Academic Statement

Academic Statement Writing Contest

We are pleased to announce the Third Annual Academic Statement Writing Contest! All undergraduates enrolled during the 2013-14 academic year are eligible to enter.  The First Prize winner will receive $1500, the Second Prize winner will receive $1000, and the Third Prize winner will receive $500.

This contest is part of a new academic initiative at the College. Beginning with students admitted in fall of 2013, an Academic Statement will be a graduation requirement. The purpose of the Academic Statement is to create regular opportunities for students to reflect on and explain their liberal arts education. Each year, students will revise their statements and Evergreen faculty will review them and advise students accordingly. The final version will be the first document in students’ transcripts at graduation, providing an opportunity for graduates to describe their education, and for readers to understand the framework for the evaluations that follow. Although students admitted prior to fall of 2013 are not required to include these statements in their final transcripts, we strongly encourage you to do so. See the entries submitted by current and past Contest winners.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, January 31, 2014 at 5 pm

Contest winners will be announced in spring quarter. Please see below for complete contest guidelines.  Look for announcements in your email, or return to this site for the dates. 

Attend an information session about the contest

The College will host several information sessions about the contest:

  • Saturday, December 7, 1:30 pm in the Longhouse
  • Tuesday, December 10, 9:30 am AND 5:30 pm at the Tacoma Program
  • Tuesday, December 17, 10:30 - 11:30 am in Sem 2, A1105
  • Wednesday, January 15, 1:00 - 2:00 pm in Sem 2, A1105

Here's the prompt:

In no more than 750 words, tell about your undergraduate education. For example, explain how the decisions you made—to take specific programs and courses, to do internships and individual learning contracts, to attend other colleges and then enroll here—have enabled you to gain a liberal arts education.  Show how your education reflects your values and commitments.  Illustrate how you have pursued learning:  developing critical capacities, sustaining wonder, cultivating moral character, garnering social capital, enacting a commitment to justice, serving your career, and so on.  Discuss your plans for the future:  how your education thus far is foundational for what you are going to do next.  How has your education helped you to consider who you are and where you are going? You have control over what you write and how you write it. Make your statement show how compelling your education has been.

Submission Guidelines

To submit your academic statement essay, login using your evergreen online account information at this site:  Essays must be received at this site by Friday, January 31, 2014 at 5 pm. No late entries will be accepted. The document cannot be more than 750 words. Your submission must be double-spaced and paginated, formatted if possible as a PDF, and otherwise as “.doc” . As part of the online submission of your essay, you will need to complete a waiver and brief questionnaire about the Academic Statement work you’ve done thus far.

Helpful Hints

Whether you are at the beginning, the middle, or the end of your undergraduate education, your self-evaluations and other academic planning resources are useful building blocks for your Academic Statement. For example, if you are in your first quarter at Evergreen, start, right now, keeping track of how your education is changing you. Start to write about your education.  By the time you write your first self-evaluation at the end of fall quarter, you will have a record of those changes to which you can refer, and which will help you when you begin to write the first iteration of your Academic Statement.  Returning students are encouraged to look over your evaluations thus far, and attempt to describe a common thread that emerges from what you’ve done so far.  All students are invited to articulate their hopes and dreams, and then render those concrete by linking them with pathways in the curriculum, specific upcoming programs, plans for individual study, the acquisition of another language, study abroad, studies outside your primary field, and so on. You might spend some time with next year’s catalog, describing what you plan to do in the future and why. If you will graduate within the year, review all your self-evaluations and, in light of them, explain how your academic pursuits—programs, internships, courses, etc.—link into a coherent whole, guided by your values and goals, and by the principles of liberal arts: education for freedom. Your statement will be as individual as your Evergreen education. Do what you can to demonstrate a growing sense of what your work is, and how you take responsibility for it. However you approach the essay, make a compelling case for your academic decisions, how encounters with bodies of knowledge have shaped you, and the values that guided you in your choices. Finally, keep in mind that this is a writing contest.  Be sure your submission is free from typos, spelling and grammatical errors, and so on.  The Selection Committee looks forward to reading compelling and well-written essays.

Winners will be announced during spring quarter (please check back for more specific details). Returning student winners will receive their award as a scholarship for 2014-15. Graduating senior winners will receive a check after they graduate.