The Evergreen State College
is an accredited public liberal arts college
A liberal arts college is one with a primary emphasis on undergraduate study in the liberal arts and sciences.Students in the liberal arts generally major in a particular discipline while receiving exposure to a wide range of academic subjects, including sciences as well as the traditional...
and a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges
The Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges or COPLAC is a consortium of 26 public colleges and universities in 24 states and one Canadian province...
. It is located in Olympia, Washington
Olympia is the capital city of the U.S. state of Washington and the county seat of Thurston County. It was incorporated on January 28, 1859. The population was 46,478 at the 2010 census...
, USA. Founded in 1967, Evergreen was formed to be an experimental and non-traditional college. Faculty issue narrative evaluations of students' work rather than grades, and Evergreen organizes most studies into largely interdisciplinary classes that generally constitute a full-time course load. The current Evergreen President is Thomas L. (Les) Purce and its Board Chair is Christopher Hedrick
Christopher Hedrick "Chris Hedrick" is the Country Director for the U.S. Peace Corps in Senegal. Peace Corps/Senegal is the largest Peace Corps program in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hedrick leads the Peace Corps efforts in malaria prevention in Senegal, which are now being extended under his...
Evergreen offers a Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...
in Liberal Arts and Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...
, Master of Environmental Studies
Environmental studies is the academic field which systematically studies human interaction with the environment. It is a broad interdisciplinary field of study that includes the natural environment, built environment, and the sets of relationships between them...
, Master of Public Administration
The Master of Public Administration is a professional post-graduate degree in Public Administration. The MPA program prepares individuals to serve as managers in the executive arm of local, state/provincial, and federal/national government, and increasingly in nongovernmental organization and...
, Master of Education
The Master of Education is a postgraduate academic master's degree awarded by universities in a large number of countries. This degree in education often includes the following majors: curriculum and instruction, counseling, and administration. It is often conferred for educators advancing in...
, and Master in Teaching. In 2009, there were 4,696 students, 4,364 of whom were undergraduates, and 243 faculty members. The Evergreen State College has had a large influence on the culture and economy of Olympia as well as its surrounding areas.
In 1964, a report was issued by the Council of Presidents of Washington State baccalaureate institutions stating that another college was needed in the state to balance the geographical distribution of the existing state institutions. This report spurred the 1965 Washington legislature to create the Temporary Advisory Council on Public Higher Education to study the need and possible location for a new state college.
In 1965-66, the Temporary Advisory Council on Public Higher Education (assisted by Nelson Associates of New York) concluded "at the earliest possible time a new college should be authorized", to be located at a suburban site in Thurston County within a radius of approximately 10 miles (16.1 km) from Olympia.
Evergreen's enabling legislation - HB 596 (Chapter 47, Laws of 1967) - stated that the campus should be no smaller than 600 acres (242.8 ha), making it then the largest campus in the state as well as the first public four-year college created in Washington in the 20th century.
On January 24, 1968, The Evergreen State College
was selected from 31 choices as the name of the new institution. On November 1, 1968, Charles J. McCann
Charles J. McCann, the first president of The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Appointed by the college's Board of Trustees August 15, 1968 following the Washington State Legislature's passage of the 1967 bill authorizing the College, McCann served as president until stepping down...
assumed the first presidency of the college. McCann and the founding faculty held the first day of classes October 4, 1971 with 1178 students. McCann served from 1968 until stepping down to join the faculty June 6, 1977 when former Governor Daniel J. Evans
Daniel Jackson Evans served three terms as the 16th Governor of the state of Washington from 1965 to 1977, and represented the state in the United States Senate from 1983 to 1989....
, who signed the legislation creating Evergreen, assumed the presidency. Evans left the president's office abruptly in 1983 when he was appointed to the United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...
to fill the vacancy created by the death of Senator Henry M. Jackson
Henry Martin "Scoop" Jackson was a U.S. Congressman and Senator from the state of Washington from 1941 until his death...
. The largest building on campus is named in honor of Evans, the Daniel J. Evans Library Building. The entrance to the campus bears McCann's name, the Charles J. McCann plaza. In 2004, the college completed the 170000 square feet (15,793.5 m²) Seminar II building, and a significant remodel of the Daniel J. Evans Library is now complete.
