Alice attended Lower Columbia Community College in Longview, Washington where she learned about Evergreen through an integrated studies class modeled off of Evergreen’s distinct curricula. “It was the first class that I felt I was smart and I can accomplish something in the academic world… There was a group of three professors that talked a lot about if people do succeed in a class like that, that Evergreen would be a good option for them, and just talked a lot about how people learn differently. I had never heard that before.”
Download a Windows Media File with clips from an interview with Alice. (This is a WMA file and should play on your computer using Windows Media Player)
The three professors were right: Alice has found both success and happiness at Evergreen. She has gone from feeling like an outsider in the academic world to studying Public Administration, which she plans to pursue further in graduate school. “It’s really made me passionate about people being aware that everyone learns differently. It seems like it’s a norm to feel like if you don’t do well in high school then you’re not going to do well in college. I think that Evergreen has completely changed my opinion in that area.”
Alice credits much of her success to Evergreen’s encouraging embrace of students with a variety of learning styles, which is instituted through a nontraditional structure and exceptional relationships with faculty members. “It’s amazing how you’re so encouraged to really build those relationships with your faculty and how willing they are to build those relationships with you, and talk to you and talk you through things and give you the encouragement that you need.” In addition to one-on-one help, faculty familiarized Alice with campus resources, like the Writing Center, which offered further support in academics.
Beyond close faculty-student interaction, beyond available campus resources, beyond a learning-inclusive environment, integrated studies, and collaboration, Alice has found context at Evergreen. “When you take a math class here you’re not just taking numbers—you’re learning about how the math that you’re doing is going to apply to the life that you live or the world that you’re in. In my experiences before, it was always just numbers, notes—things were very vague. I don’t feel like things are vague here. I think that people really take their time to explain things thoroughly and relate them to who you are, who your peers are.”