Students now have a chance to speak directly to the Washington State University administration about concerns and improvements to their education through the new President’s Student Learning Academy.

Associated Students of Washington State University and the WSU provost’s office have joined to form the President’s Student Learning Academy. It was formed in response to the university’s No. 1 strategic goal: to have the best undergraduate education in a research university, ASWSU President Brea Thompson said.

“WSU will be one of the first in the nation to have such a mechanism for student academic involvement,” Thompson said.

“Often administrators come to me to ask my opinion as representative of all students,” Thompson said. “I realized this issue needed more voices than just one and that it had to be institutionalized.”

Academic deans and urban campus chancellors will choose 16 students for the academy. The student representatives will communicative the needs of each college, including the Honors College, each urban campus, distance degree programs, ASWSU and the Graduate and Professional Student Association.

Assistant Vice Provost Doug Baker helped develop the academy. Upper administration, the academic deans and faculty are excited about the project, Baker said.

“Students don’t get many opportunities to be involved in the forming of their education,” Baker said. “So any venue to better that communication is welcomed.”

The President’s Student Learning Academy was created as a student version of the President’s Teaching Academy for faculty. The two will work closely on issues for students and faculty, Baker said.

“We hope the student representative and the faculty representative will go back to their respective colleges and further the conversations started in these groups,” he said. “The extension potential is limitless.”

Students with questions or an issue they would like recognized for consideration during an academy can e-mail to Thompson at breathompson@wsu.edu. Both the student learning and teaching academies will meet biweekly for the remainder of the semester.