Evaluation Resource Central: Summative Student Self Evaluations (SSSE)This information does not act as a substitute for a visit with one of our writing tutors. It is provided as a starting point for your work. We strongly recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our writing tutors for more tailored, one-on-one conversations about your evaluations.
Purpose and Value
Whether you spent your entire undergraduate career at Evergreen, or migrated through several colleges, you can now take pause in the final quarter of your senior year and reflect on your undergraduate education in its entirety. Whether you single-mindedly studied one subject or theme, or whether you exercised your curiosity across all of the divisions of knowledge (humanities, arts, social and natural sciences), you are now in a position to see the patterns of connection that give clarity and coherence to your educational choices, and to the range of skills and ways of learning you have broadened and deepened through your undergraduate experience.
Just as self-evaluations enable you to reflect upon, integrate, and summarize the significance of your learning--both content and skills--during a single academic program or course. After all, at Evergreen, you are able to shape a transcript that is much more than a list of required courses and grades. You have the unique opportunity to look backwards and discover, clarify and integrate your academic pathway coherently. You have the chance to create a "map" to guide readers through the academic history contained in your transcript. You have a chance to represent your responsibility for your educational choices in your own voice.
Writing Strategies and Tips
Your Summative Student Self-Evaluation is the first and most important document that any reader of your transcript will view. Accordingly, it is of critical importance that you compose and edit the Summative Student Self-Evaluation with great care. Expect to write several drafts, organizing your time so as to be able to hone each with considered attention. Slow down and take adequate time on this project. Plan to work on it over a full quarter, allowing time for reflection between each session of writing and revising.
Support for Writing the Summative Student Self-Evaluation:
Consider very seriously the value of acquiring support for your writing process. There are several ways in which you can make this happen:
- Make regular appointments with a Writing Center tutor with whom you feel comfortable.
- Ask a faculty member to work with you individually as you create your Summative Student Self-Evaluation, possibly by sponsoring a 2-credit contract for you.
- Ask your faculty member whether s/he would be willing to incorporate 2 credits of Summative Student Self-Evaluation writing into your final quarter of program or course work.
- Form a study group with peers who are also writing Summative Student Self-Evaluations.
Focusing on Vital Ideas and Themes: It is vital to understand your SSSE as much more than a mere chronological recital of the programs you took and what you got out of them. After all, that information is already contained in the quarterly program descriptions, faculty evaluations, and self-evaluations that compose the body of your transcript. That is, your SSSE is not merely a summary of the transcript contents.
What is important to explore in developing your SSSE are the vital themes that weave through and/or emerge from your evolving undergraduate education, the distinctive elements that describe you as the unique and well-educated person you have created or constructed as a result of the responsible choices you made in the course of your undergraduate career. Accordingly, it is very helpful to begin by carefully reading and reviewing the transcripts from other colleges, and program descriptions, faculty and self-evaluations that comprise your Evergreen transcript to this point. Read your transcript documents chronologically, remembering who you were, how you felt, what you know, what you thought was important to you, and the quality of your academic skills when you embarked upon your first undergraduate academic experiences. Write down your beginning points, then read your transcript documents chronologically with an eye to discovering how your assumptions, ideas, skills, and interests changed. Underline or comment in the margins upon moments which mark significant developments, changes, decisions, deepening commitments and new understandings as you move through your undergraduate career. Perhaps you might type out quotations or paraphrases or words, which are significant for you, and perhaps you might date each so that you can see clearly the momentum of your growth as a learner.
Having read your transcript contemplatively, and having abstracted from it a list of moments of significance, next review that list, adding, deleting, editing, and adjusting it, gradually fleshing it out to create a skeleton of a coherent narrative.
Now evaluate your skeleton narrative with an eye toward isolating the one or two most important themes or ideas that make your academic journey significant, distinctive, and unique to you. Free write to flesh these out and to clarify the implications of those distinctive features.
Next, employ these distinctive ideas to write an introductory paragraph that characterizes your development as a learner during your undergraduate years. The introduction will operate not unlike the thesis paragraph of an expository essay. It will articulate to the reader the special character of your learning and growth, and will enable the reader to anticipate that in the upcoming paragraphs s/he will discover how and why you developed as you have just stated you did.
You are now in a position, using your own skeleton narrative and your introduction as a guide, to draft the body of your SSSE. Make sure that, as you write, you closely tie the story you develop to the themes and ideas established in your introductory paragraph so that you maintain a high degree of coherence. Not everything in your academic experience will connect with your primary themes, but the point is to be selective, to highlight what is crucial in your journey, not to recount every element.
When you have finished drafting the body of your narrative, create a conclusion which suggests the implications of your academic journey for your future. Having learned what you have learned, what are you now ready and prepared to do? Answering this question should enable you to tell your reader your intentions, at least for your next step in life.
Formal Organizing Devices Reflecting Evergreen's Distinctive Educational Philosophy: It might be the case that, having reviewed your undergraduate career and evaluations, you are not sure about what themes and ideas are appropriate to extract and highlight in your Summative Student Self-Evaluation, or that you feel that your summative evaluation reads too much like a list of programs taken. Another way to work up a draft is to recall "The Five Foci of Teaching and Learning At Evergreen," and the "Six Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate." They are as follows:
The Five Foci of Teaching and Learning at Evergreen
- Interdisciplinary Learning
- Learning Across Significant Differences
- Personal Engagement with Learning
- Linking Theory and Practice
- Collaborative Learning
The Six Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate
- Articulate and assume responsibility for your own work
- Participate collaboratively and responsibly in our diverse society
- Communicate creatively and effectively
- Demonstrate integrative, independent and critical thinking
- Apply qualitative, quantitative and creative modes of inquiry appropriately to practical and theoretical problems across disciplines
- As a culmination of your education, demonstrate depth, breadth and synthesis of learning and the ability to reflect on the personal and social significance of that learning
Taking either the Five Foci or the Six Expectations, review your academic history with the goal of locating under the heading of each Focus or Expectation all evidence of learning relevant to it. With the list of each Foci or Expectation built out, choose from your lists the items that are the most significant demonstrations of the growth of your learning. Next, write a single, coherent paragraph specific to your achievements and growth relative to each Focus or Expectation.
Finally, write an introductory paragraph stating the significance of the Five Foci or the Six Expectations (for outside readers) and their relevance to understanding the importance of the development of your learning. For a concluding paragraph, discuss how the learning represented in the narrative you have created prepares you for real world work, further education, and/or the next step in your life.
- You should write your SSSE during your final quarter at Evergreen.
- Your SSSE should be a maximum of two single-spaced pages long, and should be printed with a typeface no smaller than 10 point. Your SSSE must be printed on the SSSE form. Forms for typing up formal evaluations are available here.
- If you work with a faculty member in the preparation of your SSSE, you may wish to have that faculty sign your final SSSE on the form. However, this is not required. If you do work with a faculty, you must make sure to give her/him a copy of the final SSSE for her/his portfolio.
- Your SSSE can be accepted by Registration and Records for inclusion in your transcript up to one academic quarter after your last enrollment at the very latest.
- Print and turn in two copies to Registration and Records, remembering that, as with other transcript documents, you cannot change your SSSE once it has been submitted.
- The SSSE always goes on top of the transcript, immediately after the cover sheet and the Record of Achievement.
- The SSSE is one way of demonstrating Expectation 6.