Difference between revisions of "Standard 2"
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== Standards ==
== Standards ==
Revision as of 09:50, 27 November 2007
- 1 Text
- 2 Standards
- 2.1 Standard 2.A - General Requirements
- 2.2 Standard 2.B - Educational Program Planning and Assessment
- 2.3 Standard 2.C - Undergraduate Program
- 2.4 Standard 2.D - Graduate Program
- 2.5 Standard 2.E - Graduate Faculty and Related Resources
- 2.6 Standard 2.F - Graduate Records and Academic Credit
- 2.7 Standard 2.G - Off-Campus and Other Special Programs Providing Academic Credit
- 2.8 Standard 2.H - Non-credit Programs and Courses
- 3 Supporting Documentation
Evergreen is unique in American Higher Education, It identifies itself in the latest strategic plan as “the nation’s leading public interdisciplinary liberal arts college.” Its commitment to interdisciplinarity, to student responsibility, to collaboration, and its vision of an inclusive public egalitarian liberal arts education must be understood as the product of its history
The college must be seen as a response to the tensions around the critical debate within higher education in the nineteen sixties and seventies. This debate involves two quite distinct but crucial critiques that contributed profoundly to the college pedagogical and assumptions and practices. First was a critique of the multiversity. This was a critique of the large-scale public multi-disciplinary institution that had blossomed in the post-war years. From the point of view of this critique, most forcefully embodied in the Berkeley ‘Free Speech” Movement, the multiversity existed primarily for the benefit of a corporate/governmental interests. Its function was to maintain a supply of useful technicians and professionals. This critique saw the public university as serving class interests, of not living up to the ideals of a democratic educational system that would empower citizens broadly. The second critique was a critique of the liberal arts tradition itself as manifested in the small private liberal arts colleges. This critique began with the stodginess and irrelevance of the canon and the unwillingness of the college to take on the issues of race, class, war, and revolution. At the center of this critique was the failure the liberal arts college to act on its own professed values as it distanced itself the world of action. In the face of the crisis of civil rights, the Viet Nam war, and questions of class privilege the colleges were stuck defending texts, traditions, and positions that did not question the status quo. In the critique of the multiversity the question of moral judgment had no ethical basis, in the case of the small college the moral tradition and ethical questions were seen to be outdated, abstracted from the world, and hence irrelevant.
The founders of Evergreen, for the most part men and women in their thirties and early forties, wanted a college that was above all relevant and engaging. They wanted a public college that could provide the best elements of the liberal arts college – a college that could acknowledge and deal with ethical issues, one which saw the world as intellectually comprehensible and one which offered student opportunities to learn and act for the good of the community, not simply for individual or class aggrandizement. In short they were interested in public education as a public good. They wanted an education that would support action, engagement, and collaboration with diverse others. They wanted education within a meaningful community context. They wanted an education that was ethically informed. Simultaneously they wanted each student to take control of their own education, to make real value centered coherent choices about what they learned, how they learned, and what they did with the education they received. At the heart of this was a passionate debate about concern for authentic learning. All of the above characterizations of the college were contested, but in the crafting of the structure, the template the college has been tinkering with and transforming ever since, these were central values.
As was argued in the opening pages of this self-study the President and the founding faculty wanted to create a public college devoted to teaching and learning in a interdisciplinary, collaborative framework within which students must exercise autonomy and judgment. Charles McCann’s four nos: No academic departments, no faculty ranks, no academic requirements, and no grades were seen as a vehicle to liberate faculty and students. The lack of departments and ranks allowed faculty to work and collaborate across disciplinary boundaries and across differences in age and experience. The lack of requirements and grades freed students to work together to share and collectively create their learning. Collaboration, not competition, was seen as the fundamental vehicle for organizing teaching and learning. While within the college the breadth of the challenge to the conventions of higher education was reasonably well understood, the external world tended to know the college in its first decades on the basis of the above negatives.