Committees & DTFs

GenEd Expectations


Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate Introduction

The attempt here is to articulate expectations that have been around Evergreen and agreed to for a long while. Many of these expectations resurfaced from material generated in Planning Units last year and from this summer's faculty institutes.

Expectations are NOT requirements. We are NOT proposing that every faculty member teach to every expectation in a single program.

We have specified multiple ways that a student might demonstrate that they have met these expectations. You may think of more. Most of the possible demonstrations represent current practices at Evergreen. This is not an exhaustive list but rather one that captures generally agreed upon teaching and learning objectives at the College. We welcome your assistance in elaborating alternative ways of describing these learning goals.

We believe there is an unavoidable link between this set of expectations and the curriculum. While some of the learning outcomes listed below are generally accessible to most Evergreen students, we believe that other learning outcomes are much more difficult for students to achieve because they are not as widely available in the curriculum. Specifically, access to the study of quantitative reasoning, the Arts, and the Sciences should be increased. We believe that, over time, more students will be able to meet these expectations if given more exposure to them in the curriculum. Below are statements of our expectations with students as the audience. We have borrowed heavily from William Cronon's work on the values of and in a liberal arts education.

[ " �Only Connect': Goals of a Liberal Education," Liberal Education, Vol.85, No1 (Winter 99):6-13]

Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate

Evergreen's goal is to assist its students in developing personal strengths, abilities, and a sense of their own work in order to participate effectively and responsibly, individually and collaboratively in a diverse, complex world.

To that end, the Evergreen education is structured around the Five Foci

  • Interdisciplinary learning
  • Collaboration
  • Personal Engagement
  • Linking Theory and Practice
  • Learning across significant differences

To fulfill our institutional mission, Evergreen faculty as a group will consistently produce a curriculum, which makes it possible for Evergreen grads to be able to:

  • Define and assume responsibility for their own work
  • Participate collaboratively and responsibly in a diverse society
  • Communicate creatively and effectively
  • Demonstrate independent, critical thinking
  • Apply qualitative and quantitative modes of inquiry appropriately
    to practical and theoretical problems across disciplines, including the Arts and Sciences
  • Demonstrate depth, breadth, and synthesis of learning
    and the ability to reflect on the personal and social significance of that learning
A. Define and assume responsibility for your own work. 

As an Evergreen graduate you will know that we fool ourselves if we think we can avoid acting, avoid exercising power, avoid engaging in the world. Consequently, you will know how to work with other people to get things done in the world, to engage in applied, practical and consequential actions. To this end you will need to define and assume responsibility for your own work.

Learning outcomes:

  • Articulate and investigate your questions.
  • Develop and continually assess an evolving academic plan based on development of your own questions and goals.
  • Articulate and explain your choice of academic experiences and integrate educational experiences from year to year as related to the evolution of your own questions and goals.
  • Articulate contexts of varying disciplines as related to your own questions.
  • Articulate and understand work within varying contexts and across significant differences.
  • Take responsibility for your own work in a collaborative context.
  • Work in your chosen medium to thoughtfully and competently conveys your learning
  • Engage with others in community-based project work
  • Understand the ethical use of information.
  • Identify the implications of your choice to act or not act in the world
  • Articulate and demonstrate the necessity of working with others to exercise power and effect change.

Possible ways to demonstrate these:

  • Discussing your work in a self evaluation
  • Doing an individually directed research project
  • Designing and implementing a collaborative project
  • Articulating the significance of their work as a culmination of personal learning and in terms of its relevance to a democratic society (address depth and breadth of college experience).
  • Producing a forum, exhibit, research paper, or artistic work that effectively communicates your learning.
  • Maintaining an up-to-date student portfolio
  • Maintaining and up-to-date academic plan
  • Working with other students to design a Student Originated Study

B. Participate collaboratively and responsibly in our diverse society. 

As an Evergreen graduate you will have the intellectual range and emotional generosity to recognize the parochialism of your own viewpoint. You will understand that you belong to a community whose prosperity and well-being are crucial to your own and that you help that community flourish by giving of yourself to make the success of others possible. No one ever acts alone. You will open yourself through the study of perspectives, world views, and experiences very different from your own. To that end, you will develop the skills to act effectively as a local citizen in a global context.

