From selfstudy


Academic Advising: A student support service available in the Student Advising Center and through Prime Time advising located in campus housing. Academic Advising offers up-to-date information on internships, academic programs, faculty, and academic services.

Academic Fair: A two-hour information and advising session involving representatives of all programs offered in the next quarter. Students use the fair to meet faculty, collect up-to-date descriptions, and gather information to help them make choices about which programs to register for.

All-Level Program: A program that allows freshmen to work alongside sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Faculty intentionally reserve a specific number of spaces in the program for first-year students.

Agenda Committee: Elected faculty committee that organizes the agenda of the Faculty Meeting and works with the provost’s office to schedule faculty members into governance assignments. The Agenda Committee helps identify faculty issues and often negotiates with administrators about the charge to Disappearing Task Forces (DTFs; see DTF).


Campus Master Plan: Major planning document that identifies and organizes the physical planning issues on the campus. It provides overall guidance about the physical development of the grounds and facilities needs. The Campus Land Use Committee (CLUC), made up of staff, faculty, and students, serves as the primary advisor to the director of facilities and helps organize a campus-wide review of the plan.

Collaborative Learning: A variety of educational approaches involving joint intellectual effort by students or students and teachers together. Usually in groups of two or more, students mutually search for understanding, meaning, solutions, or in the creation of a product.

Continuing Appointment: The appointment of a faculty member to an ongoing (non-term) contract. Distinguished from tenure in that it is not competitive and does not imply a promotion in rank.

Contract: See Individual Learning Contract.

Coordinated Study Program: A learning community model using a team-taught, multidisciplinary program of study. Students and a team of faculty drawn from different disciplines use a block of time (from one to three quarters) to examine a central theme. Within a program, learning activities can take a variety of formats including lecture, lab, workshop, seminar, field trips, etc.

Core Program: A Coordinated Study Program for first-year students. Core programs provide links to student services, particularly Academic Advising, and explicit attention to college-level skills in reading, writing, and seminar participation.

Course: A part-time course, offered for two, four, or six credits, that supplements the main curriculum. Courses can be combined with coordinated study programs, individual learning contracts, and internships.

Covenant: A basic program document outlining the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty. Faculty and students usually sign program covenants. Basic expectations and appeals processes and credit policy for the program are usually outlined.


DTF (Disappearing Task Force): A collaborative work group created to study various topics and make recommendations to the campus community. The group disbands when its work is done. Several DTFs are active each academic year. Faculty, staff, and students serve on DTFs. The mix of participants depends upon the issue investigated.


Equivalencies: Represent faculty members' best judgment about how to describe the integrated work of an interdisciplinary program as coursework. Equivalencies are a required piece of the formal transcript.

Evaluation Conference: As a part of the narrative evaluation process, each student meets with his or her faculty member to review the student's work, learning, plans, and development over the course of the quarter. Such conferences are fundamental to reflecting on student work, goals, and development. They are also central to reflexive learning.

Evergreen Social Contract: Written by founding faculty members, the Social Contract contains guidelines for social ethics and working together that help Evergreen function as a community.

Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate: A set of broad standards that Evergreen students are expected to have accomplished by the time they have earned an Evergreen degree. The Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate are used to assess student learning (see the Learning Section of the Teaching and Learning Report and the End of Program Review Data).


Faculty Seminar: A weekly faculty team meeting focused on sharing understanding and ideas about the central text for the week in a program.

First-Time, First-Year Student: A student attending college for the first time since high school graduation. Includes students with college credits earned prior to high school graduation, such as in Running Start, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and College in the High School.

The Five Foci: The five underlying principles of the Evergreen educational experience: Interdisciplinary Study, Collaborative Learning, Learning Across Significant Differences, Personal Engagement, and Linking Theory with Practical Application. For a discussion of the five foci, see Standard 2.

FTE (Full-Time Equivalency): Refers to either faculty or student load, and is used to calculate enrollment and budget figures. One FTE represents a full-time unit load. Per state of Washington standards, one undergraduate FTE equals fifteen credits per quarter; one graduate FTE equals ten credits per quarter.

Full-time Student: A full-time undergraduate student is enrolled in twelve to twenty credits per quarter in any combination of programs, courses, contracts, or internships. A full-time graduate student is enrolled in ten to sixteen credits per quarter. Full-time students are not limited to those students enrolled in the full-time curriculum.


Geoduck: A large marine bivalve (Panopea abrupta) with a neck up to two meters long found in Puget Sound (and delicious when fried or in chowder). The species' common name is derived from the Lushootseed (Nisqually) word, g’ideq, meaning to dig deep. It is the official mascot of The Evergreen State College. Also, a student of The Evergreen State College.

Geoduck Union: The student government of The Evergreen State College student body.

Group Contract: An Evergreen program (usually advanced) with one or two faculty and a focused theme or problem to investigate. More narrowly focused than Coordinated Study programs.


Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB): A state agency governed by a ten-member citizen board that is charged by state law to represent the broad public interest in higher education.


Individual Learning Contract: An individual study plan initiated by a student and sponsored by a faculty member. Contracts are written for one quarter and may be for full- or part-time work. Individual contracts are usually used for advanced work.

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS): A system of surveys to gather information from all institutions and educational organizations that have the primary purpose of providing post-secondary education. Data include information about enrollments, program completions, faculty, staff, and finances. The surveys are administered by the National Center for Educational Statistics.

