Standard 3

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% (3.A.1)The Student Affairs Division at Evergreen

The Student Affairs Division at Evergreen demonstrates a longstanding commitment to collaboration with academic programs, best practices and provision of services to enhance student learning and success. Evergreen’s Coordinated Study Programs have been described as our “best-known and arguably most influential pedagogical vehicle to demonstrate why learning is an all-encompassing experience for Evergreen students”.[1] Because of the centrality of these highly intentional learning communities, Student Affairs staff worked since the College’s inception to imbed support for students as seamlessly as possible into the academic experience.

Partnerships among student affairs professionals and faculty are a cornerstone of our work. They occur through committee work intended to improve teaching and learning at Evergreen as evidenced in the deliberations and recommendations of the “First-Year Experience Disappearing Task Force (DTF) Report and Recommendations (Exhibit 3.1). Teaching and curriculum development partnerships are intentional in our “Beginning the Journey” credit-bearing orientation program offered in Fall quarter (Exhibit 3.2). Other prominent examples of collaborative efforts include “Core Connectors” through which student affairs professionals are attached to first-year student programs and faculty rotation into the office of Academic Advising. Many more examples are included in the balance of Standard 3.

Student Affairs staff also collaborate across campus divisions to maintain a system of safety nets and early warning strategies to provide students with assistance when needed. This network involves faculty, residential life staff, advising, counseling, health services and police services staff.

Consistent with our educational values and aspirations for student learning, the Student Affairs division is committed to the affirmation and celebration of diversity. This is evidenced in the array of services and offices dedicated to diverse populations and perspectives, diversity-awareness workshops and events sponsored by the division, our collaboration with faculty in promoting diverse perspectives in the curriculum and in a staff drawn from diverse backgrounds.

Major accomplishments in the Student Affairs Division since our 1998 reaccreditation include: Technological Improvements (conversion to Banner, substantial improvements to the College Web site and transition to E-mail communication with students); Physical renovations in Housing and implementation of a new meal plan for freshmen in Residential Life and Dining; increased outreach and sophistication in Enrollment Management and Student Recruitment in the face of increasing competition for students; formal election of a Student Government; Intercollegiate Sports expansion and several major upgrades of physical space on campus including the addition of a new building (Seminar (II), Remodel of the Library Building, and plans for a major renovation of the Campus Activities Building. Each of these accomplishments is discussed in greater detail in the remainder of this standard.

Major challenges facing the Student Affair Division include the following topics: Coordination of enrollment planning for graduate and off-campus programs, providing services to students at different physical locations and on different schedules; an increasing number of younger students; support for counseling and health services stretched thin coupled with inability to raise fees due to I-601 limitations; increased numbers of incidents/cases requiring legal interpretation; increasing student/family debt; supporting expansion of Extended Education, Summer School, and a new graduate program (M. Ed.); Library remodel and Seminar I relocation; updating of College Web site.

% (3.A.2)Student Affairs Staffing

Cooperative and collaborative working relationships are the hallmark of Evergreen’s integrated service to students within Student Affairs and across the institution. Student Affairs is responsible for most services to students that support the academic mission of the institution, including academic advising and several auxiliary enterprises. Many student service offices are located in the Library building that is centrally located and also houses the Academic Deans, Provost, President, Human Resources, Business Services, Computing and Communications, and Advancement. For example, Enrollment Services, consisting of Admissions, Records and Registration, and Financial Aid, are located in the Library near business services such as Student Accounts and the Cashier. The divisional visional organization chart is in TBA and reflects the following departments within Student Affairs:

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

◘ Athletics and Recreation

◘ Enrollment Services


Financial Aid

Registration and Records

Student Employment

◘ Police Services


Telephone Operations

◘ Residential and Dining Services

Residential Life

Residential Facilities

Administrative Services

Dining Service

◘ Student and Academic Support Services

Academic Advising

Access Services for Students with Disabilities

Career Development Center

Counseling and Health Center

First Peoples’ Advising

Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Program (Gear Up)

International Advising

KEY Student Services (TRIO)

Student Activities

Upward Bound

◘ Student Conduct

Staffing, Job Descriptions, and Performance Reviews

Since 1998 the staff head count has grown 27%, from 123 employees to 156, primarily due to growth in Counseling Center and Enrollment Services staffing, expansion of the Children’s Center to serve twice as many children, and implementation of the federally-funded Gear Up grant. About 42% of professional staff holds advanced degrees, police officers are fully commissioned, and the Vice President, Vice President’s Executive Associate, and the Dean of Student Academic Support Services hold doctorates. Student Affairs has utilized state allocations, as available, to address compensation compression issues and to generate competitive salaries for exempt staff. A College-wide review of exempt staff compensation is being completed and recommendations are forthcoming. The division is staffed with accomplished professionals who deliver developmentally-based services that enhance students’ academic experience. Brief resumes of the professional staff will be available during the site visit.

Remaining active and current in professional literature and organizations is encouraged and in 2006-07 more than 40 exempt staff participated in a regional or national conference. About 10 individuals served in a leadership role with a professional association while about 20 wrote an article or presented in a professional venue.

Position descriptions for all staff are uniform in presentation and clear in assignments and expectations. These are updated regularly when vacancies occur, or during performance reviews. Classified staff is reviewed annually in accordance with their employment contract and exempt staff must be reviewed every three years per College policy, although supervisors in Student Affairs are expected to administer reviews annually. It is common practice to solicit evaluative feedback from students, faculty, staff in other units and those they supervise. In many instances student staff are also reviewed and provided with a written evaluation of their work performance.