Learning outcomes:

  • Articulate the partiality of your own assumptions and experiences.
  • Articulate the assumptions and experiences of people different from yourself and know how to learn from culturally diverse perspectives.
  • Compare historical and cultural perspectives with your own.
  • Work in contexts where ambiguity and conflict are present, and work responsibly and efficiently on collaborative projects.
  • Ask good questions, elicit the ideas of colleagues, and listen actively.
  • Take responsibility for your own work in a collaborative context.
  • Paraphrase and articulate the potential legitimacy of contradictory interpretations of actions/events.
  • Represent experiences and issues you've studied using words, images, or other media to reflect the multi-faceted nature of collective experience
  • Articulate the ways to implicate and partially define your engagement with others.
  • Demonstrate the ability to engage, respect and negotiate competing claims from multiple communities and voices.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work with others to analyze a problem or create a project, plan and implement a strategy, and evaluate the results.
  • Demonstrate the ability to assume varying group process roles.

Possible ways to demonstrate these:

  • Producing seminar papers, portfolios, oral presentations, reflective writing, and research papers, documentary films, oral histories or works of art or fiction based on informed observation and research
  • Participating in seminar discussions.
  • Assuming varied roles in group projects, seminars, and community discussions
  • Facilitating small and large group work, group presentations, problem solving, mediation sessions, group planning activities.
  • Communicating orally, in writing, in performance or art, to a small or large group, in formal and informal situations
  • Participating in internships and community service projects.

C.Communicate creatively and effectively.

As an Evergreen graduate you will know how to listen to others and to learn from the vast diversity of human experience, to hear people who agree with you and people who disagree with you, to hear the feelings, the arguments, the ideas and interconnections that make up the world. You will be able to talk with anyone by asking thoughtful questions and by developing a genuine interest in the lives and experiences of others. You will be able to communicate persuasively and movingly about what touches you and what you hope to persuade others to understand and do. You will be able to express yourself creatively. To that end you will develop listening, speaking, writing and creative skills.

Learning outcomes:

  • Design and implement written and oral presentations appropriate to your audiences.
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of forms to a variety of audiences.
  • Ask good questions, elicit the ideas of colleagues, and listen actively, especially when you disagree with what you are hearing.
  • Analyze oral presentations and arguments.
  • Construct a theme, synthesize and build upon an argument.
  • Interpret and create symbolic representations of both concrete facts and more abstract relations.
  • Accurately paraphrase others' assertions.
  • Describe emotional tone of argument to identify what is unsaid, but relevant.
  • Formulate nuanced questions and listen actively to responses.
  • Create persuasive, logical arguments in written form.
  • Create effective representations of emotional, aesthetic, and social realities through the use of written language.
  • Create expressive representations of reality through the use of images, music, performance, and creative writing.
  • Possible ways to demonstrate these:
  • Creating written essays, research papers
  • Making films, photographs, paintings, murals, sculpture or mixed-media artistic work
  • Creating, producing or participating in an artistic performance using theatre, dance or music
  • Writing screenplays, poetry, journalism and creative nonfiction
  • Presenting in a public forum
  • Documenting oral histories
  • Completing and publishing ethnographic descriptions of situations, events, or communities
  • Demonstrating information literacy
  • Participating in seminar conversations
  • D.Demonstrate independent, critical thinking. As an Evergreen graduate you will know how to read, understand, and be curious about a range of radically different discourses. You will learn to understand and critically evaluate a range of verbal and nonverbal discourses, including social analysis, science and natural history, popular culture, mathematics, fiction, and art. You will learn to encounter the world as a fascinating and extraordinarily intricate set of texts waiting to be read and understood. You will have the ability to appreciate a closely reasoned rigorous argument, while understanding that such arguments always serve distinct values. Assessing both the rigor and the values implicit in arguments is a fundamental skill. You will have the ability to appreciate complex creative works of art. To that end you will develop skills in critical thinking.

    Learning outcomes:

    Identify an author's point of view and thesis, and the cultural context in which the work was created.

