Gateways for Incarcerated Youth

Fall 2022
Winter 2023
Spring 2023
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 25
16 Credits per quarter
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Taught by

This program offers Evergreen students the opportunity to learn together with youth incarcerated in Green Hill Academic School, a medium/maximum-security institution located in Chehalis, WA.

In the Gateways program, which has been running since 1996, the learning of Evergreen students fuels and is fueled by the learning of Green Hill students. We proceed from the premise that every person is an expert in their own life and has valuable experiences that can contribute to our shared learning. It is our responsibility as co-learners in this program to accompany and empower each other in our studies.

High-stakes community-based work requires trust, and trust requires sustained commitment. This program requires that all participants be ready to commit themselves to the program for the entire academic year. The program entails approximately 10 hours a week in class and 4-6 hours a week at the institution (including travel time). Evergreen students will commit to a Tuesday morning or a Tuesday afternoon class at Green Hill.

We will take advantage of the practices of liberation education to cultivate an environment where this learning together becomes possible. The content of our inquiry will accordingly be shaped collaboratively: in part by the faculty's training—health, the pandemic, and the public health crisis of incarceration--, in part by the interests of Evergreen students, and in part by the interests of Green Hill students. All students will wrestle with topics in diversity and social justice alongside other subjects chosen by the incarcerated students; the main feature of popular education is that it empowers those seeking education to be the local experts in shaping their own course of study.

Popular education works through conscientization, the ongoing process of joining with others to give a name to socioeconomic conditions, to reflect critically on those conditions, and thereby to imagine new possibilities for living. In order to do this work successfully, students will practice learning how to meet other learners where they are at (literally, in order to better understand the conditions that put some of us in prisons and others in colleges). Students will also develop or hone their skills in assessing the role that social determinants like poverty and racism have on bodies and health, and examine the ways that individuals are held responsible for manifestations of structural violence.

Most importantly, students will learn that solidarity does not mean saving other people or solving their problems, it means creating conditions that allow them to articulate those problems through genuine dialogue and supporting them as they work toward their own solutions.

Program participants will have the opportunity to reflect on how different individuals access and manifest their learning as they gain experience in facilitating discussions and workshops. In the process of collectively shaping the Gateways seminar, they will also learn how to organize productive meetings and work through conflict. Each quarter, students will take increasing responsibility for designing, implementing, and assessing the program workshops and seminars. Throughout the year, we will seek to expand our collective knowledge of how our bodies heal from stress, and how the tools of public health can measure and break cycles of violence and incarceration.

Students interested in enrolling in this program can familiarize themselves with Gateways program before applying: .



Participating students are required by the prison to pass a background check in order to work on site.

Fall 2022 Registration

Signature Required

Students will be accepted to the program based on an application demonstrating relevant experience and an interview with program faculty and staff.

proutyc@evergreen.eduApplications to Gateways will be available in mid. April, 2022. Please write faculty at  with the subject line "Gateways application request" to receive the application.

Course Reference Numbers

Sr (16): 10101
Jr (16): 10102
So (16): 10103
Winter 2023 Registration

Signature Required

Students will be accepted to the program based on an application demonstrating relevant experience and an interview with program faculty and staff.

proutyc@evergreen.eduPlease write faculty at  with the subject line "Gateways application request" to receive the application.

Spring 2023 Registration

Academic details

Preparatory For

prison education, social work, public health, education, community work

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


In Person or Remote
In Person (F)
In Person (W)
In Person (S)
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

SEM 2 D2105 - Workshop
May be offered again in
<p>Fall-Spring, 2023-2024</p>