Appropriate policies and procedures for student development programs and services are established. The objectives of each operating component are compatible and support the goals of student services. (Phyllis/Art)

Need some language here

% (3.A.4) Resource Allocation

Student need and satisfaction surveys as well as principles and standards from professional organizations across functional areas are consulted to assess appropriate support for services. Budget requests are made biannually and vetted with staff in the division and prioritized with the Deans and Directors who report to the Vice President. These requests are incorporated into a systematic institutional budget process in which budget coordinators from the four divisions (Academics, Finance and Administration, Advancement and Student Affairs) review available funding and institutional and divisional needs and priorities to recommend appropriate budget allocations to the President. Student Affairs’ fiscal resources are, in general, adequate and when budget reductions have been necessary or reinvestments have been available Student Affairs has been treated in a manner consistent with other divisions. In recent years, Student Affairs has had autonomy to invest in some initiatives that require “one-time” purchases due to acquisition of indirect cost recovery from a large Gear Up grant. These resources have purchased such items as computer upgrades for staff, equipment upgrades in Police Services, improved software for the Recreation Center, or staffing augmentation in Student Conduct.

Since 1998 every area within Student Affairs except the Athletics and Recreation department has been remodeled and/or expanded or soon will be (Athletics and Recreation is located in the Campus Recreation Center that was built in 1989). In 2000 the Health Center was completely remodeled and doubled in size. The Counseling Center that had shared a space with the Health Center was relocated to another floor of the building. Police Services was also remodeled at that time.

In 2003-04 a new Children’s Center was built that increased the number of children that could be served from 37 to 70. It is now licensed to serve infants as young as six weeks old. The new Center was jointly funded from student activity fees and institutional funds, and replaced the Child Care Center that was located in the oldest building on campus.

In 2005 most of the areas within the Student and Academic Support Services (SASS) were relocated in a newly renovated section of the Library building. The new SASS location is much more student-friendly and includes a reception area for the first time. There is also space within SASS for two federal grants, Upward Bound and Gear Up that had been housed in satellite locations.

Residential and Dining Services issued over seven million dollars in Revenue and Refinancing Bonds in 2006. Of that amount, six million is for housing facilities renovations and upgrades. The projects were begun in the summer of 2006 and will continue through 2009.

Enrollment Services (Admissions, Financial Aid, Registration and Records, and Student Employment) and the Vice President and his staff were relocated to temporary offices in the summer of 2007 while a major renovation of the Library “A wing” is underway. This 18- to 24-month project will provide additional, more useable space to these areas.

In 2006 Evergreen students voted to incur a new student fee to fund a rebuild the College Activities Building. When completed in 2010, the expanded building will have additional space for student organizations, student activities administration and student events; a new student-operated food venue; as well as well as a remodeled bookstore and dining facility. The students voted to incorporate numerous green features in the project. In addition the College Master Plan suggests potential for expansion or renovation of the Campus Recreation Center and possible development of housing for students.

% (3.B.1)Student Support Is Directed at Identified Student Needs

Student Affairs staff provide a number of programs focused on the needs of specific student groups. The following table highlights a sampling of these efforts:

Student Population Program(s)
Entering Freshmen Beginning the Journey – A College readiness course
Core Connectors – Student Academic Support Services staff are attached to first-year academic offerings
All New Students Seminar Savvy – an introduction to what seminars are and effective seminar techniques
Conditional Admits one-on-one advising and orientation for students who have been admitted with a provisional status
Student Athletes comprehensive advising including with emphasis on schedule challenges and focus on areas for program concentration
Students on Academic Warning Advising for students who have received a warning letter to discuss plan of action for returning to “satisfactory” status
Students of Color “Critical Moments” case studies in which students from diverse backgrounds consider leaving the institutions or dropping out because of an incident related to a diversity issue(s)
First People’s Advising Services “Peer Education Program” -- provides multicultural programming for students living in the residence halls.
Pre-Orientation program (Scholars’ Programs) -- introduces incoming students of color to learning at Evergreen and provides an opportunity for the cohort to develop community.
First-generation, Low-Income Students “Keep Enhancing Yourself” Program (KEY)

Enrollment Growth and Student Demographics

As of 2006-07, annual average enrollment at Evergreen is up 385 (+10%) full-time equivalent (FTE) students since 1997-98. State funding has increased by 647 FTE (+19%). Since the Spring 2003 interim visit, enrollment has increased 59 FTE (1.5%) while funded FTE increased 306 FTE (8.0%) thus reducing patterns of over-enrollment as high as 250 FTE during the past five years to a very slight under-enrollment (-30 FTE) in 2006-07. (Figure 3.1: Annual Average Full-time Equivalent Enrollment)

The reduction in “over-enrollment” was one part planned – to reduce pressure on the classroom and avoid legislative “re-basing” to the higher number without additional funding – and another part unanticipated, especially in 2006-07. The drop in Washington state’s 2006-07 community college transfer enrollment was sharper than expected and an increase of lower-division seats funded by the state at three branch campuses drew more freshmen away from the College than expected. The combined result was a slight drop in total enrollment (-18 FTE) and further erosion in the over-enrollment “cushion” than was planned. Our short-term enrollment target is to return to a modest level of over-enrollment (approximately 100 FTE) by the 2008-09 academic year.

