or fails to pay for any reason, you will be personally liable for those costs.  

The West Metro Education Program (WMEP), may wish to use your photograph, or voice for promotional and educational reasons such as in publications, posters, brochures, and newsletters; on the district website and social media site. You may also receive emails as part of a list serve to inform you of additional offerings available through WMEP.

When you register for any Cultural Collaborative course, you will be asked to click the box to confirm your understanding and acceptance of all of the terms noted above. If you wish to opt out of the media release or the list serve, please contact kara_richardson@wmep.k12.mn.us.

Substitute Teachers and WMEP Member Guests

A member guest is a participant who is not currently employed by a member district, but has written permission from a member district to take WMEP classes at no charge. Member guests may included substitute teachers if the member district is not hosting them (i.e. hosting means that the member district agrees to pay all costs associated with the substitutes attendance or lack thereof.)  Starting January 1st, 2015, the policy for WMEP member guests is the following: 

At least ten days prior to a selected course date, a member guest must submit a $100/day refundable check to: 


c/o Liz Lansing

10 South 10th Street

Minneapolis, MN 55403  

The check will be returned upon workshop attendance. Failure to attend will cause the check to be cashed to cover Cultural Collaborative expenses, unless, the member guest has canceled at least five business days prior to the scheduled workshop date.

This policy will not apply for registrants who are hosted by a member district.  This means the member district has agreed to pay any costs associated with the registrant, including an agreement to pay their “no show” fee. 

Nonmember participants who are sponsored by outside districts, other institutions, or themselves will be billed the non-member rate.  

Cultural Collaborative/Professional Development Contact Information


If you have questions or concerns regarding WMEP Cultural Collaborative, please contact:

Jill Scholtz at jill_scholtz@wmep.k12.mn.us or 612.752.7211

Kara Richardson at kara_richardson@wmep.k12.mn.us or 612.752.7204

Source: WMEP