National study says Evergreen is one of the nation's top colleges for student learning and participation

November 1, 2006

OLYMPIA, Wash. - A national study says The Evergreen State College is one of the nation’s most academically challenging - and a top college for the level of active and collaborative learning for students.

The study, founded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, says Evergreen students develop top abilities in analyzing theories and ideas and spend more time preparing for classes and reading textbooks.

Evergreen students also spend more time making class presentations and working with other students on projects than most of the nation’s college students. Evergreen freshman and seniors cite the remarkable quality of interaction with faculty members and other students and the campus physical environment as keys to success.

“This national study again confirms what we have known for some time. Evergreen’s students receive an extraordinary education that prepares them to engage with real-world issues in a changing world,” said Thomas L. Purce, Evergreen’s president

Unlike many other college ranking systems, the study focuses on putting more emphasis into successful student learning and high quality research. In September, a federal Higher Education Commission directed that colleges and universities should be measured by meaningful student learning outcomes.

260,000 college students at 523 U.S. universities participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement.

“For years, researchers have pointed to involvement in educationally purposeful activities as the gateway to desired outcomes of college. Students who engage more frequently in educationally effective get better grades, are more satisfied and are more likely to persist,” says George Kuh, the director of the survey.

Founded in 1967 as an alternative to traditional education, The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. is a top example of interdisciplinary education in America. Academic studies are organized into interdisciplinary learning communities focused on specific themes with real-world relevance. Evergreen was recently featured as one of only two public colleges in the book “Colleges That Changes Lives.,” and named as a “College that is doing good for the nation” by the Washington Monthly political magazine.