Academic Statement History
The Academic Statement Initiative
Several years ago, the College began to regularly review and assess student transcripts. The object was to find evidence of breadth and depth of learning in the liberal arts. Those reviews yielded the insight that students would benefit from more regular, focused academic advising, led by faculty and grounded in academic structures already in place at the college.
In order to address this need in a rigorous and effective way, the College took two years to develop a new way to connect faculty and students that preserved the centrality and integrity of full- and half-time interdisciplinary programs. The faculty voted to create an ongoing process of advising and mentorship in programs, and to introduce a new way to support reflection, self-evaluation, and decision-making throughout students’ academic careers at Evergreen.
The final incarnation, adopted by the faculty in November 2011, is a new graduation requirement for all degree-seeking undergraduates: an Academic Statement, written by each student individually, about her or his college education. The statement will be iterative—that is, each student will write a version of it annually, with the help of program-centered structures offered by faculty. The final version must be submitted to the College as a condition of graduation, and becomes an important part of each student’s official Evergreen transcript where it will introduce the student’s undergraduate career to an outside audience.
During the 2012-13 academic year, approximately half the faculty created the framework to support students so they can fulfill the requirement. Students, faculty, and staff across the College spent the year developing and testing structures, practices, and events to enable students to critically reflect on and assess their decisions, experiences, and accomplishments at Evergreen. They created new opportunities for students to receive direct support from faculty for thinking about their education as a whole. These new opportunities include several sessions during Orientation Week led by faculty, six hours of program time each fall devoted to developing and refining Academic Statements, and two all-campus events (one in winter and one in spring) when faculty are available on campus for student advising.
If you have any questions about the history of the Academic Statement, please contact Nancy Koppelman, Project Director for the Academic Statement Initiative and Member of the Faculty.