The College has also gone through a period of adjusting budget assumptions about levels of nonresident enrollment and tuition revenue. During the past five years, the College has (1) reduced over-enrollment of resident fee-paying students – originally built to offset tuition revenue declines due to enrollment of fewer nonresident fee-paying students – now unnecessary because of (2) adjusted tuition revenue and base budget assumptions to a reduced level of nonresident enrollment. We are now in a much improved enrollment and revenue position: The operating budget is no longer dependent upon over-enrollment of state residents to offset a decline in nonresidents, holding adequate revenue support in place without inflating the student/faculty ratio beyond state funded levels. Additionally, our nonresident enrollment has begun to grow modestly and currently exceeds budget expectations.

Student Demographics

Distinctive characteristics of Evergreen’s student body continue as reported in past reaccreditation documents:

  • Transfers students typically constitute 60%+ of our entering class (Figure 3-2: Composition of Fall Quarter Entering Undergraduate Degree-seeking Class)
  • Nonresident enrollment at the undergraduate level is high (20%+) for a public college (Figure 3-3: The Evergreen State College: Fall Quarter Enrollment History)

The proportion of freshmen in our entering class has risen in the past two years – from consistent levels in the 32%-35% range to 40%. Current estimates indicate that the proportion of freshmen will rise to 44% in 2007. The increase in freshman students is creating some staffing pressure in the curriculum and raises the importance of retaining this growing segment of our entering class well in the future.

Enrollment of students of color has held at 18% for the past six years, up from 16%-17% in the late 90’s. (Figure 3-3: The Evergreen State College: Fall Quarter Enrollment History) The proportion of students of color enrolled on the Olympia campus has increased slightly each year since Fall 2003 reaching 16% in Fall 2006. Our program located in Tacoma typically enrolls 55%-60% students of color and our Tribal Program is generally between 90%-100% students of color. (Figure 3-4: Distribution of Students of Color by Campus)

Undergraduate/Graduate mix and Full-time/Part-time proportions have remained essentially the same over the past ten years. (Figure 3-3: The Evergreen State College: Fall Quarter Enrollment History)

Retention and Graduation Rates

Overall undergraduate Fall-to-Fall retention has remained at or near 80% since Fall 2000. Freshmen are the group of students retained least well to the following fall and of that group, nonresident fee-paying freshmen tend to be retained at a lower rate. This is no doubt in some part due to the increased cost of attendance for nonresident students – nonresident transfer students are also retained at a lower rate than resident fee-paying transfers. (Figure 3.5 Retention Summary )

In general, the College is making a concerted effort to improve freshman retention rates, specifically through the new “Beginning the Journey” program described elsewhere in this section. (Exhibit 3.2)

Overall, Students of Color are retained at a rate equal to or slightly above the rate for Caucasian students. Retention of Students of Color tends to be highest in our Tacoma Program. Retention of Students of Color on the Olympia campus also tends to run equal to or slightly higher than for Caucasian students. We find this trend especially gratifying since our Olympia enrollment is predominantly white.

Evergreen’s first-time, full-time freshman six-year graduation rate is 55% for the most recent cohort (Fall 1999). While we hope to see improvement in freshman graduation rates as fall-to-fall retention efforts yield positive results, we view the current rate as comparable or better than our peers among public institutions. (Figure 3-6 Freshman Graduation Rates)

% (3.B.6)Appropriateness of Student Services

The research of Vincent Tinto has shaped the work of the practitioners in Student Academic Support Services (SASS ) regarding student retention at Evergreen. Our approaches to improving retention focus on two facets of student experience: academic and social integration. In the academic arena students interact with an academic discipline, learning and new interests, as well as with faculty and peers. In the social system students develop relationships with peers, faculty, staff who provide services and operate the college, and alumni. According to the research, in order for students to persist they need to feel a sense of integration and congruency, or “fit” with college, in their experiences. When students experience low levels of integration or congruency they tend to exit the institution. Fit questions might include, “Does the student have similar academic or personal experiences and interests as other students, faculty and administrators at the college?” and “Does the student share the aspirations and values of other students, faculty and administrators at the college?”

Mindful of the challenges associated with retaining students, SASS has established a set of retention strategies dedicated to providing a variety of forms of assistance to students to increase their ability to function and thrive within the Evergreen environment. These initiatives increase the opportunity and probability for all students to access support, thereby increasing their sense of integration and congruency within the institution and the likelihood of their ultimate success at Evergreen.

SASS practitioners’ actively engage in professional development through participation in key national and statewide organizations. This engagement results in implementing better approaches and strategies to serve Evergreen students in achieving their goals.

Exhibit 3.3 summarizes professional development activities and resulting improvements in services provided by SASS practitioners in the following areas: Academic Advising, Retention, General Education, Civic Engagement, Health and Safety, Student Engagement in Learning, Diversity, Legal Issues, and Budget Management/Regulations. (Link #X—Exhibit 3.3: Professional Development Activities)

Over the past few years special attention has been given to retaining undergraduates with specific emphasis on first-year students through outreach to new students entering the institution. A series of research-based initiatives and best practices have emerged which are directed specifically at increasing levels of student integration and congruency by helping students better understand (a) how the College works; (b) what they as students can expect of the College; (c) what will be expected of them as students; and (d) what support services and resources are available to them at the College.

