Recast | New Directions for Evergreen Update

From: “Geri, Laurance” <>
Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 8:01 AM

Welcome to Winter 2021!  It’s time to share an update on the New Directions for Evergreen initiative.  We’ve been busy, and a lot of work is underway.   We’ve structured this update with an overview at the top, a summary of the implementation timeline, and details on the work of the several New Directions workgroups below.  Please send us any feedback you have at  

Project Overview 

The project is moving through a crucial phase translating the ideas and dreams generated this summer into actionable workplans.  Ten workgroups are working in three areas:  Curriculum Enhancement, Holistic Advising, and Curricular Coherence (see the figure below).  Most of these teams began their work in earnest following a “Kick Off” event organized by JuliA Metzker on November 4th.  This event brought the teams together for an orientation on the project, an update to the community, and an initial structured session for each workgroup that allowed them to review their specific charge, establish community agreements and equity practices, and clarify their goals.  

These workgroups are in the process of developing detailed proposals, with the goal to have these proposals ready for consideration by the New Directions Steering Committee before the end of winter quarter or early in spring quarter.  The Project Oversight group is keeping an eye on the big picture of the initiative and ensuring that these proposals are harmonized in order to maximize their impact once implemented. Brief updates on the work of many of these teams is provided at the end of this message. 

Teams continue to explore new curriculum in Climate Action and Sustainability, Interdisciplinary Art and Design, and development of a Psychology Path of Study.   

In addition, we are exploring a variety of partnerships with other institutions.  Notably, an articulation agreement with Centralia College is being developed.  This aims to prepare interested students graduating from Centralia to enroll in Evergreen programs associated with some specific paths.  

Finally, we received 21 nominations of students to participate in the New Directions initiative.  Participating students may join workteams, or be part of a standing focus group that will provide feedback to the workteams on emerging proposals.  We thank these students in advance for their help! 

Implementation Timeline 

The timeline below includes key dates and milestones for the project.  As the workgroup proposals are finalized and adopted, a more detailed timeline will be developed. 

Winter 2021 

  • Holistic Advising, Certificates and Paths Workgroups provide progress reports and engage with faculty, students and staff.  
  • Faculty vote on a consensus schools model (week 8 faculty meeting). 
  • Students identify specific Path of Study interests.  

Spring 2021 

  • Steering Committee reviews draft proposals from New Directions workgroups, makes implementation recommendations to Senior Staff.   
  • Certificate Proposals.  
  • Additional engagement with Capstones and HaPPier workgroups.  

Summer 2021 

  • Implementation planning continues for the various workgroups.   

Fall 2021 

  • Implementation of an initial set of 3-4 certificate programs. 
  • Online courses and programs offered by faculty participants in the online learning certification program. 

Winter 2022 

  • Earliest date to work with legislature on a bill supporting institutional transition to a university.    

Fall 2022 

  • Initial launch of the undergraduate Schools model.  
  • Initial launch of the Graduate and Professional Schools model. 
  • Earliest possible date to formally become Evergreen State University 

We encourage you to visit the project website ( for an archive of project updates, key resource documents and workgroup membership. 

Workteam updates 

The Standing Committee on the Curriculum (SCC) has made progress toward developing a consensus model for undergraduate schools at the College and is refining the details. This model will be shared with a variety of groups early winter quarter, with the goal of sharing it with the Agenda Committee week 5 and presenting it at the week 6 faculty meeting. 

The School of Graduate and Professional Studies team is developing a detailed concept for that school, which will incorporate the college’s three current graduate programs, plus provide support for our future certificate programs.   

The Paths of Study project is moving forward rapidly on several fronts.  A subteam consisting of Farra Hayes, Eric Pedersen, Allen Thompson, Wade Arave, Julie Russo, Stephen Beck, Kristina Ackley and Amy Betz is working to clarify the Path “story” that should be communicated to various categories of current and potential students, and will craft a plan for incorporating those in our external promotion and recruitment materials and the college website.  The group is also working with Information Technology Team to update our current systems, including the Curriculum Management Database, Banner, Radius, Online Catalog, and Path web pages to incorporate the Paths model.  Another group is crafting a revised budget for our Mellon Grant to support the Paths over the last year of the grant.  And in late winter quarter we will provide students with an opportunity to indicate which Paths they intend to follow, including a “student-design” path model.   

Two groups are working on different elements of Holistic Advising. The team working on Advisor Roles and Expectations led by Therese Saliba, Cholee Gladney, Andy Corn, and Allen Thompson is refining their proposal  and will present their model incorporating Holistic Advising to Senior Leadership in January and to the Faculty in February.  The team’s pilot plan will focus on historically underserved students with lower retention rates in hopes of improving these students’ success.   The team is also exploring best practices to coordinate technology system(s) for Holistic Advising and will seek a Title lll grant to support the project. 

The Holistic Advising – Academic Policy and Practices Review (HAAPPieR) team led by Karen Gaul is doing a deep review of the college’s policies and practices regarding syllabi, accessibility, learning outcomes and earning credit, credit equivalencies, and attendance policies.  Their goal is to update these policies and practices in ways that will be equity-producing, transparent, and promote student success and belonging.  Karen and the team gave a very helpful gave a presentation at the week 8 faculty meeting fall quarter.  

The Hybrid/Online Learning team is preparing to work with a group of faculty to facilitate their participation in an online teaching certification program in spring 2021, once funding is obtained.  The goal will be for these participants to offer online programs and courses during the 2021-22 academic year.  

The Certificates team has drafted a policy framework on certificates for the college that is being refined.  The team’s goal is to have 2-4 certificate programs, including both for-credit and non-credit certificates, offered beginning fall ’21, with a more extensive set of offerings ready for the 22-23 academic year.   

The Workforce Development team also has a goal of offering a small number of workforce-oriented certificates by fall ’21.  They are developing a vision for workforce development at the college that incorporates a variety of elements that will help current and potential students envision Evergreen as a great place to prepare themselves for future careers and graduate school.   

A full description of the work of all of the New Directions workteams and their membership is available here:

Best wishes–

New Directions for Evergreen Lead Team

Amy Betz 
Larry Geri 
JuliA Metzker 

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