Evergreen has been practicing innovation for nearly 50 years. Every quarter, our faculty and staff produce new and exciting programs not found anywhere else in higher education. As experienced innovators, we are ready to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on higher education. In fact, as we wrap up winter quarter evaluation week, faculty are engaged in “Keep Teaching” institutes to prepare to provide the Evergreen curriculum remotely in spring quarter. We are also preparing to guide you through this transition. You will learn more from your faculty next week.
We will begin classes remotely on Thursday, April 2. These changes are in accordance with Governor Inslee’s directive last Friday, March 13, that no in-person instruction is permitted in Washington State through April 24. However, the situation is fluid. We have advised faculty to plan for the possibility that all spring quarter teaching might be conducted remotely. This directive applies to all graduate and undergraduate courses, programs, individual learning contracts and internships. All instructional rooms, including labs and studios, are closed. All travel is canceled, including field trips and domestic and international air travel. Faculty have been notified of these changes and are adjusting their teaching plans accordingly. We expect winter quarter evaluations and credits to be posted according to our normal business practices. You can find current updates to academic offerings on the COVID-19 student resource page.
In spring quarter, we will provide a dynamic curriculum to you through two primary tools: Canvas and Zoom. Canvas is already used across campus, and offers a platform for content delivery and program communication. Zoom will support real-time class meetings. Both Canvas and Zoom can be accessed from mobile devices, tablets, and computers. Faculty are aware that students have different levels of access to technology and high-speed internet, and will be as flexible as possible in designing and delivering instruction. We are researching options for providing Chromebooks for student use, and will offer Canvas and Zoom training for students during the first three days of the quarter when there are no classes.
We are working very hard to minimize course and program cancellations. However, some classes and programs will not be able to run because of the new restrictions on instruction. If your class is canceled, you will be notified via email by Monday, March 23.
Students conducting internships and individual learning contracts will be contacted by the Academic Deans office to determine if changes are needed to plans currently in place. In the meantime, the newly extended deadline for registering internships and individual learning contracts is March 30, 2020.
If you are not yet registered for spring, or need guidance in these new circumstances, please reach out to our academic advisors. They are available to assist you each Monday through Friday from 9:00-5:00 via phone 360-867-6312 and email.
We continue to work closely with state and local public health officials to evaluate whether it is advisable to return to hybrid and face-to-face instruction in the second half of the quarter. Please check your Evergreen email regularly to stay updated on the College’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to receive information about courses, programs, and individual study offerings. You can also find current information on the college’s COVID-19 webpage, including details regarding any changes to academic offerings and the availability of Library & Media Services resources.
If you have questions or circumstances that are not currently addressed on the website, please send us an email. I know this is a challenging time and I want to remind you of the Student Wellness Services online resource TAO. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also has guidance on managing mental health and coping during COVID-19 for children and caregivers.
I hope that the coming days will bring you some rest and relaxation. Evergreen faculty and staff are excited about spring quarter, and will be ready to welcome you when you return.
Jennifer Drake, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Student & Academic Life
The Evergreen State College