SIU represented at summer White House workshop

By Chase Myers, @chasemyers_DE

SIU’s associate director of the Center for Workforce Development, Jeanne Kitchens, attended a White House Inter-Agency Policy Workshop in Washington D.C. in May held at the Eisenhower Administration Building right next to the White House.

Kitchens was chosen to represent the university because of her work with the Illinois Open Education Resources and learning registry where people can openly access education materials.

Under the resource organization, teachers can go to the website and download materials for free. The site also offers possible lesson plans and discussion materials for a given subject.


The workshop emphasized open access to government funded education resources and included discussions between multiple federal agencies and representatives from around the country.

“Our conversation and focus was on how to create fair and consistent policies that encourage the sharing of licensed educational products developed through grant funding so that they are available to all who need them,” Kitchens said in a press release.

While one purpose of the workshop was to work toward bettering the availability of the government funded materials, it was also a great way to bring together different agencies to communicate openly and work toward a positive outcome, she said.

“The event was centered around the ultimate goal of federal agencies communicating openly in a very productive way toward identifying the best practices, or even policies, that help improve openness,” Kitchens said.

Kitchens’ work with the learning registry is very similar to her work with the credentialing registry currently under construction. Both promote open access to materials necessary for furthering positive learning or success.

She said while there were large federal agencies in attendance, there were also individuals, like her, who had their voices heard.

“Representatives like myself that came alone just talked about the kinds of programs or projects or initiatives [federal agencies] have done that were examples where the outcome was to be open or a way of supporting openness,” she said. “I was there in the context of supporting openness.”