Glossary of Terms Specific to Evergreen, Assessment, and Institutional Research

The following are terms often used in describing teaching and learning at Evergreen and in reporting of student demographics and institutional characteristics. These terms appear as links in the content of the Institutional Research web pages.


Academic Statement
The Academic Statement is a graduation requirement for all undergraduate students. In the statement, students summarize and reflect carefully on their liberal arts education. Students begin work on the statement when they first enroll, then develop and revise it annually under the guidance of faculty. The final version becomes an important part of each student's transcript. For more information visit the Academic Statement home page. (The Academic Statement was implemented in 2013 and is a requirement for all students enrolling after fall 2013.) 

A process of recognizing educational institutions for meeting standards of performance, integrity, and quality. In the United States, regional accreditation is administered by nongovernmental, voluntary institutional or professional associations. The Evergreen State College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

All-Level Program
A program that allows freshmen to work alongside sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Faculty intentionally reserve a specific number of spaces in the program for first-year students.

Systematic gathering of information (and acting upon that information) for purposes of improving teaching and learning in educational settings.



Collaborative Learning
A variety of educational approaches involving joint intellectual effort by students or students and teachers together; usually in groups of two or more students mutually search for understanding, meaning, solutions, or in the creation of a product.

Consortium (pl. Consortia)
An association between institutions based on similarities and/or common interests. See the links page for more information about Evergreen's involvement in particular consortia.

Coordinated Study Program (see Learning Community)
A learning community model using a team-taught, multidisciplinary program of study. Students and a team of faculty drawn from different disciplines use a block of time (from 1 to 3 quarters) to examine a central theme. Within a program, learning activities can take a variety of formats including lecture, lab, workshop, seminar, field trips, etc.

A part-time course offered for 2, 4, or 6 credits that supplements the main curriculum. A course can be combined with coordinated study programs, individual learning contacts, and internships.


Deep Learning
An approach to learning where students try to understand ideas for themselves, seek out patterns and underlying principles, examine evidence in relation to conclusions, and critically appraise the logic of arguments. This is a cognitively active learning style. 

DTF (Disappearing Task Force)
A collaborative work group created to study various topics and make recommendations to the campus community. The group disbands when the group's work is done. Several DTFs are active each academic year, and students are encouraged to participate.


Evergreen Social Contract
Written by founding faculty members, the Social Contract contains guidelines for social ethics and working together that help Evergreen function as a community.

Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate
A set of broad standards that Evergreen students are expected to have accomplished by the time they have earned an Evergreen degree. The Six Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate are used to assess student learning (see Teaching and Learning at Evergreen).


First-Time, First-Year Student
First college attendance since high school graduation. Includes students with college credits earned prior to high school graduation, such as Running Start, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and College in the High School.

The Five Foci
The five underlying principles of the Evergreen educational experience: Interdisciplinary Study, Collaborative Learning, Learning Across Significant Differences, Personal Engagement, Linking Theory with Practical Applications. Read more about the The Five Foci.

Full-Time Equivalency (FTE)
Refers to either faculty or student load, and is used to calculate enrollment and budget figures. One FTE represents a full-time unit load. Per State of Washington standards, one undergraduate FTE = 15 credits per quarter and one graduate FTE = 10 credits per quarter.

Full-time Student
A full-time undergraduate student is enrolled in 12-20 credits per quarter in any combination of programs, courses, contracts, or internships. (Full-time students are not limited to those students enrolled in the full-time curriculum.)

A full-time graduate student is enrolled in 10-16 credits per quarter.



Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) (See Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC))


Individual Learning Contract
An individual study plan initiated by a student and sponsored by a faculty member. Information about individual learning contracts can be found at Academic Advising.

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
A system of surveys to gather information from all institutions and educational organizations whose primary purpose is to provide post secondary education. Data includes information about enrollments, program completions, faculty, staff, and finances. The surveys are administered by the National Center for Educational Statistics.

Supervised experience in a work situation for which a student receives academic credit. Internships require advanced planning through Academic Advising and a faculty sponsor.




Learning Community
A purposeful structuring of curriculum to link together coursework so that students find greater coherence in what they are learning and greater interaction with faculty and peers.



Narrative Evaluation
Evergreen's grading system consists of a narrative evaluation of a student's academic work at the end of each quarter. Faculty members write evaluations of each student's work and progress (see Faculty Evaluation of Student Achievement), and each student writes a self-evaluation (see Student Self-Evaluation). These become official documents, making up the permanent transcript. Students also write evaluations of faculty members, which become part of the faculty member's official portfolio (see Student Evaluation of Faculty).

Native Pathways Program

The Native Pathways Program (NPP) promotes life-long indigenous scholarship by placing value on cultural and traditional ways of knowing, working with indigenous research methodologies, and expanding indigeneity through academia. This program provides opportunities to learn through western and indigenous pedagogy, while maintaining and promoting an indigenous worldview. (Previously Reservation-Based, Community-Determined Program)

Non-Resident Alien
A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States and who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and does not have the right to remain indefinitely.



Part-time Student
A part-time undergraduate student is enrolled in less than 12 credits per quarter, in any combination of programs, courses, contracts, or internships. Part-time students are not limited to those students enrolled in Evening/Weekend Studies offerings.

A part-time graduate student is enrolled in less than 10 credits per quarter.

Refers to a student's continued enrollment in college beyond any particular term.



Regular Student
A student admitted to the college and assumed to be pursuing a degree; also referred to as a matriculated or degree-seeking student.

Refers to a student's persistence at Evergreen from one term to another. Often calculated as a fall quarter to fall quarter measurement, i.e. of students enrolled in a particular fall quarter how many are still enrolled the subsequent fall.

Returning Greener
A newly re-admitted Evergreen student who previously attended The Evergreen State College.


A central experience of an Evergreen education. In a seminar, a faculty member and up to 25 students meet to discuss and analyze assigned readings and other program work.

Six Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate (see Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate)

Special Student
A student who has not been formally admitted to the college and is enrolled in a maximum of 8 credits per quarter; also referred to as a non-matriculated or non-degree seeking student.

IBM SPSS or Statistical Package for Social Sciences is a software program used for statistical analysis.

Student Originated Studies (SOS)
Refers to academic programs that are based on group projects developed by students.

Student Self-Evaluation
Students' evaluations of their academic work as measured against their objectives for the quarter and the requirements of their program, course, contract, or internship. Self-evaluations are part of students' formal academic records.

Student Summative Self-Evaluation (see Academic Statement)

Surface Learning
An approach to learning where the student intends merely to cope with course requirements in a minimalist fashion. This is a cognitively passive learning style. 


Tribal Reservation-Based/Community-Determined Program
Coordinated studies program primarily designed for upper-division students. The Tribal Program emphasizes community building within Native American communities. There are several sites at different reservations in Washington State. (This program became the Native Pathways Program in 2018) 




Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) (formerly Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB)
A state agency governed by a 9-member citizen council that provides strategic planning, oversight, and advocacy to support increased student success and higher overall levels of educational attainment in Washington State. The Council was established on July 1, 2012 to replace the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB). The following link leads outside this site to the WSAC website.