Gateways for Incarcerated Youth (remote/in-person*)

Fall 2020
Winter 2021
Spring 2021
Junior - Senior
Class Size: 20
12 16 Credits per quarter
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In this interdisciplinary program, we will study critical thinking, restorative justice, mass incarceration, liberatory/democratic education, community-based learning, habits of mind and heart, and youth culture.   We will practice humanizing and critical pedagogy in order to fulfill the fundamental principle of the Gateways program-- the recognition that every person has talents and valuable experiences that can contribute to our shared learning.

This program offers Evergreen students the opportunity to co-learn with youth incarcerated in Green Hill Academic School, a medium/maximum security school located in Chehalis, WA. In the fall and winter quarter quarters, Olympia students will have the opportunity to engage with Green Hill students via Zoom on Tuesday’s.

The goal of this program is to create an environment in which each person becomes empowered to share their knowledge, creativity, values and goals by connecting respectfully with people from other cultural and sociopolitical backgrounds. As such, we will draw from a popular education model in this program. Popular education works through conscientization, the ongoing process of joining with others to examine 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 critical analytical skills for "naming" socioeconomic phenomena such as the prison industrial complex. 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. Students will take increasing responsibility for designing, implementing and assessing the program workshops and seminars. Throughout the program we will seek to expand our collective knowledge via critical storytelling and self-reflection. The main “buckets” of learning in this program are Latinx/Chicanx Studies, Carceral Studies, and Popular Education.

Students interested in enrolling in this program should be sure to familiarize themselves with the Gateways website before applying: . To successfully participate in this program, students will need a computer, internet, printer, and access to Zoom. Students can expect our remote teaching to be around 5 hours of synchronous (scheduled) course work per week, using Canvas and Zoom. In addition, students may connect with Green Hill youth two hours per week via Zoom; however, if students find themselves unable to participate due to technology, caregiving obligations, economic disruption, health risk, or illness, they can work with faculty to pursue alternate options to earn related credit. Students should also expect asynchronous (not scheduled) work including independent research projects. 

*In Spring quarter, the credit load for Gateways will be reduced to 12 credits. Work load will be reduced to reflect this change. If conditions permit, Gateways will adopt a hybrid model in the Spring quarter and Olympia students will have the opportunity to engage with Green Hill student’s person. This opportunity will rely on each person’s maturity and capacity to treat others with respect and follow all COVID safety guidelines and rules. 



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

Fall 2020 Registration

Signature Required

Students will be accepted to the program based on an application demonstrating a significant amount of relevant experience in peer mentorship/tutoring, popular education, or related activities and 2) an interview with program faculty and staff. Contact Maria Isabel Morales ( with questions or to receive an application. Priority will be given to students who submit applications in advance of the Spring Academic Fair.

Course Reference Numbers

Jr - Sr (16): 10168
Winter 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Jr - Sr (16): 20068
Spring 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Jr - Sr (12): 30072

Academic details

Preparatory For

Juvenile justice, education, community work, social work, youth advocacy

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$25 in spring quarter for a required course reader


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

First Meeting



Date Revision
2020-11-12 Student fee removed from winter and spring quarters
2020-11-10 This program is now 12 credits in spring quarter (was 16)
2020-08-13 This program is now fully remote during fall quarter