    • Analyze and evaluate arguments and the adequacy of evidence and supportive arguments.
    • Analyze oral presentations and arguments.
    • Create written work or works of art.
    • Interpret written works and works in performance, visual, and media arts.
    • Make careful observations of the natural world and interpret them.
    • Take more than one position on a particular issue and defend each position reasonably and respectfully.
    • Suspend disbelief enough to grasp another person's points of view by careful, active reading.
    • Construct a theme, synthesize and build upon an argument.
    • Demonstrate the ability to assume varying group process roles.
    • Interpret and create symbolic representations of both concrete facts and more abstract relations.
    • Recognize the potential legitimacy of contradictory interpretations of actions and events.

    Possible ways to demonstrate these:

  • Discussing and write about nonfiction, fiction, poetry, essays, scientific research articles, art and performance.
  • Parsing and summarizing written works, arguments, mathematical proofs; read graphs and charts and interpret their significance.
  • Writing papers, poetry, responses, etc.
  • E. Apply qualitative, quantitative, and creative modes of inquiry appropriately to practical and theoretical problems across disciplines. 

    As an Evergreen graduate you can apply the skills of artist, scientist, manager, analyst, critic or engineer: the ability to look at a complicated reality, break it into pieces, figure out how it works, in order to do practical things in the world. You can apply appropriate qualitative, quantitative, and creative ways of thinking to the practical and theoretical questions that confront you in the world. To that end you will learn that as a part of taking the world apart (analysis) you will need to learn the equally complex task of putting it together (synthesis).

    Learning outcomes:

    • Formulate good questions based on need for information; identify potential sources of information; and develop and apply successful search strategies to access varied sources of information, including computer-based technologies.
    • Select appropriate resources to investigate those questions and evaluate the quality and accuracy of information and resources
    • Articulate relevant theoretical material, historically and conceptually.
    • Efficiently make estimates and critically evaluate their limits of validity.
    • Read, analyze, interpret, use, and create information.
    • Interpret and create symbolic representations of both concrete facts and more abstract relations.
    • Integrate information into existing knowledge, use it in problem solving, and cite and document it accurately.
    • Apply information to practical and theoretical problems.
    • Synthesize diverse approaches and information to generate new perspectives and inquiries.
    • Understand the ethical use of information.
    • Articulate contexts of varying disciplines they relate to your own questions.
    • Efficiently make estimates and critically evaluate their limits of validity
    • Interpret and create symbolic representations of both concrete facts and more abstract relationships

    Possible ways to demonstrate these:

    • Completing student research projects that incorporate collection and analysis of data.
    • Using statistics, spreadsheets and charts.
    • Generating theoretical models, compare predictions with observations.
    • Participating in community service, internships, governance.
    • Understanding issues of academic freedom, copyright, and plagiarism
    • Create written work or works of art.

    F. As a culmination of your education, demonstrate depth, breadth, and synthesis of learning and the ability to reflect on the personal and social significance of that learning

    You will be able to articulate the connections you have made so as to be able to make sense of the world and act in creative, reflective, and responsible ways within it in ways that make sense to a variety of other people. To that end, you will develop reflective practices as a integral part of your learning.

    Learning outcomes

    • Demonstrate intellectual depth by participating in an advanced project.
    • Appreciate and apply creativity, imagination, and analytic and synthetic reasoning, as appropriate.
    • Demonstrate intellectual breadth by studying, in some depth, in more than one area of the curriculum.
    • Write an essay on the personal and social significance of your learning.
    • Articulate and understand work within varying contexts and across significant differences.
    • Synthesize diverse approaches and information to generate new perspectives and inquiries.
    • Understand the ethical use of information.

    Possible ways to demonstrate these:

    • Producing student originated software
    • Completing and displaying or performing a significant piece or body of artistic work.
    • Doing advanced work within a coordinated studies program (such as by completing a research paper or lecture at an advanced level).
    • Participating in a collaborative, community-based work and sharing your learning and achievements through writing, visual work, or performance.
    • Completing a senior thesis project-group or individual project.
    • Articulating the significance of their work as a culmination of personal learning and in terms of its relevance to a democratic society (address depth and breadth of college experience).