The tuition is steadily increasing, I hear rumour of budget cuts further escalating and talk of Evergreen becoming privatized which is really disturbing in thought to me, since it's such an accessible, eco-friendly, sociopolitical liberal place where many visionary thinkers begin networking and creating their own projects... privatized, really? I'm also afraid of the liberal arts, expressive arts as well being further pared down... Overall, I want Evergreen to maintain the integrity of student-teacher collaboration, utilizing and emphasizing student voice and responsibility with narrative evaluations and freedom in pursuing Independent Learning Contracts and Internships....
The school is very interdisciplinary; you can go through the whole quarter thinking you are skirting by without working, and finish with no credit. They don't have grades at Evergreen, they just don't award you for what you don't do. If you mess around, no one will stop you, but you will end up paying for many credits you won't receive. Also, the weather can throw some students into a terrible depression over the winter. If you are not used to the winters of Northwestern Washington, stay active and around friends to help yourself get through.
The worst part about Evergreen is the cafeteria. Not a deep analysis, but in all practicality it is the thing I feel needs to be said. Prospective students, please heed my words: get an apartment with a stove; invest in a microwave; buy as few block meals as possible; anything to avoid making the trek over to the Greenery for mediocre foodstuffs. Not that a meal with friends can?t be tasty and fun, it?s just that the last thing you want is to be stuck with only block meals at a time when no meals are being served.
The lack of "real world" skills, no technical education (too heavy on theory in certain programs), SEEMS CUT OFF FROM REALITY. The media department just spent a lot of money on a new media center, but they're still giving outdated workshops on HD cameras. My PHONE has an HD camera! They loan their few HD cameras out with much suspcision and care, as if they're RED cameras. They're proud of their new center and their "famous" media program, but it's laughable. You have to be a self-motivated to learn anything.
The stigma people outside of our school associate with it. People often make the mistake of assuming that Evergreen is a party school or a "fake school" because we don't have grades and we try to break away from the traditional educational foundation with a non-competitive approach to learning. I and many of my peers are proud to be attending The Evergreen State College and it's very frustrating to be completely undermined and ocassionally dismissed because of the fact that we are a liberal state college.
The school isn't heavily funded. The school is a state funded school, but it can very easily lose support due to it's avid activism on any subject imaginable. I don't think that affects morale of activist groups on campus, but it may have some deteriorating consequences on the status of the school in the eyes of the , further creating distance between the school and the community that it serves. It's an endless spiral-down of a problem that seems like it has to be constantly being handled with care.
It is pretty easy to get into Evergreen. They have a high acceptance rate, but a low retention rate. My opinion on the correlation between those two numbers is that there are people at Evergreen that didn't get in else where, and for the good reason that college isn't for them. There are a fair few students that don't take learning seriously and don't realize that even though it is easy to get in is not congruent with the work load (i.e. you have to work just as much as other students, maybe more).
Dealing with and ensuring you have all necessary paperwork and have spoken to all the necessary people for switching programs, dropping a program, receiving or returning finacial aid, etc. can sometimes be difficult and recuire a bit of running back and forth between offices. However, that is mostly time consuming. In addition, people who prefer the structure of a standard university or college may not be as comfortable at Evergreen, as a large majority of the learning is student driven.
I think maybe the worst thing about TESC is time. Very greener answer I'm aware, but time just moves here (on campus). Class will comsume your life in a way I never knew it could. One day I'm attending class for the first time and the next its a new quarter. What I am saying is make sure you have something solid outside of the school to keep you grounded in the real world. TESC has its own bubble and sometimes it's hard to pop for a new student.
The apathy of students (at least beginning year) to get motivated and look up classes they wanted to take. Since there are no majors it is up to the students to decide just what they want, but some just want to sit around smoke weed and place video games/TV. It is important in this respect to realize that you must balance work and play, although at this college the two can sometimes go hand in hand :D