These objectives are pursued through a series of activities under four broad categories:

  • A Comprehensive Orientation Program
  • Assistance in the Initial Transition to Evergreen
  • Self-Care, Health and Safety
  • Diversity and Community

The initiatives and objectives under each of these topics are presented in Exhibit 3.4: Retention Initiatives and Objectives. More detailed descriptions of these activities are provided in the relevant sections of this report.

% (3.D.2) Attention to Needs and Characteristics of Students

In SASS several offices provide intentional and direct support to students in underrepresented and protected classes. These groups include first-generation students, low-income students, students with disabilities, and students of color. SASS also provides advising support through existing services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students and to students who are seeking support for their spiritual development though we have not established designated offices for these services.

The relocation and renovation of the SASS center in the library has made the work of the unit much more visible and accessible. In order to create a welcoming environment there is a student desk with is staffed during operating hours. The design of the center is intentionally laid out to provide students easy access and amenities while maintaining a sense of privacy.

Offices located in the center are Academic Advising, Access Services, Career Development, First People’s Advising Services, Keep Enhancing Yourself (KEY) Student Services (TRIO), Upward Bound (TRIO), GEAR UP, and the Dean of Students. Prior to the relocation not all services were housed together and many were in cramped quarters. The design of the center has located adjacent to one another the Career Development Library and the Unity Resources Center, supervised by First People’s Advising Services. This co-location provides students of color and low-income students access to resources that can help think about their life’s work in a supportive environment. Student workstations are also located throughout the Center, providing students with the opportunity to check e-mail or the Web site and to work on assignments with trained staff available. The center also has several workstations with assistive/adaptive technology equipment for students with disabilities and houses the E-text equipment for students with disabilities.

As the Evening and Weekend Studies Program has grown there has been a great demand for support to students who come “after hours.” The center is open five days a week. Monday through Thursday the center is open from 8am to 6pm. The center is open once month on Saturdays to provide support to students enrolled in the Reservation Based Program.

Emphasis over the past years has been on giving students an early start in becoming acclimated to Evergreen. KEY has sharpened the approach to students by creating programs that increase academic success. One example is the Step Up program that was designed as a one-week summer orientation and college readiness program for freshman and transfer students who are first-generation students, students with disabilities, and low-income students. Because of academic need the emphasis of the Step Up program is on understanding the learning environment at Evergreen. Additionally, there is a heavy emphasis on reading as first and fundamental and writing as the critical companion to reading. Students spend several hours a day in workshops and seminars developing and strengthening their abilities to read and write under the direction of the writing center director and a faculty member with a background in writing.

The First People’s Scholars program has a similar emphasis, introducing incoming students of color to college life with the aim of developing a strong cohort. Students learn how the curriculum works, are introduced to faculty and staff of color, and explore the surrounding area to identify places which can address such personal needs as food, hair cuts/products, faith communities and local communities of color with whom they can identify.

KEY, First People’s Advising Services, and Access Services encourage students to follow their passions regardless of what they may feel or believe are restrictions. Students from these groups are encouraged and supported to apply for internship, study abroad, and scholarship opportunities. These programs encourage students to pursue fields or studies that the students might not have thought of as open to them.

Still new to the Evergreen environment is intercollegiate sports. SASS practitioners work closely with the Associate Director of Athletes to coordinate meetings with coaches; to conduct advising, study crew, and career workshops; and to conduct one-on-one advising sessions so that student athletes select an appropriate program and develop an appropriate academic and career plan in light of a review of their eligibility status. The retention of student athletes is good at Evergreen, but the level of contact between student athletes and the resources of the College was clearly questionable. One retention effort implemented in this past year is the development of a comprehensive academic advising strategy for athletes at Evergreen. More specifically, this initiative addresses the delicate balance between the demands of a full academic program and the demands of a collegiate sport.

SASS practitioners are alert to the issues that create crises and emergencies in students’ lives. Students come to the center or are referred by faculty to seek help regarding academic, financial or personal situations. Students are supported during crises by being assigned a case coordinator who can act as a resource person to assist the student in understanding their rights and responsibilities in navigating through the crisis situation. Cultural competencies (for whom?) include anti-oppression training, understanding the cultural of poverty, gender, age, sex, and class discrimination.

Outreach to school districts which have high numbers of low-income and first-generation middle school and high school students is one of the ways we have aligned with the mission of institution to serve our communities. We have done so by administering two pre-college programs--Upward Bound and GEAR UP. Each of these programs serves students in schools with at least 50% of students on reduced or free lunch programs. From these programs the students and their families learn college-going skills; participate in college visits, after school and summer programs; and are given professional staff support and resources to apply to the college of their choice. The work of both of these efforts have transformed school culture and developed cohorts of students committed to going on to postsecondary education.

Another response to our mission is our commitment to and participation in the College Success Foundation Achiever Scholars. The College Success Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation fund this group of students. Each institution of higher education in the state of Washington signed an agreement to provide support services to these students. Students are required to meet with a SASS practitioner at least twice a quarter.

