Western, Facing the Future to join forces

Paul Grzelak, Annika Wolters and Matthew Anderson
Western Today staff

Facing the Future, an award-winning developer of teacher’s guides, student textbooks and digital resources that equip and motivate K-college students to develop critical thinking skills, build global awareness, and engage in positive solutions for a sustainable world, has become an independent program of Western Washington University.

"We are thrilled to join Western Washington University and to work with such dedicated and inspirational faculty, staff and administrators. The university's long tradition of excellence in environmental education, primary and secondary education, and business administration with ethics and justice at its core makes us so proud to become Vikings," said Kimberly Corrigan, executive director of Facing the Future.

Facing the Future will retain its name, partners, and network and will work collaboratively with university faculty and experts on scholarship, research and outreach.

“Facing the Future is a leader that empowers teachers to ignite their students’ interest in complex environmental issues. Facing the Future will benefit from the environment, energy, and sustainability educational programs and research at Western. In turn, Western faculty, staff and students will have an outreach mechanism for sharing their educational programs and research with a worldwide audience,” said Steve Hollenhorst, dean of Western’s Huxley College of the Environment.

FTF's staff will remain headquartered in Seattle, continuing under the direction of Executive Director Corrigan. FTF will be located in the university’s Seattle office, which also includes the WWU Foundation.

“Western Washington University has partnered with Facing the Future on a variety of projects over the last decade. We are very excited that they will now be a part of the Western family. Thousands of teachers in the U.S .and around the world use Facing the Future materials to help K-12 students at all grade levels explore a wide variety of global issues pertaining to the environment, economies and social justice. Now we look forward to working with the Facing the Future team in the months and years ahead to introduce their amazing materials to new audiences here in the U.S. and internationally,” said Victor Nolet, WWU professor of Secondary Education whose research has included sustainability in education. 

FTF staff research and write global issues and sustainability curriculum materials that meet national education standards; provide professional development training to teachers on global issues, sustainability, and service learning; and help schools integrate global sustainability across their curricula.

Facing the Future curriculum is in use in all 50 states and more than 120 countries by teachers and students in grades K-college and across multiple subject areas, including science, social studies, and environmental education.

Facing the Future, founded in 1995, has received support from many prominent private foundations, government grants, individual donations and income from its various textbooks and other publications. As an independent program of Western, FTF will continue as a self-sustaining organization, reaching out to even more educators and students.

“In the years to come FTF will serve tens of thousands more educators across the nation and throughout the world, and will strategically expand the communities it serves to include higher education, business, government, and the general citizenry to more deeply understand the pressing local and global issues of our time and to work effectively to prepare young people to take leadership roles in building a just and sustainable future for all,” Corrigan said.

Facing the Future, highly regarded by educators across the nation and world, has won numerous prestigious awards, including: Distinguished Achievement Award Finalist from the Association of Educational Publishers, 2011; North American Association for Environmental Education, Outstanding Service to Environmental Education by an Organization, 2010 and 2006; International Association of Webmasters and Designers 2003-2004 Golden Web Award, and Eisenhower National Clearinghouse Digital Dozen Award, 2002.


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