Gateways for Incarcerated Youth

Fall 2019
Winter 2020
Spring 2020
Class Size: 20
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

fiction, nonfiction, and contemporary literature

This program offers Evergreen students an opportunity to learn together with youth incarcerated in the Green Hill Academic School, a medium/maximum-security institution located in Chehalis, WA. It is high stakes work that demands deep and consistent engagement. In the Gateways program, which has been running since 1996, the learning of Evergreen students fuels and is fueled by the learning of Green Hill students. It will be our responsibility as co-learners in this program to accompany and empower each other in our studies. We will take advantage of the practices of liberation education to cultivate an environment where this learning together becomes possible. The itinerary of our inquiry will accordingly be shaped collaboratively: in part by the faculty, in part by the interests of Evergreen students, and in part by the interests of Green Hill students. In this sense, the program combines elements of a typical coordinated-studies program with a student-originated studies program. Faculty and students alike will be responsible for determining the interdisciplinary readings, skills, and practices we will engage with as individuals, in pairs, in small groups, and in our learning community as a whole. Critical and creative reading and writing will be consistent practices in our repertoire. Every Thursday in the Green Hill classroom, groups of Evergreen and Green Hill students will collaborate on a variety of projects, and will assume responsibility for developing, delivering, and evaluating weekly workshops. An important foundational concept: effecting change does not mean saving other people or solving their problems—it means creating conditions that are welcoming and generative for genuine dialogue, and supporting each other to work towards our own solutions. Students interested in enrolling in this program should be sure to familiarize themselves with the Gateways website before applying:

The program entails approximately 8-10 hours a week in class and 4-6 hours a week at the institution (including travel time). Evergreen students will commit to a Thursday morning (10:45 to 1:15) a Thursday afternoon (4:00 to 6:30) class at Green Hill. This does not include travel time to and from Green Hill (approximately 30-40 minutes each way).

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

prison education, creative writing, contemplative studies, education, environmental humanities, community work, social work


Credits per quarter


Participating students are required by the prison to pass a background check in order to work on site.

Online learning:
  • Fall and Winter: No Required Online Learning - No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional.
  • Spring Complete Online Learning - This offering delivers all of its instruction online.
Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 20

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Monday, March 30, 2020 - 9:00 am
SEM 2 D2109 - Seminar

Located in: Olympia

2019-05-23mandatory class time changed from Wednesdays to Thursdays each week of program
2019-02-07application date and signature conditions updated