Evergreen Is About Learning - Expectations of a Graduate
Evergreen is About Learning
It's about creating a community that works together to build knowledge, experience and insight.
Everything we do is designed to foster collaborative learning among students, among faculty and between students and faculty. Our faculty is dedicated to teaching, to helping students learn to think critically, solve real-life problems and make the connections that lead to greater understanding.
- Articulate and assume responsibility for your own work.
- Participate collaboratively and responsibly in our diverse society.
- Communicate creatively and effectively.
- Demonstrate integrative, independent, critical thinking.
- Apply qualitative, quantitative and creative modes of inquiry appropriately to practical and theoretical problems across disciplines.
- 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.
Seminars and other aspects of Evergreen programs promote active learning.
We believe it is not enough for students to receive information passively in a large lecture hall. At Evergreen, students discuss ideas in seminars, write about ideas in collaborative and individual assignments, explain ideas in presentations and practice applying ideas in laboratories and workshops. They challenge their own and others' ideas.
Students demonstrate personal engagement in their learning by planning their course of study at Evergreen.
Students prepare an annual Academic Plan that they discuss with their current faculty; this plan may change to reflect students' evolving interests and academic needs.
We believe that if teaching and learning are to be effective, they must draw from many perspectives and include a multiplicity of ideas.
This is true for teaching across disciplines; it is also true for teaching across differences. Evergreen believes in preserving and articulating differences of ethnicity, race, gender and sexual orientation, rather than erasing them or pushing them to the sidelines, and this belief is reflected in the design and content of our programs.
This distinctive approach means that the day-to-day experiences of Evergreen students differ in significant ways from the experiences of students at most colleges and universities.
For example, education at Evergreen is not sectioned into traditional academic disciplines like mathematics, English and biology. We do not believe in isolating bits of learning and presenting them as if they had no connection to other types of learning.
Evergreen faculty members typically work in teams of two, three or four to create these programs.
The focus on interdisciplinary learning means program participants might look at problems in health care from the points of view of biology, history, philosophy, sociology, economics and literature. Or they might study the physical world through the interplay of physics, chemistry, philosophy and mathematics.
Students learn to apply their ideas and theories and skills in the "real world."
At Evergreen, we call it bridging theory and practice. Students may work with real-world communities as a program assignment or develop an internship that allows learning and the application of that learning to take place within a business, public agency or a nonprofit organization.
Those interactions contribute to another distinctive process central to Evergreen's educational philosophy-the narrative evaluation system.
At the end of a program, students discuss their academic progress one-on-one with faculty and receive written evaluations of their progress. Students also prepare self-evaluations, discussing their accomplishments, learning environment, new understandings and goals for the future. As students prepare for graduation, they work with a faculty advisor to create a Summative Self-Evaluation, reflecting on their entire undergraduate experience, and their achievement of their own learning goals. And students evaluate their faculty, as well. Evaluations are an important part of the learning experience, and students receive support from their faculty and from Academic Advising as they learn to reflect on and articulate their experience.
Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate
These principles infuse the Evergreen curriculum and guide academic planning for both faculty and students. We believe that they will provide the context within which our graduates can meet the following expectations:
Articulate and assume responsibility for your own work.
A successful Evergreen graduate will know how to work well with others, not only in the workplace or social contexts, but as an active participant in the struggle for a more just world. You will assume responsibility for your actions as an individual and exercise power responsibly and effectively.
Participate collaboratively and responsibly in our diverse society.
A successful Evergreen graduate will understand that by giving of yourself you make the success of others possible. A thriving community is crucial to your own well-being. The study of diverse worldviews and experiences will help you to develop the skills to act effectively as a local citizen within a complex global framework.
Communicate creatively and effectively.
A successful Evergreen graduate will know how to listen objectively to others so as to understand and accept a wide variety of viewpoints. By developing a genuine interest in the experiences of others, you will learn to ask thoughtful questions, to communicate persuasively, and express yourself creatively.
Demonstrate integrative, independent, critical thinking.
A successful Evergreen graduate will have the ability to appreciate and critically evaluate a range of topics, across academic disciplines. As you explore these disciplines, you will develop a greater curiosity toward the world around you, and its interconnections, that will enhance your skills as an independent, critical thinker.
Apply qualitative, quantitative and creative modes of inquiry appropriately to practical and theoretical problems across disciplines.
A successful Evergreen graduate will understand the importance of the relationship between analysis and synthesis. Through being exposed to the arts, sciences and humanities, and coming to your own critical understanding of their interconnectedness, you will learn to apply appropriate skills and creative ways of thinking to the major questions that confront you in your life.
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.
A successful Evergreen graduate will be able to apply the personal frame of reference you develop as a result of this unique education in order to make sense of the world. This understanding will allow you to act in a way that is both easily understood by and compassionate toward other individuals across personal differences.