Did you know that the majority of the student population at The Evergreen State College is not made up of first-time college students? Strike up a conversation with a Greener and you are more likely to be chatting with a person who spent a little time in higher education before finding their way to the college.
This circumstance is common among what Evergreen broadly refers to as transfer students, but there are as many variations among their circumstances as there are transfer students at Evergreen. That’s what makes Evergreen’s transfer program so special. It is specifically designed to meet returning learners exactly where they are in terms of the experience they bring to the table and the goals they want to achieve in their time there.
Jasmin Faulk-Dickerson just graduated this spring. She enrolled as a transfer student in 2017. She had a handful of credits from a community college in Wyoming where she lived after immigrating to the United States from Saudi Arabia. “When I registered at Evergreen, they transferred all of those credits. It was a piece of cake,” Jasmin says. “I thought those credits were long gone because it had been 17 years.”
Jasmin explains how she was a few credits short to enter Evergreen as a sophomore, so her admissions counselor advised her to enroll in a class or two at South Puget Sound Community College to get those taken care of. “I really appreciated that they had my best interests in mind,” Jasmin says. “I felt supported throughout my entire time at Evergreen because every faculty or staff member I talked to really intentionally wanted me to succeed.” She used her time at Evergreen to write a memoir about her experience growing up in Saudi Arabia. She was the student commencement speaker at this year’s virtual graduation ceremony.
Evergreen has a framework for transfer students coming from a huge variety of backgrounds. Some students come to Evergreen with credits from technical programs that have trained them in a specific trade. Evergreen offers the Upside Down Transfer Option for technically trained students who decide they want to round out their education with broad, liberal arts coursework or who need to earn their bachelor’s degree to achieve their next professional or academic goal.
Another unique offering that supports transfer students at Evergreen is the Prior Learning from Experience program. This program allows students to earn credit for work they have done in a professional setting or in the community by formally documenting it under the supervision of a faculty member. This option works well for a person who hasn’t spent any time in a higher education setting, but stepped right into the work force out of high school or devoted time to a mission such as the Peace Corps.
Evergreen also has a healthy number of veterans among their transfer student population. “We find that veterans excel at Evergreen because of their leadership experience,” says Wade Arave, director of admissions at Evergreen. “Their time in service translates well into the academic environment here. It’s not about checking boxes. It’s about doing what you want to do and using the Evergreen model to make it happen.”
Evergreen offers a generous transfer of credits from military transcripts as well as robust continuous support through the Veterans Resource Center. A quarter-long course called Veterans Next Mission provides veterans with a framework for transitioning from military to civilian academics.
Similarly, non-military transfer students have the opportunity to spend their first quarter in the Cornerstone course. Both Veterans Next Mission and Cornerstone orient students to Evergreen’s learning model. “We want our students to succeed,” says Krishna Chowdary, a faculty member who also helps manage the curriculum at Evergreen. “Since we’re used to helping students understand how Evergreen is different, we’re well-suited to acclimate transfer students who might come to us with a particular understanding of what college looks like based on their prior experience.”
Krishna recently helped organize and participated in a virtual Q&A session hosted just for transfer students. Accepted transfer students joined Krishna and four other curricular area team leaders on a Zoom chat where they asked questions about life and academics at Evergreen.
Transfer student Q&A sessions with faculty, staff and advisors will become a regular occurrence in the 2020-2021 academic year. “At Evergreen, there are no boundaries,” says Wade. “Even inside specific programs students have way more flexibility and freedom to dive into particular projects, take on research and build their own portfolio.” For learners with vision, drive and an open mind, there is no place like Evergreen for achieving their goals.
Visit Evergreen’s website or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can continue your education in one of the most transfer-friendly colleges around. You can discover more about Evergreen’s generous transfer credit policy and request a free unofficial transfer credit evaluation of your existing transcripts.