Institutional Research and Assessment

Transfer Student Project: Katie's Story

Photo of Katie in the balcony of a Seminar II building.

Katie transferred to Evergreen after attending Allegany College in Meadville, Pennsylvania and Centralia Community College. She came here seeking academic intimacy and integration. “I was expecting small class sizes, really getting to know your professors, and them getting to know you. I was really looking for a different approach to education versus the traditional way of doing things and taking four actual classes… [T]he seminar portion of the program has been the most valuable… I like the discussion versus the lecture hall with 400 hundred students.”

Download a Windows Media File with clips from an interview with Katie. (This is a WMA file and should play on your computer using Windows Media Player)

Katie is studying business, specifically venture capitalism, micro-credit loans, and sustainable economics. In relaying her recent studies, Katie evinces a growing problem at Evergreen: “Probably the biggest surprise about Evergreen has also been my biggest disappointment so far. I’ve found that Evergreen doesn’t offer a lot in the way of advanced studies, because of the way it’s set up. You usually just get an introduction to all these different things, but that’s it… Which is why actually this quarter I am taking [Environmental Economics], because it is a more specialized area of economics—it’s actually an upper-division undergraduate class. I’m also taking a four-credit nonprofit development class, which is technically a graduate class that’s available.”

Evergreen, through its many internships, exchange programs, studies abroad, and its infinite independent contract options, allows for curious students to engage with practically anything they want. While the lack of an available array of advanced work introduces obstacles for some students expecting the institution to provide more challenging coursework, those who take the initiative and refuse to be deterred are often forced into forging new academic or interpersonal territory and take on extra credits. “I had my first class with Nonprofit Development last night, and it’s definitely going to be a challenge. I am the youngest person there. It was kind of intimidating, all the people there in their upper twenties, thirties, because they’re in the graduate program. A lot of them have real world experience, and a lot of these people already work with nonprofit organizations and are really involved in the community. I’m new to the area, and I don’t have a lot of real-world experience or anything like that, so it’ll definitely be interesting.”

Pursuing such advanced work at Evergreen can be difficult, but the rewards are usually proportional to the effort. “I plan to graduate next year. I plan on taking summer courses, and then this quarter I’m taking twenty credits so that I can graduate spring of next year, which will actually be a whole year sooner than if I was on the traditional four-year track.”