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New UW Federal Way campus in the works

The new satellite hybrid UW campus will be built alongside the Federal Way Performing Arts Center to engage students and improve the community.

The University of Washington has added another member to its pack, according to UW President Ana Mari Cauce. Though they said the new addition to the Husky community is just a pup, they plan to start small and gradually build the rest of the campus.

By the end of this summer, right next to the Federal Way Town Square, the Federal Way Performing Arts & Event Center will be modified to accommodate 23 state-of-the-art classrooms, seven offices, a food pantry and a library. 

This autumn, students from all UW campuses are welcome to take classes at UW Federal Way. Winter 2022 is when the school will officially offer Bachelor’s degrees for Disciplinary Arts, Computer Science, Social Work and General Studies majors.

Cauce explained that the campus would also include an array of classes they believe will teach students essential life skills. One of the lessons to be included in the curriculum, for example, will be a three-credit financial literacy course. 

“Students from all UW campuses are welcome to take hybrid classes at UW Federal Way for credit until the entire campus is readily built,” Cauce said. “We’re naturally going to have a lot of undergrad courses at first, but I encourage everyone to look through our course list and see if they’d be interested.”

Next year, the school will also start offering certificates in various programs such as Construction, Medical Assisting, Information Technology and Microsoft Excel.

That’s not all. Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell said their engineers estimated that by 2023, the largely vacant 10-acre space around the Performing Arts Center would be filled with multiple purple buildings.

He then noted that the medical lab, computer lab, student engagement center and counseling centers would be the first to be made as they’re considered essential functions. 

But they haven’t forgotten the community of Federal Way and hope that the campus will help the surrounding community.

“The mission of this campus is to create an institution that not only provides premium education but supports its students, faculty, and the Federal Way community as a whole,” Cauce said. 

A small clinic will be in the works after the labs are built. In addition, a trauma crisis center, on-demand substance abuse rehabilitation services and a community garden will be available to students.

Residents of Federal Way are also welcome to use these programs. Service fees for non-students may be waived depending on factors such as their income.

Students may also choose to volunteer, intern, or work for these services. As Cauce said, it would be a good idea to give students better access to hands-on experience.

“It’s one thing to learn from professors and books, but most people will tell you that lectures don’t prepare you for the real world compared to actually working in a team and understanding communication skills,” they said. 

“For example, if a student wants to be a substance abuse specialist, they can gain experience from volunteering for the rehab services by meeting and helping people who go through these situations in addition to learning it in class.”

Ferrell and Cauce firmly believe that the school will serve as an economic boost improving the city landscape and set a precedent for how universities teach students to uplift their communities.

“By helping the community of Federal Way, we’re not only doing our students a favor, but in small ways, we’re sort of instituting a systematic redefinition of what it means to be a student,” Cauce said. 

“With this new campus, we hope the future generations will see universities as more than just a place to learn but also to help them become better citizens.”

For anyone who wishes to register for classes at UW Federal Way… you can’t. It doesn’t exist. 
Happy April Fool’s!