For me, the best thing about Evergreen is the fact that the teachers are invested in thier students' learning, not just thier grades. The proffessers are passionate about what they teach, and really want you to succeed.
I think it the ideal place for intensive study. I'm a science student and with the amount of work I'm typically burdened with (because the science program is no joke), its nice to find solace in the forest surrounding the campus. IThe campus itself is relatively quiet, it feels very private from outside traffic, and it allows you the breathing room to calm your mind and senses. The faculty I've encountered are some of the best teachers I've ever had the priveledge to be taught by. They're adaptable, and most importantly, masters of their discipline.
The best thing about the school is the latitude to pursue any educational goal without restriction.
The best thing about The Evergreen State College is the willingness of the administration, faculty and student body to craft programs that are radically interdisciplinary, exposing students and faculty to a breadth of concepts and information that would be compartmentalized in a more mainstream campus.
Small classes, lots of one-on-one attention from faculty members. The campus is also quite beautiful, Olympia is a pretty town.
I enjoy the academic freedom here at Evergreen. There are hardly any hoops to jump through when it comes to taking certain classes or getting involved with programs. This was a problem in the past for me at my old college. If I wanted to switch programs or majors, it was as if I had to start my education over. Meaning everything leading up to that point was practically null and void. Why do traditional colleges prioritize and marginalize prior learning? Anyways, Evergreen does not and that is probably one of it's greatest attributes-- freedom.
The multi-disciplinary approach to learning. By taking one program for 1 to 3 quarters you are able to learn a great deal about any given subject. For example, in my current program we are learning about environmental education, the history of national parks, watershed ecology, field ecology, the natural history of Mount Rainier, visual art in education and the history of the indigenous peoples of the Puget Sound area. In addition there is a great deal of emphasis put on collaborative, place-based, and service learning. Plus you only have 2-3 faculty who are always accessible!
Programs instead of multiple different classes, independant study, and self-evaluations and teacher evaluations that give students actually imput and power in the classes they take at Evergreen. I also like that it's a small school with only about 2500 students.
There is a combination of two things that make The Evergreen State College the best and these are the opportunity to be treated like a person and to actually learn more in a smaller amount of time. We are not treated as members of the socially recognized category, or those who are enrolled in a social institution. Instead we're, in a deeper sense, we're in a category of human being. Not only do we get the chance to learn many subjects in our programs, we get to experience new things through clubs, internships, and volunteer positions.
The classes offered - the material students at Evergreen are able to learn.
I liked the small class sizes, and the interpersonal relationship possibilities with students and faculty were much better than at a larger school. This came with both good and bad things, sometimes extra attention is great, sometimes it is NOT so great. I like the interdisciplinary nature of the classes, and the 16-credit programs definitely have their merits. I also like the ability of students to create contracts to fulfill their own educational goals. This made it easy for me to fill the prerequisites for my Master's program without having to take many separate classes.
I like that there is an evaluation system because it allows for a better reflection on what you learned during the different classes and is a good reminder to make connections with professors. The 16 credit classes also creates an interesting inter-displinary aspect to the subjects and allows for collaborative teaching.
The educational aspect.
The amazing professors. They are eager to teach/help.
There are no prerequisites, no required classes, and you can design your own major. This is great because it allows those going on to graduate school ot get a leg up on things like independant research.
The way the educational system is set up allows for close contact and work with other students and teachers. There are lots of hands on work in all the classes with great project and interdisciplenary work.
At Evergreen you an truelly be independant, if you want to study somthing no matter how odd, crazy or normal if you can find a sponsor you can be your own tearch.
My education is in my hands and I am learning excatly what I want to learn
People that attend The Evergreen State College don't go here for a degree... They go for an education. With a curriculum that gives hands on experience in the field, it is hard not to learn everything you want to learn about an individual subject. It is easy to focus on and get completely rounded in your major course of study when you aren't distracted by irrelevant classes and scheduling conflicts. Evergreen is set up in such a way to optimize the 'worth' of a college.
To me, the best thing about The Evergreen State College would have to be the personality of the school and, of course, the people. Being a part of a "green" community has really opened up and shared who I really am. Never before have I felt so accepted and excited to attend a school. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and they always seem to captivate me. With the unique atmosphere and aura of the campus, people who don't even attend the college come to enjoy the amazing aspects of the school.
The best thing about my school is the grading system, which is in the form of written evaluations, rather than letter grades. Professors speak directly about you, and you also have a chance to write an evaluation for yourself. My transcripts when I graduate will be really thick and less mathematical than others, but my education will never be boiled down to a number and letters.
The Evergreen State College allows students to choose their own path; there aren't majors to apply to, no tests, no grades. This allows students to design their own degree. One quarter I studied organizational leadership and the next I studied the history of education in the US. My professors wrote evaluations at the end of each term explaining the projects I participated in and my learning; this is what made up my transcript.
The best thing about Evergreen is the passion. We don't recieve letter grades because everyone is evaluated based on their individual abilities and effort. It is not a competition, so students really have to try their hardest. It's apparent to the professors if you're holding back. Evergreen is truly a community of learners and students work alongside the professors. People are very focused on what they choose to study. People want to help newcomers understand their class material and become excited about it.
It allows me flexibility so it fits with my life which is important with work and a family. I am the sole support for 3 children and my husband so I must continue working full time. I have waited a long time for my turn to return to school so having it fit with these restrictions was most important.
The people. Everybody is so different, inviting, and intelligent. I learn something new every day by mearly having a conversation with a stranger.
My school allows students to feel like individuals yet still maintain friendships with people similar to them. It is a school that "makes you feel like a number" but you are noticed within the community. The staff are wonderful and are willing to help, even if you are not participating in any courses relating to their work. Resources are readily available with a library, computer lab, and Summit program. The environment is peaceful and easy to maintain a "noise-free" study area.
The potential for independent contracts & other alternative learning methods - they are very flexible and if what a student is looking for is not offered the school will help the student learn it in a different way.
Evergreen really allows for creative thinking, for experimentation, liberation, and exploration. The collaborative effort amongst students is incredible and forces you to think independently and strongly, but also to listen to others and process information critically. Group discussions move quickly, rely on factual analysis but also leave room for hypothesis (as long as you can support it with facts!). The student body is diverse, opinionated, friendly, and open. Evergreen really makes you grow as a person--you have to in order to get credit. This is no place for passivity. It is active and engaging.
It is a small school, so if a student is struggling with their work, they can easily meet with their faculty to find another way to approach their studies. Students can take very interdisciplinary classes so even if you change your major from arts to science you will be satisfied with your courses. You really get what you put into your studies. Programs (classes) are graded through "evaluations" rather than a GPA, so if you slacked off, it isn't registered in a number, your teacher actually WRITES A PAGE about your performance in class.
If you want to be in the great outdoors and are VERY independant, Evergreen is perfect for you.
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