For the past nine years Evergreen has been involved in a project called Critical Moments. Critical Moments is an educational tool used both in and outside of the classroom. Critical Moments uses case studies of students who encounter situations from which they will determine if they will leave or stay in college. Over the years, Critical Moments has been used in the classroom and in peer training. Funding from the Hewitt Foundation was received to write case studies specific to Evergreen. These stories have been used with various student groups to develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking, empathy and deeper understanding of diversity in regards to culture, economics, age, and thought. The key here in terms of retention is that this project allows for students to practice to the fullest extent possible ways they can respond to situations which impact their persistence. First Peoples’ advising has provided leadership and a home for this project.

% (3.D.9) Orientation of New Students

Note: Nothing from Grad Directors yet.

The College-wide orientation program engages all facets of the College in the process of helping new students settle into the College and begin their academic careers. The new student orientation program is divided into two parts. The opening two days constitute the “Family and Friends Weekend,” and the remaining days are New Student Orientation.

Family and Friends Weekend is an opportunity for family and friends of our students to participate in the transition of their students to Evergreen. The weekend includes workshops that showcase student services and academic offerings. The weekend activities also provide opportunities for family and friends to understand how the College and curriculum works and what will be expected of their students (socially and academically). The President and Vice President for Student Affairs describe a liberal arts education in the context of a public institution and a senior faculty shares the origin of the institution. This has been the College’s opportunity to develop a partnership with the families and friends of the students as well as to provide them with strategies they can employ to be helpful and supportive of their students’ success.

Over the past eight years the New Student Orientation program has been developed to introduce the new student to the College through the portals of the curricular and co-curricular life of the campus. The program has evolved from a series of activities sponsored by various offices into a cohesive, thematic program (self-care, care for others, and care for their new environment) directed at creating opportunities for new students to meet other new and continuing students, to be introduced to learning and teaching at Evergreen (facilitating their transition not only from high school to college but from high school to Evergreen), and to begin settling into their new environment. The new student orientation program runs for five days. During this event a major thrust is to provide a personalized experience for students as well as to provide a climate of support, assuring students that they made the right decision to come to Evergreen. Program offerings are both curricular and co-curricular, exposing students to the rich array of institutional resources.

In order to ensure that each student starts off on a good footing, the first orientation activity is focused on the curriculum. First Year Program Previews provide opportunities for students to determine if they have selected the right academic programs. This is in response to concerns about students who had enrolled in academic programs, found during the first week of quarter that the program was not what they had expected, and did not have curriculum options. Program previews allow students to meet the faculty of the program in which they have enrolled as well as to explore other program offerings. Students are encouraged to use this time to learn more about Evergreen’s style of teaching through Seminar Savvy and Learning to Learn. These are two-hour programs that identify what seminars are and how to be assertive, responsible and effective in the classroom.

Students learn about the social aspect of their educational experience and governance opportunities at Evergreen by participating in the Activities Fair. The activities fair serves as a vehicle for new students to meet each other outside of their learning and living communities while pursing their interests. Health and Counseling Services devotes time and energy focusing on healthy life styles, harm reduction and prevention. Community Service projects introduce students to the value of helping others, the importance of civic engagement, and the process of self-reflection on learning. Students move in and prepare their rooms, get their identification cards, learn about the physical plant of the College and the layout of Olympia and other local communities. This is also a time in which peer educators in Academic Advising, Health and Counseling Services, Career Development, Residence Halls, Student Activities, and First People’s Advising Services are highly visible and assist with the student’s transition.

There has been a concerted effort to build academic components into the orientation program to give students exposure to and an early start in familiarizing themselves with the teaching and learning at the College. This has been done through two formats—daily workshop offerings during the week and a two-credit college-readiness course team-taught by faculty and student affairs practitioners (exhibits will include course descriptions and supporting documents).

Along with the above-mentioned programs, site-specific orientation activities take place on the Tacoma campus and in tribal-based programs. In 2002 SASS, in conjunction with the Tacoma campus staff and faculty, designed an orientation program for new students entering the Tacoma-based program. Over the years the emphasis has shifted to grounding the student first in the philosophy of the campus and academic perspective shared with the class by the Tacoma faculty. SASS has provided more specialty workshops for new students once school has begun.

College Readiness Courses: Courage to Learning and Beginning the Journey Course Offerings

In 1999, faculty and Student Affairs staff presented a “mini” academic program entitled “Courage to Learn,” which gave students some exposure to the systems of “the academic program.” The course ran concurrently with orientation. A small study group explored the possibility of attracting a larger number of students by offering a more extensive program for credit. In 2001, this program was offered with a two-credit option (at no cost to the student) entitled Beginning the Journey. This version included not only a week-long, full-day program within orientation week, but also extended five weeks into the fall quarter during which students met with teaching teams outside of their academic programs for continued skill development (building student skills in writing, decision-making, drug and alcohol awareness, etc.) and continued community development. Pre- and post-program surveys were administrated to assess students’ experiences. Assessment data reported that (fill in the blank.) Retention data indicated that students participating in the program were retained from fall to fall at a higher rate than other first-year students.

The course was discontinued due to transitions in the academic deans area and was not offered again until fall 2005. The second iteration of Beginning the Journey (BTJ) was embedded in several of the core programs. In this hybrid of the program described above students participated in activities specific to Beginning the Journey as well as scheduled activities in the orientation program. In fall 2006 another iteration of the course was offered without being identified to students as BTJ and was embedded in the core programs and highlighted by the individual teaching teams as activities recommended to students.

