The Heritage Story

The Heritage Story

The Heritage Institute began as a group of teachers exploring old-growth forests, beaches and various biomes of the Pacific Northwest with field instructors. We helped teachers discover the history of the natural world and its people. That was 1976. 

Fascinated by what they could bring back to their classrooms through our field study courses, teachers encouraged us to expand our offerings. Cultivating a habit of listening to what teachers need, we began to offer a wide variety of courses across a host of academic disciplines.

In the early 1990's we were one of the first continuing education programs to begin offering online courses. We are proud of our roots and continue to develop and expand our programs.

Our Committment

We are committed to educating the whole person while nurturing personal growth and recognizing professional goals through the offering of continuing education whose learning can be applied to the common good.

Unique Offerings

Honoring our beginnings in Social Justice and Environmental Awareness we continue to offer courses that give you tools to work towards a common goal. Such courses proudly boast the World We Want logo. 

All of our courses offer a collaborative online learning environment. Each course has its own forum which we call "share." Courses also may have some assignments that are done in a forum. 

Courses taken for credit may also be done in a group collaboration with up to 4 colleagues. Learning in groups strengthens course outcomes by providing an opportunity for discussion, debate and shared resources. Learn more about Group Collaboration.

Do you have a special project or lesson unit you are preparing for your classroom that is unlike anything we offer? Working with a Heritage Institute Advisor you can create a course that works for your professional development need. Learn more about Creating Your Own Course.

Our Home

A small administrative staff operates from our headquarters on Whidbey Island, Washington communicating with instructors and learners from all over the United States and the world. Contact Us.

Meet the Team

 Mike Seymour, President 

 Mike Seymour, M.S., has been associated with K-12 education since 1990, most recently in his role as President and Co-Director of The Heritage Institute. Mike is also the founder and Director of a non-profit sponsored by The Heritage Institute, Youth for a New World, which engages youth in global issues and local solutions. Earlier Mike was a consultant and trainer to schools, school districts and Educational Service Districts on such diverse subjects as leadership, visioning and planning and at-risk students. Mike has been board member, Chairman of the Board and volunteer Executive Director of Community for Youth, a highly innovative and successful mentoring program for disadvantaged students in three of Seattle’s most low-performing high schools. Mike authored a text—Educating for Humanity: Rethinking the Purposes of Education--calling on a new vision for education, showing how important the stakes are today for an integral education realizing the interconnectedness of the world. Mike's Awakening Self blog speaks about the important historic shift humanity is going through in our times, and how awakening into a new consciousness is a global phenomenon. Mike recently published the biography of a courageous peacemaker, Prosper Ndabishuriye who helped change the destiny of his nation during the horrific ethnic violence between Hutus and Tutsis in the 1990's. 

As part of Mike's long-standing support of environmental causes, he attended in July 2013 a Climate Leaders training by the Climate Reality Project founded by former Senator and Vice-President Al Gore. Mike is author of the course Climate Change for Teachers & Kids, now taught by Charity Staudenraus, and offers climate change presentations in his home region. 

Mike has a special interest in open, democratic forms of education that allow students to engage in real-world issues. Mike has a B.S. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University.

Mike has created or contributed to the development of many Heritage Institute courses, the latest of which is a course instructed by Brenda McKinney on Mindfulness. Mike has over 40 years of experience in Buddhiust and Christian meditation. 


  Maggie Seymour, CEO






  Yvonne Hall, Director of Community Relations






Photo Coming Soon             Renee Leon, Registrar


  Joslin Blankinship, Customer Service






  Rebecca Blankinship, Outreach and Social Media Coordinator






  Cameron Hall, Admin Support






  Joel and Bethany Kennedy, Technical Support






Photo coming soon                 Sharon Dudley, Accounting 


Meet our Instructors!