Olympia – For the first time in years, The Evergreen State College expects a larger entering class as teaching starts today at the college’s Olympia and Tacoma campuses.
This year's entering class grew by 14%, the largest proportional increase since 2000. This larger entering class halts recent enrollment losses at the college, including smaller entering classes during the last two years of COVID. The final tally will be taken after day 10 of fall quarter.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, we find that students want the kind of education that Evergreen provides more than ever. Evergreen offers an affordable, flexible education, where students work closely with faculty and with each other to achieve their goals,” said Evergreen President Dr. John Carmichael.
Executive Vice President Dr. Dexter Gordon attributed part of the enrollment turn-around to a dedicated admissions team, a range of initiatives, and an innovative partnership between staff and the college’s faculty union. In addition, Evergreen launched new certificate programs in its school for Professional and Continuing Education geared towards adult learners, and a new Early Childhood Education program at the Tacoma campus. A new scholarship to encourage former students who have yet to complete their degree was also added. “Evergreen took an all-hands-on-deck approach to new student recruitment where nearly 50 faculty, administrators, and even college board of trustees members partnered together to work directly with students and guide them through the admissions process,” said Dr. Gordon.
“The team met hundreds of students in one-on-one meetings that were exciting and enjoyable. We approached each student as an individual and showed them how Evergreen practices education. Evergreen respects students by trusting their curiosity. That trust, combined with individual attention, makes all the difference,” said faculty initiative leaders Dr. Nancy Koppelman and Dr. Bradley Proctor.
“This collaboration demonstrated what can be done when faculty and college staff partner together for the benefit of students. As such, this teamwork will continue as the college ramps up for its next recruitment cycle,” added Gordon.
A year ago, Evergreen embarked on a new leadership model which put Carmichael and Gordon at the helm as president and executive vice president to co-lead the college. In the past month, Washington Monthly’s national magazine ranked Evergreen No. 1 for contributions to the public good among more than 600 colleges and universities. The U.S. Department of Education also recently awarded the college a $2.1 million Title III grant to increase access and success for students.