Institutional Research and Assessment

Transfer Student Project: Josette's Story

Josette transferred to Evergreen's Tacoma campus as a junior, where she is focusing on Law and Sociology and preparing to apply to law school.

Coming to Evergreen, Josette expected to find collaborative and integrated learning, group projects, and a very diverse population. What she found matched her expectations. Commenting on the change she’s experienced at Evergreen she said, “I’ve become more aware of my strengths. It’s easier for me to identify how I interact with other people and how I motivate other people. I think that self-awareness is a higher level of thinking, and I think being at Evergreen, you’re developing that, unknowingly developing that... I believe it’s because of all the collaborative work that we do.”

Happy, feeling her expectations were met in Tacoma, Josette began to realize a lack of collaboration with the main campus in Olympia. She pondered the demographic, cultural, and practical differences between the two campuses, at once both appreciating and bemoaning the separation. When she describes Evergreen to her friends, she is sure to remove Tacoma from the “hippie” stereotype wafting up from Olympia. Despite her distinction, she recognizes the important work being forged at both locations and insists all students would benefit from collaboration across such differences, even if the process were painful. “I think we could learn a lot from each other—open up some sores, then some minds.” If such communal bonds can’t be cemented through academics, guest lectures, or participation in Lyceum, Josette feels the “big van they have” in Olympia should at least be used to transport Tacoma students down for the basketball games, where the Geoducks could use the extra cheers.

Tacoma’s motto, ‘Enter to learn; depart to serve,’ resonated with Josette’s desire to become a counselor or social worker, and was integral in her enrollment at Evergreen. However, Josette’s “stick-up-for-the-underdogs” nature developed a new dimension as her studies delved into the Constitution where she began questioning the genesis and subsequent interpretations of law. Josette stewed in the ridiculous disconnection between policy makers and affected populations. This investigation led her to rethink her initial career plans: “I don’t think I can sit in a room, counseling people, when really they don’t have control over their own lives.” Her desire to serve under-represented populations, concomitant with her newly realized lack of control, reinvigorated her academic drive. “It’s a political thing… We can’t just expect that we’re going to show up with an Associate’s degree and get paid for the hard work you do… now the state requires advanced degrees in order to get paid a decent salary to help take care of the less fortunate.”

Josette has decided to follow in the footsteps of Tacoma’s ‘sheroes,’ the strong, professional women leaders who have been her faculty and role models at Evergreen. Though the career change is sudden, she feels it’s the right step. Josette is now readying her transcript and application for law school, studying for the LSATS, and preparing herself to face the challenges ahead.