In 1999, Mumia Abu-Jamal
Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and sentenced to death. He has been described as "perhaps the world's best known death-row inmate", and his sentence is one of the most debated today...
was invited to deliver the keynote address by audiotape for the graduating class at the college. The event was protested heavily.
The campus contains a large tract of undeveloped land along the Puget Sound waterfront, much of it being second growth evergreen forest, which is of use to the students and faculty of the campus as a research and natural area. The entire campus comprises about 408 hectares (1,008.2 acre), much of it forested land. This total includes 11 hectares (27.2 acre) of southern Puget Sound tidelands. In addition to the main campus, there is also an organic farm as well as an urban campus located in Tacoma, Washington
Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city and the county seat of Pierce County, Washington, United States. The city is on Washington's Puget Sound, southwest of Seattle, northeast of the state capital, Olympia, and northwest of Mount Rainier National Park. The population was 198,397, according to...
In 2008 the college became one of about 30 college and universities in the country to create a gender neutral option in its campus housing. This space is a designated safe space for LGBT students and allies and can also be used by married heterosexual couples.
The Evergreen State College has garnered many academic accolades. According to U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is an American news magazine published from Washington, D.C. Along with Time and Newsweek it was for many years a leading news weekly, focusing more than its counterparts on political, economic, health and education stories...
's 2009-2010 college rankings, Evergreen is ranked #1 in the West for Undergraduate Teaching at Masters Universities. It was ranked as the 5th best public college in the Masters West Category "a region stretching from Texas to the Pacific." It was also ranked as #29th overall in the Masters West Category outranking other state schools such as Central Washington University and Eastern Washington University, as well as many other public schools in the region such as Humboldt State University, Boise State University, Eastern Oregon University, Western Oregon University, and Southern Oregon University. Evergreen is also among the top colleges in the nation for offering the best first-year experiences to freshmen, which entails building into the curriculum first-year seminars or other programs that bring small groups of students together with faculty and staff on a regular basis. Author and former New York Times
education editor Loren Pope
Loren Brooks Pope was an American writer and independent college placement counselor.In 1965, Pope, a former newspaperman and education editor of The New York Times, founded the College Placement Bureau, one of the first independent college placement counseling services in the United States...
cites Evergreen as one of two public colleges in the United States in his book Colleges That Change Lives
Colleges That Change Lives is a college educational guide by Loren Pope. It was originally published in 1996, with a second edition in 2000, and a third edition in 2006...
. In addition, The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review is an American-based standardized test preparation and admissions consulting company. The Princeton Review operates in 41 states and 22 countries across the globe. It offers test preparation for standardized aptitude tests such as the SAT and advice regarding college...
lists Evergreen as one of the Best Western Colleges for 2009-2010.
Evergreen competes in the NAIA Cascade Collegiate Conference. The school's teams are known as the Geoducks.
Former men's soccer star Joey Gjertsen
Joey Gjertsen is an American soccer player who currently plays for San Jose Earthquakes in Major League Soccer.-College:...
has gone on to have professional success with the San Jose Earthquakes
The San Jose Earthquakes professional soccer team is located in the San Jose, California, United States suburb of Santa Clara, and participates in Major League Soccer , the top level soccer league in the United States and Canada....
of Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...
Public service centers
Evergreen State College is the home of the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center. The Longhouse exists to provide service and hospitality to students, the college, and surrounding Native communities. With a design based in the Northwest Indigenous Nations' philosophy of hospitality, its primary functions are to provide a gathering place for hosting cultural ceremonies, classes, conferences, performances, art exhibits and community events. The Longhouse provides the opportunity to build a bridge of understanding between the regions' tribes and visitors of all cultures. The public service mission of the Longhouse is to promote indigenous arts and cultures through education, cultural preservation, and economic development.
Evergreen also serves as the home for the Northwest Indian Applied Research Center. The Evergreen State College has a proven history of educational service to the tribes. Through the development of the Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute, the college has taken its commitment to the indigenous people of Western Washington one step further. The Institute expands the services which the college can offer the tribes, enabling Evergreen to assist local tribes to meet their economic, governance and resource goals. At the same time, the Institute provides additional, real-life learning opportunities for Evergreen students.