In 2007, Beginning the Journey will return to the original model in which the course will stand alone and student participation will be voluntary. Add language about Fall 2007 start-up (enrollment and program description)'

Early Start Program—First People’s Scholars Program and KEY, Step-Up, Conditional Admits

In order to provide support to special populations, First Peoples’ s Advising Services and KEY Advising Services (a federally-funded Trio Program) offer opportunities for students of color, first-generation students, low-income students and students with disabilities to become familiar with the workings of the College and to enhance their college-readiness skills. Emphasis includes intensive seminars on writing and reading, understanding the role of faculty, developing problem-solving skills (“Critical Moments,” which is described elsewhere in this report.), and the ins and outs of living in Olympia. In addition to these programmatic efforts, attention is given to community development because these populations often experience high levels of isolation and marginalization. Each of these programs has its own specific emphases. First People’s Advising Services maintains contact with the scholars in this program throughout the academic year through specialized programs, individual follow up and work with peer advisors. Students who are eligible to enroll in KEY are also followed by the staff and are required to meet at least twice a quarter with an advisor.

There are segments of the student population whose early success at Evergreen is linked to their ability to remain in good standing academically in order to continue their eligibility for enrollment. Along with the early start programs, focused activities are offered for students who are conditional admits, students with disabilities and student athletes. Conditional admits are required to attend a mandatory meeting with staff members from the admission office and academic advising. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure each student understands the scope of their responsibilities to demonstrate they can handle the work as Evergreen students. They are introduced to all of the services and resources. These students attend a new student advising workshop and participate in orientation activities. Students with disabilities participate in a workshop designed to introduce them the offerings of Access Services and their rights and responsibilities regarding accommodations, working with faculty and peers, and self-advocacy skills. Student athletes are another focus of special efforts made to orient students to Evergreen. All new student athletes and current student athletes attend a new-student advising workshop and meet with an academic advisor.

The First Year Experience DTF in 2005 examined the experience of first-year students. One of the recommendations made by the DTF was to evaluate the current orientation programs. Such an analysis will begin in fall 2007. Did it begin fall 2007? If so, what’s the progress?

% (3.D.10)Academic Advising

Although advising is done in various units, primary advising responsibility for students rests organizationally in SASS in the unit entitled Academic Advising. Academic Advising is central to the academic and student development mission of the College in that it provides guidance and support for students’ academic planning, both at the beginning of and throughout their studies at the College. The mission statement of Academic Advising is:

Academic Advising promotes Evergreen students’ access to learning and growth. We help students understand the structure of the college and realize the variety of educational options available to them. We collaborate with students in the discovery and exploration of meaningful strategies for learning.

Academic Advising has created a number of systems to enact the mission. This unit continues to refine programmatic and individual interventions that have been in use for over ten years and has undertaken new initiatives as well. Some overarching themes in all of these are apparent: collaboration with faculty and others, support of student internships to enrich learning, and active assistance to students who are new to the College or experiencing difficulties. A high priority has been placed on staff professional development around issues of racism, bias, and privilege.

Academic Advising collaborates with academic programs, other SASS units (Career Development, First People’s Advising Services, Access Services, KEY Student Services, Health and Counseling Services), Residential and Dining Services, and other Student Affairs units to facilitate student learning and success. The unit seeks to increase opportunities for partnerships across the campus to support students’ learning and personal satisfaction.

Internships to Enrich Learning

Academic Advising provides guidance for students who participate in credit-bearing internships as a key co-curricular enrichment of student learning. Internships are one important way to embody the fifth of Evergreen’s five foci: Linking Theory with Practical Applications.

  • Internship Fairs (featuring representatives of internship opportunities for students).
  • Coda [is this an acronym??](development and maintenance of database of community opportunities for internship and employment for students – partnership with Career Development, Student Employment, and community partners).
  • Internship documentation assistance and oversight (processes for all credit-bearing internships are the purview of Academic Advising, in collaboration with Academic Deans and Registrar).
  • Center for Community-Based Learning and Action advisory group (partnership with service learning office at the College).
  • Participation in Academic Dean reviews of internship proposals
  • Facilitation of information sessions for major internship partners (e.g., Department of Transportation, State Legislature).

Advising Interventions for New Students and Students Experiencing Difficulties

Academic Advising actively seeks to assist students who are experiencing academic or personal difficulties, paying particular attention to first-year students and new transfer students who are making the transition to the very unique environment of our interdisciplinary learning communities. We assist students to understand the nature and demands of Evergreen’s academic programs and advise them on learning and communications skills in seminar. In these ways, we directly address three of the five foci: Interdisciplinary Study, Collaborative Learning, and Personal Engagement. Central activities intended to provide general support for students and as targeted interventions include:

  • Academic Planning Workshops (for new and continuing students).

These workshops became mandatory in spring 2007. All entering students must participate in a mandatory advising session. Failure to take one of these programs results in the student’s registration being blocked.

  • The Core Connector Program (advisors in the academic programs for first-year students). Through the Core Connectors Program Academic Advising partners with faculty, such that each first-year program has an advisor involved in program activities, making academic planning a seamless part of the learning environment of the program. The Core Connector program is comprised of academic advisors and other SASS practitioners who are assigned to one of the core programs, providing a presence within core programs to help students settle into and adjust to college life. The core connector meets regularly with the program, makes announcements, and participates in and facilitates discussions related to academic success. Core connectors also work with faculty in conducting small group interviews that allows students to express their concerns and satisfactions with their programs. The core connectors play a major role in providing meaning to the feedback and ways that the program can be improved.
  • A Case Management Model through which Staff members discuss student cases at staff meetings and assign one of the advisors for comprehensive follow-up for students with extraordinary academic difficulties and or individual work with faculty who refer students in difficulty.
  • One-on-one outreach to first-year students (in partnership with program faculty).

