When you graduate, alumni* have shared their advantages in seeing the forest through the trees and their superior ability to write up what they observe and solutions needed if any. For the first 20+ years there were no tests, because you had to know what you were talking about in writing. Tests alienate faculty from the responsibility to stay abreast of their focus and destroy the one-on-one contact that made Evergreen's success a fact.
*A state senator who graduated in 1997 shared how he was allowed to contemplate his work and skip class to do it as a surfer.
Evergreen is a public liberal arts school in the pacific northwest. The college emphasizes interdisciplinary studies, and promotes the 'program' format where students take one class each quarter. Students receive thorough evaluations of academic performance from their instructors, rather than just letter grades. We have a low student to teacher ratio, which affords students the opportunity for true interaction with their instructors. We refer to our teachers by their first names. Every instructor knows their student's names, and personal interests. Students are more collaborative than competitive, and we value integrating ideas and applying these in the real world.
Imagine someone took everything you could ever do at a school and threw it in a blender, what came out was the class catalog of Evergreen. It is great, when each quarter ends you can choose to do something completely different from what you did last.
The short end of the stick is that while you may get to do something awesome, like creative writing, you may have to deal with a sea of shit you dislike, like 18th century Japanese History or something.
If you can jump through the hoops like a circus poodle you can get an independent contract. The contract lets you do just about anything you want as long as you wave your work in front of a professor and say "See, I did what i said I would do."
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