It is also the administrative home for the Washington State Institute for Public Policy. The Institute’s mission is to carry out practical, non-partisan research—at legislative direction—on issues of importance to Washington State. The Institute conducts research using its own policy analysts and economists, specialists from universities, and consultants. Institute staff work closely with legislators, legislative and state agency staff, and experts in the field to ensure that studies answer relevant policy questions.
Other notable public service centers on campus are:
- The Evergreen Center for Educational Improvement
- Labor Education and Research Center
- Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education
- Center for Community-Based Learning in Action
The Evergreen Organic Farm annual crop production area comprises 38000 square feet (3,530.3 m²), just 5000 square feet (464.5 m²) shy of 1 acre (0.404686 ha). The perennial crop production area is in addition to this. The production from this area is sold to Aramark, from a farm-stand on Red Square every Tuesday and Thursday from 11am to 5pm during the growing season, and in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). All of the excess is given to the Thurston County Food Bank and local charities, or composted.
Proceeds from the sale of the crops are used to finance farm projects and purchase seeds and equipment. Two of the greenhouses, the cooler, compost shed, farm fencing and orchard are just a few projects made possible from farm sales. Another use for money generated on the farm is to fund student projects. Many of these projects are related to horticultural aspects of food crops.
The farm production area is divided into sections that are used to delineate cropping areas for specific types of crops. The farm practices a strict five year crop rotation. The rotating of crops creates plant diversity over time as opposed to plant diversity in space. The rotation has four general crop categories with each category occupying a given space for one growing season.
Crop rotation is just one method the farm uses to maintain diversity in the field. Other methods employed are the use of undersown ground covers and inter-cropping different types of vegetable crops. Creating diversity in the field is one of the cornerstones of sustainable agriculture. Diversity provides non-toxic, sustainable crop protection against plant diseases and insect pests.
The Evergreen Organic Farm hosts a large Composting facility that composts all compostables from the campus. It also hosts a Biodiesel facility, a community garden, demeters garden, and a large farmhouse that was partially built by students.
Environmental reserve and beach
The Evergreen State College has 1000 acres (404.7 ha) of land that is mostly second growth forest. The entire campus serves as a natural laboratory for scientific field research and provides inspiration for creative work. Throughout the 1000 acres (404.7 ha) forest there are multiple trails leading to a variety of locations throughout the reserve and to Evergreen Beach. The coastal habitat is characterized by steep bluffs, gravelly beaches with many washed-up logs, and the marine intertidal zone which extends up to 150 feet (45.7 m) out into Puget Sound's Eld Inlet during low tides. Evergreen has approximately 3300 feet (1 km) of untouched beach. Students use the beach for scientific study and as a place to get away from their studies and relax. There are multiple trails leading to the beach and a small road that leads to the only building at the beach and small boat ramp. The bluffs range from 15 to 60 feet (5 to 20 meters) in height.
Daniel J. Evans Library
The main library on the Evergreen State College campus is the Daniel J. Evans Library, named after the former governor that signed the legislation that founded Evergreen, and was also the school's second president. The library is home to over 750,000 print and media items. It also houses journal titles. The library also maintains special collections of rare books, archival material, and government documents. The library also hosts a number of small viewing rooms. The Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning Center (QuaSR), a tutoring center for the sciences, is located on the first floor of the library. The library is located in the Information Technology wing of the Daniel J. Evans Library Building. This wing is also the home for Media Services and a large Academic Computing center.
Evergreen is unique in that undergraduate students select one 16 credit program for the entire quarter rather than multiple courses. Full time programs will encompass a quarter's worth of work in everything related to that program concentration, by up to three professors. There are no "majors": students have the freedom to choose what program to enroll in for the entire duration of their undergraduate education, and are never required to follow a specific set of programs. Evergreen is on the "quarter" system. Programs are one, two, or three quarters, three quarters being September through June, generally.