· “How’s It Going?” cards (written outreach for all lower-division program students each quarter, with individual follow-up for those expressing difficulties).

  • The Peer Advisors Program that conducts initial intake interviews with students, answer quick and simple procedural questions, refer to resources on campus, and brief the staff on student needs. These are experienced student employees who assist with general advising and group programming.
  • Web resources on academic planning and problem-solving.
  • Outreach to students on Academic Warning (students who do not make satisfactory academic progress). An advisor is assigned to follow up with students who are placed on academic warning. The outreach focus is on understanding the academic warning process and identifying what it is they will need to do return to Evergreen if they choose to do so.

· Follow-up with Conditional Admits to the College. Beginning Fall 2002, students admitted conditionally became a focus for our retention efforts. Conditional admits have one quarter to demonstrate that they can be successful at Evergreen. In order to maximize their chances of success and capitalize on their promise, the Admission office and SASS conduct a special orientation program. Each conditionally admitted student is required to meet with an academic advisor for a one-on-one session to learn about the resources available. Conditionally admitted students maintain this status until they achieve regular admission status.

Staff Development Focus on Diversity

Academic Advising staff is evaluated annually and goals for performance are established. The professional development approach is directed to the third of the five foci at Evergreen: Learning Across Significant Differences. The peer and professional staff of the unit are diverse. For the past three years, academic advising professional staff members have met together for two hours weekly during the academic year to focus specifically on the personal and professional learning that is needed to effectively counter racism and other forms of bias which occur in human systems. Through readings and discussion, “Critical Moments” role-playing, personal storytelling, group attendance at diversity-related lectures, and honest self-reflection activities, staff members have addressed the difficult issues of privilege and oppression manifested in their work with students and with one another. Facilitation of these meetings is shared and staff members have created specific ground rules to enhance honesty and safety. This diversity-related learning is a high priority for the Academic Advising staff.

Focus Areas for Academic Advising – Present and Future

Major issues for Academic Advising in the past few years have been programmatic and individual outreach to first-year students and those experiencing academic difficulties, forging links with faculty for advising partnerships, creating Web-based advising resources for students and faculty, and setting a high priority for ongoing anti-oppression work as professional development for the staff. In the next few years, we plan to continue these directions, put additional efforts into our “Beginning the Journey” course in collaboration with Academic Affairs, and assess the effects of new requirements for advising interventions for first-year students.

Possible exhibits:

Organizational chart showing advisor responsibilities

Web resources for advising information for students and for faculty advisors

Workshop attendance statistics

Advising walk-in visit statistics

Descriptive paragraphs of key programs (Freshman Advising Day, Core Connectors, Academic Warning, etc.)

Schedule materials for recent Freshman Advising Day events

Sample How’s It Going Card

Schedule of workshops for academic year

Study Abroad materials/information

% (3.D.11) Career Counseling and Placement Services

The mission of the Career Development Center is to provide consistent, quality

Career and life work planning for students and alumni of the college. Embracing the value of a liberal arts education, the Center connects the learning of students to the content of academic programs and plans and implements services and activities to compliment the curriculum. In programming, the Career Development Center works collaboratively across campus with faculty, staff and students to connect theory and practice. The Career Development Center is closely allied with Academic Advising and intentionally designs programs that address career and academic pathways in the college curriculum.

To assist students with self-knowledge; academic direction; employment; graduate school; community service; and life work planning, the Center provides individual career counseling; workshops; resources; referral; programs; Career Fair; Graduate School Fair, coursework; clinics; and technological access. Professional staff provide specialized career counseling to students preparing for graduate study, working with the offices of the Veteran’s Administration, Labor and Industries, the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, graduate programs and the Evening and Weekend Studies Program.

Students receive assistance and support with assessment including: Transcript Review, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Campbell Interest and Skill Survey (CISS), Self Directed Search (SDS), John Holland’s (RIASEC) and the Washington Occupational Information System (WOIS). Students receive support with occupational research utilizing a 7,000 volume Career Resource Library and a 300 file website at Workshops and individual sessions provide help with orientation, resume writing, job search strategy, interviewing skills, mock interviewing, portfolio development, graduate school advising, GRE/LAST/MCAT practice testing, networking, transition, job keeping and job coping, and re-careering.

Current students access career mentors through the Alumni Career Educator (ACE) files providing opportunities for current students to get advice on occupations, employment, travel and study abroad and graduate school from Evergreen Alumni. The conversion from BlackBaud Raiser’s Edge software to BANNER was accomplished with a partnership between the Alumni Office, the Office of College Advancement and the Career Development Center. The transition of the database has provided greater opportunity for access to students and an increase in alumni participation in the ACE program.

The Career Development Center has worked closely with faculty to plan and present a number of workshops and trainings within nine (9) academic programs assisting students with academic and career pathways in the life sciences, environmental science, computer science, performing arts, language arts and social science.

