StudentsReview :: Evergreen State College - Comments and Student Experiences
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Evergreen State College

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This School hates trans people and people of color
Male -- Class 2000
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I grew up in the Olympia area andSuper BrilliantHistory/Histories (art history/etc.)
I grew up in the Olympia area and my mother actually went to this school in the 1970's,but, that being Far,far away from this place as it sucks badly. The campus,being small, like others have said means that you are going to run into people that you know from other classes,but,that does mean you are going to friends either. As someone that is her mid-40's the idealism of this school and its rather stupid politically correct way of seeing things is not how the world really works. Nor does it prepare you properly for the workforce unless you happen to be doing things related to ecology,politics or something similar. For myself, as a history major, unless you pick your classes wisely you are well and truly screwed since there is not much on offer for history. Nothing for World War II,which is what I study.

Unless, you do a self study which has to be approved both the Dean of Students AND a sponsoring professor. For me, that was the only way to get anything out of this crazy school as I NEED to have a certain amount upper division history credits for grad school.

The evaluations are another thing that I find to be annoying as I loathe writing about something that should be plain as day as to what I have learned on a transcript. Further, the grad schools I have applied to,you need a decoder ring in the form of someone in admissions to translate it for you. That person will become your new best friend for your applications. Most grad schools do not,that I have applied to, do not even read all this busy work that is evals.

I came here because it was cheap and I was expecting something different. However, I should have listened to what we locals have known for decades...if you want a real education,go somewhere else. If you want to sit on your duff and talk all day then this place is for you.

Self study. If need to do credits for post-grad work unrelated to what is on offer then this is the way to do it.

Professors. They do make themselves available.
Small campus and classes. Nice if you are wanting to get away from a big campus,big classes with more personalized attention.

Activities. There are none of the traditional ones as this school believes in the everyone must be included idea. If you like to sing,which I do, stick with a band or church as the choir sucks.

It's 60 miles to Seattle if you want to see something besides the Art Walk twice a year. Olympia is boring as hell. I know,I was raised there.

Lack of proper classes. I say this because most of these classes will NOT help you if you have a specialized major in particular,history. Seems they have an allergic reaction to history.

Library. It sucks as well. Use the inter-library loan resources if you want or need something as lot of the books are severely out of date to say nothing of the computers.

I will heartily glad when I am out of here in a year and in grad school.

1st Year Female -- Class 2015
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Education Quality: F
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You get what you put into your educationAverageSocial Work
You get what you put into your education at Evergreen. Students and alumni say this all the time, and it is very true. Evergreen is for someone who is self-lead in their processes, someone who is not afraid to explore and push their comfort levels.

A general note about the academics: Most of the programs I have taken been average in quality, a hand full of faculty I worked with really well, there a few professors I have had that seemed bored and their teaching was dry. I have taken sociology and psychology, and my experience has been pretty good, the interdisciplinary liberal arts allowed me to take a wide variety of programs before settling in that direct. I was even able to complete prerequisites for graduate school ...even though I am not sure I want to pursue yet even more school after I am done here. I think Evergreen does an excellent job creating academics or intellectuals --people to follow in their professors footsteps: teach, publish and/or research. This is a path, not the only path. Sometimes I feel professors forget this.

Come ready to write, most programs at Evergreen have a writing component built into them. The more flexible (and open to change) you are as a writer, the more success you will have as you complete programs.

Independent Learning Contracts and Student Originated Studies are excellent ways to incorporate service learning into your education. As a psychology/social work student I was able to design my own section of a program around topics of psychology I was most interested in... and from there build it around internship I completed at a local non-for profit. The experience was a lot of work and in the end I learned things I would have never had a chance to experience in a normal program. Designing my own (section of a) program required me to be truthful with myself and what I wanted in my education, it showed me the importance of setting boundaries (around work I am going to complete) with myself and my professor.

From a structural perspective the administration is wonky. Deans rotate into teaching positions every five years, which means they could be teaching with professors who they were just administrating over a few years before. At first glance, this doesn't seem like a big deal, in fact the design is meant keep the amdin focused on teaching and not power hungry for school resources ?like traditional larger state schools. The problem comes when a conflict arises with a professor, perhaps from non-administrative staff or someone in the student body. The staff or student might bring up the conflict to the dean, and then the dean, not wanting to upset their future teaching partner, ignores the conflict, or moves it away from the professor. This makes for an inefficient system when it comes to accountability. And it has reverberating effects on the staff and students who often have to negotiate with faculty without an impartial dean or higher up to assist. All this coupled with recent budget cuts has forced a sense of unease across the Evergreen community in recent years, and often makes it an unpleasant place to learn or work (I am student worker).

Academic support services is not helpful. Every time I have gone to see an academic counselor they have told me things I already knew from doing a little research online, looking the academic catalog or talking to my friends/professors. Sucks because choosing programs can be stressful, especially when there aren't any that directly interest you or that fit your academic goals.

Not having perquisites, makes Evergreen a steal (value-wise). You don't have to spend that extra year grabbing general education requirements. It is extremely do-able and possible to finish with a BA in four years or less.

Financial aid requires many hoops to be jumped through, starting an application as early in the year as possible pays off.

As a freshman, the food sucks, and they force you eat it. Get creative cooking in your dorm.
As a freshman, the dorms suck. Well actually I would go as far to say the all-on campus housing sucks. It is dark, there isn't much of a social scene, and the cost is high.

Outdoor wise the campus is great, the forest is dense, prefect for exploring or just hanging out. And you are close to the Olympic Peninsula which has some excellent hiking. Lots of environmental science programs will utilize the nearby geography, ecology and geology in there study. Mt. Rainier is also legit.

Olympia is great. The perfect size to have suburban amenities (stores and infrastructure) and an interesting downtown. With a bicycle and a bus pass I am able to get around quite nicely.

3rd Year Male -- Class 2015
Faculty Accessibility: A, Campus Aesthetics: C-
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