At the end of the program the professor writes a one page report ("Evaluation") about the student's activity in the class rather than a letter grade, and has an end-of-program Evaluation conference with each student. The professor also determines how many credits should be awarded to the student, and students can lose credit.
In order to obtain a Bachelors of Arts, a student must complete 180 credits. In order to obtain a Bachelors of Science, a student must obtain 180 credits, 72 of which need to be considered science credits, with 48 of the 72 credits noted as upper division science credits. This requirement can be satisfied by one year of upper-division science.
Undergraduate students often note that, while there are no official "departments" and teachers teach programs together across disciplines, the sciences and non-sciences tend to segregate cleanly. This is due to both program structure (the sciences grouped together in programs) and physical campus structure (the LAB I and LAB II buildings with a computer center of their own to boot). Additionally, some are of the opinion that the sciences are more stringently taught and evaluated than non-science programs.
Areas of study include:
Aesthetics, African American Studies, Agriculture, American Studies, Anthropology, Architecture, Art History, Astronomy, Biochemistry, Biology, Botany, Business and Management, Chemistry, Communications, Community Studies, Computer Science, Consciousness Studies, Cultural Studies, Dance, Ecology, Economics, Education, Environmental Studies, Field Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, Geography, Geology, Government, Health, History, Hydrology, International Studies, Language Studies, Law and Government Policy, Law and Public Policy, Leadership Studies, Linguistics, Literature, Marine Science, Maritime Studies, Mathematics, Media Studies, Moving Image, Music, Native American Studies, Natural History, Outdoor Leadership and Education, Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Physics, Physiology, Political Science, Psychology, Queer Studies, Religious Studies, Sociology, Somatic Studies, Sustainability Studies, Theater, Visual Arts, Writing, and Zoology.
Unlike the undergraduate programs, the graduate programs require that students have taken a certain rotation of courses. Evergreen graduate studies include programs in:
- Master of Education
- Master of Environmental Studies
- Master in Teaching
- Master of Public Administration
- Master of Environmental Studies/Master of Public Administration Joint Degree
Evergreen is notable for having produced a large number of successful musicians, writers, and cartoonists including Matt Groening
Matthew Abram "Matt" Groening is an American cartoonist, screenwriter, and producer. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell as well as two successful television series, The Simpsons and Futurama....
, the creator of The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...
, and the author Lynda Barry
Lynda Barry is an American cartoonist and author. One of the most successful non-mainstream American cartoonists, Barry is perhaps best known for her weekly comic strip Ernie Pook's Comeek. Barry's cartoons often view family life from the perspective of pre-teen girls from the wrong side of the...
Notable student groups
- The Evergreen Rugby Football Club
- Cooper Point Journal (Student-run newspaper)
KAOS is a hybrid college-community radio station licensed to The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. It broadcasts in HD Radio at a power of 1,100 watts and also streams live via the Internet. The station continues to offer free radio broadcasting training to any member of the...
(Evergreen's community radio
Community radio is a type of radio service, that offers a third model of radio broadcasting beyond commercial broadcasting and public broadcasting. Community stations can serve geographic communities and communities of interest...
- The Flaming Eggplant Cafe (Student run consensus based local and organic cafe on campus)
- Evergreen Socialist Alternative (Part of the national Socialist Alternative organization)
- MindScreen (Student run film and media group)
- Giant Robot Appreciation Society (Japanese animation club)
- Riot To Follow Theater Productions (Student theater society)
- Generation Friends Comedy Arts Coalition (Student comedy group)
- Slightly West (Student run school literary journal)
- International Solidarity Movement
The International Solidarity Movement is an organization focused on assisting the Palestinian cause in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict using nonviolent protests. It was founded in 2001 by Ghassan Andoni, a Palestinian activist; Neta Golan, an Israeli activist; Huwaida Arraf, a...
- The Evergreen Singers (Evergreens performing Chorus)
- CASV (Coalition Against Sexual Violence)
- Evergreen Students for Sustainable Animal Agriculture (Agriculture club currently raising Ewes)
- SDS at Evergreen (Students for a Democratic Society)
- The Women of Color Coalition
- The Womyn's Resource Center