Interdisciplinary: At its most basic, interdisciplinary refers to programs of study that involve the intersection of two or more traditional academic disciplines or that transcend disciplines in the pursuit of a robust intellectual understanding of an issue. There is little orthodoxy about which church of interdisciplinarity Evergreen faculty members attend. Acolytes of instrumental multi-disciplinary, thematic study, project-based experience, and more teach at the college, yet nearly all find that interdisciplinary work provides the essential pattern that allows for the emergence of connections, the creation of new kinds of understanding, and ultimately, the possibility for students to find their own way into the curriculum.

Internship: Supervised experience in a work situation for which a student receives academic credit. Internships can be full- or part-time. Students usually undertake documentation of experience and/or supplemental study as a part of the internship.

Inter-area Program: A program in which faculty members come from two or more planning units to design and teach. Planning units are expected to provide 20% of their teaching to inter-area programs.

Inter-divisional Program: A program in which faculty members from across two or more of the traditional divisions (arts, natural sciences, social sciences, or humanities) are involved in planning and teaching. Such programs may or may not be inter-area since area boundaries and membership are not identical to divisional ones.

ITCH (Information Technology Collaborative Hive): A cross-areas collaborative group that provides the most formal mechanism for collaboration around technology across the various parts of the college. Evergreen supports three ITCH groups: Academic, Administrative, and Core.


Learning Community: A purposeful structuring of curriculum to link together a variety of learning experiences and subject matter so that students find greater coherence in what they are learning and greater interaction with faculty and peers. (See also Coordinated Study Program and Collaborative Learning.)


Narrative Evaluation: An evaluation of a student's academic work at the end of each quarter. Faculty members write evaluations of each student's work and progress, and each student writes a self-evaluation. At the end of the program or when a student leaves the program, the evaluations become official documents, which along with a program description and equivalencies make up the permanent transcript. Students also write evaluations of faculty members, which become part of the faculty member's official portfolio. Narrative evaluations are the focus of conversation at end-of-the-quarter evaluation conferences.


Part-time Student: A part-time undergraduate student is enrolled in less than twelve credits per quarter, in any combination of programs, courses, contracts, or internships. A part-time graduate student is enrolled in less than ten credits per quarter. Part-time students are not limited to those students enrolled in Evening and Weekend Studies offerings.

Planning Unit: A faculty affiliation for the purpose of curricular planning. Planning units include: Culture, Text and Language; Environmental Studies; Evening and Weekend Studies; Expressive Arts; Native American and World Indigenous Peoples; Scientific Inquiry; Society, Politics, Behavior and Change; and Tacoma.

PUC (Planning Unit Coordinator): A faculty member who undertakes the organization and administrative work of a Planning Unit. His or her primary responsibility is to work individually and collectively with the curriculum deans to help organize curriculum planning. PUCs receive release time in spring quarter.

Program: See Coordinated Studies Program.

Program Description: A brief, retrospective description of a program’s work, which usually includes faculty and major texts; identifies critical assignments, projects, and activities; and highlights skills or capacities developed. Program descriptions provide the general framework within which student self-evaluations and faculty evaluations of students are written. They are a piece of the official transcript.

Program Retreat: A several-day field trip designed to focus on important introductory work in the first quarter of a program, or presentation, integration, and celebration of work in the final quarter. Program retreats figure strongly in establishing the interpersonal bonds and intellectual themes that constitute a learning community. The ability to do these retreats is a fundamental value of full-time study.


QuaSR Center (Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning Center): The location of tutoring support and program support for work in mathematics and sciences.


Regular Student: A student admitted to the college and assumed to be pursuing a degree; also referred to as a matriculated or degree-seeking student.

Retention: Refers to a student's persistence at Evergreen from one term to another. Often calculated as a fall-quarter-to-fall-quarter measurement; i.e., of students enrolled in a particular fall quarter, the measure of how many are still enrolled the subsequent fall.


Seminar: A central experience of an Evergreen education. In a seminar, a faculty member and up to twenty-five students meet to discuss and analyze assigned texts.

SOS (Student Originated Studies): Refers to academic programs that are based on group projects developed by students.

Student Self-Evaluation: A student's evaluation of his or her academic work as measured against the objectives for the quarter and the requirements of the program, course, contract, or internship. Self-evaluations are part of students' formal academic records (see Evaluation Conference and Narrative Evaluation).

Summative Self-Evaluation: A final evaluation written by a senior that provides a summary and overview of his or her undergraduate educational experience. Faculty encourage and support this.

Super Saturday: A major one-day annual celebration of Evergreen and the Olympia-area community held the day after graduation each year. Lots of balloons, crafts, food, face painting, music, and the like.


Tribal: Reservation Based Community Determined Program: A coordinated studies program primarily designed for upper-division students. The tribal program emphasizes community building within Native American communities.


Week Five Warning: Official warning to students by faculty of loss or potential loss of credit in a quarter.

Workshop: Typically refers to a structured conversation in a program in small and large groups around a particular set of concepts or aspects of a text. Designed to encourage active work, collaboration, and intellectual discovery, workshops often last for two or more hours and involve several activities.

Writing Seminar: A small seminar designed to focus attention on a formal piece of writing from students. The process involves peers and faculty responding to student writing.

Writing Across the Curriculum: Refers to the responsibility of all faculty to not only assign, but also to teach elements of writing appropriate to the subject matter. Writing is not understood as separate from program content.