This recent academic year the Center participated in the Curriculum Visions DTF envisioning long term curriculum planning. Staff are partnering with Academic Advising and faculty to teach the freshman advising program, Beginning The Journey. A hallmark partnership is the recent collaboration between the science faculty and the Career Development Center. For the past two years a Career Counseling Specialist has provided specific career and academic advising for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Computer Science Engineering and Math Scholarship (CSEM) students. This year the Director of the Career Development Center is serving as assistant project director for the four year NSF Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEMS) scholarship grant.

The new Student Athlete program partners the Career Development Center, the Athletic Department, Academic Advising and faculty to insure our student athletes receive ongoing career and life work planning and advising. This fledgling program is staffed by the Career Development Facilitator who also serves the college as the Women’s Assistant Women’s Basketball coach.

% (3.D.12)Health and Counseling Services

Health and Counseling Services includes the Health Center, Counseling Center and Office of Sexual Assault Prevention. These three separate offices work together under one umbrella with the goal of providing seamless transition and management of students seeking care.

The mission of Health and Counseling Services is to support the academic mission of the college by helping students stay healthy and maintain a sense of well being in their daily lives. This is done directly through patient care, and by providing community education and information to help students care for themselves, use healthcare resources wisely and to be an advocate for themselves and others regarding health and medical care.

Campus health services provide a baseline level of care designed to meet the general needs of most students. When the scope of care exceeds our capacity, the providers in the Health Center assist with the coordination of care for our students through consultation and referral, helping students get connected with the appropriate clinic or agency.

The Counseling Center provides psychological care to students both individually and in groups. Student requests and needs are evaluated in an initial intake appointment and they are either assigned to a counselor in the clinic, offered a group (?) or referred to a community provider of the needs or request exceed the capacity of the center. Walk-in hours are available four days a week for students who are struggling or in crisis.

The initial paperwork for both health and counseling centers is designed to screen students, and get a general picture of overall current state of health, past health issues along with identification of any risk factors for future problems including personal safety and substance use.

Providing coordination of care is a significant part of the work in Health and Counseling Services. Many students lack insurance or if they have insurance are at a loss of how and where to access care. Increasingly the health and counseling centers are feeling overwhelmed by the number of students with physical and psychological problems and the lack of resources for managing these problems. Referral options to community providers are limited and uninsured students are understandably reluctant to navigate the process for getting basic health insurance coverage. Funded by a student health fee, which by state mandate cannot be increased, the health center has had to increasingly pass along the cost of care to the students in order to keep up with sky rocketing costs of medical care. In addition to trying to meet the basic health care needs of college students, we have been looking to students and parents to help identify the needs of their student prior to coming to Evergreen.

Insert data about number of students seeking counseling services here over the last 5 years along with waitlist data.

Include number of health center appointments and top diagnoses.'

Health Education

The Health Center has a unique program where undergraduate students are able to complete the academic and clinical work necessary to become licensed Healthcare Assistants in the state of Washington. These students are carefully selected and are typically in upper division science courses in preparation for medical school or other health related careers.

One of the training components for our student medical assistants is The Certified Peer Educator (CPE) Training offered through the BACCHUS Network. The CPE training compliments the clinical training component in addressing the social and clinical skills needed to work effectively with peers. Students are able to learn valuable skills around communication, boundaries, referral and programming in a college setting. This allows our student medical assistants to serve as a valuable campus resource, promoting health education through workshops, tabling, PSAs, articles for the campus paper and other events.

The topics are relevant to the student population and are scheduled at certain times during the academic year. Some examples include: information on immunizations, particularly meningococcal vaccine and vaccination for influenza, colds, flus and self-care, the impact of sleep on mental health, the impact of substance use on cognitive function and sleep, personal safety and sexual responsibility. The clinical foundation enhances their credibility as health educators for their fellow students.

Over the last five years Health and Counseling Services staff members have increased contact and collaboration with faculty. Evergreen has been involved with the Bringing Theory to Practice Project, through the Association of American Colleges and Universities. As a result of our work on this project, clinicians from Health and Counseling Services have been included in the faculty summer planning institutes. These summer training institutes are an opportunity for clinicians from Health and Counseling Services to provide training and support to faculty as they do their academic planning for the upcoming year. By helping increase faculty members’ understanding of mental health issues and providing tools for initiating conversations with students and making interventions when needed, the hope is that students who are experiencing difficulties will be recognized early on and referred appropriately if needed. Students are educated about health and wellness in a variety of ways.

During Orientation week prior to the start of school, there are several workshops offered throughout the week aimed at reducing the risks faced by new freshman as they move in to the college environment. Personal Safety, healthy decision-making, stress management and self-care are a few examples of workshops available to students. In winter and spring quarters, new students are greeted at a New Student Orientation and given brief presentations about available student support services.

Additional workshops including Health and Counseling Services as a component with other student and academic support services are offered throughout the year. Some academic programs invite clinicians to speak on a topic specific to college health issues and related to the academic content. Residential and Dining Services has included student health and wellness, especially mental health and substance use issues, as part of their Resident Advisor training and also host a number of workshops in the Residence Halls.


Standard 3.A - Purpose and Organization

Standard 3.B - General Responsibilities

Standard 3.C - Academic Credit and Records

Standard 3.D - Student Services

Standard 3.E - Intercollegiate Athletics

Supporting Documentation

See Supporting Documentation for Standard Three
  1. Kuh, G.D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J.H., Whitt, E.J. & Associates (2005). Student success in college: Creating conditions that matter. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.