Learning Community Covenant

Sustainability from the Inside Out


As a learning community, faculty and students in Sustainability From the Inside Out, acknowledge that community does not just “happen.” It is up to us to create our own learning community and to strive to maintain community vitality. As such, we have responsibilities to ourselves, and to the group. It is important that the duties and responsibilities of faculty and students are clearly understood. Those responsibilities are described here and constitute a covenant between community members.

I. Expectations
It is expected that all members of the Evergreen community are bound by the Social Contract. The Social Contract is an agreement; a guide for civility and tolerance toward others; a reminder that respecting others and remaining open to others and their ideas provides a powerful framework for teaching and learning. (http://www.evergreen.edu/about/social.htm). It states “Evergreen can thrive only if members respect the rights of others while enjoying their own rights… All must share alike in prizing academic and interpersonal honesty, in responsibly obtaining and providing full and accurate information and in resolving their differences through due process and with a strong will to collaborate… Civility is not just a word; it must be present in all our interactions.”

Students are expected to participate fully in the learning community including:
a. come on time to class, seminars, yoga lab, and other sessions with readings and written work thoughtfully prepared. Any excused absence requires that the student email the faculty before the scheduled activity (contact info is on the program syllabus). More than ten hours of missed class time (or approximately two full days) could result in a loss of credit.
b. participate actively and intelligently in seminars, workshops, awareness and yoga labs, and discussion sessions.
c. listen respectfully and without immediate judgment or response to colleagues, guest speakers and field trip site hosts.
d. set personal goals in collaboration with faculty that encourage stretching beyond current skills and abilities.
e. reflect regularly on what they are learning and how.
f. show respect for program members and support their learning even when disagreements arise.
g. Be willing to work collaboratively with others in program activities and in completion of planning and research projects.
h. think thoughtfully, creatively, and critically about issues raised in texts, presentations, and workshops, and discuss these issues in and outside of class.
h. complete assigned work carefully and thoughtfully by the due date.
i. maintain a program portfolio of all work completed. This will be presented to faculty for evaluation at weeks 3 and 5 and will include a self-evaluation of learning over the program.
j. complete all evaluations in order to receive program credit. These include the self evaluation and an evaluation of the faculty member and program. Student evaluations of faculty may be submitted to the faculty member or given to the Program Secretary, Cindy Fry, for confidentiality until faculty evaluation of student is complete.
k. ask peers and faculty for help when you need it and help those around you.
l. abide by the principles of the Social Contract and Student Conduct Code.
m. Maintain personal hygiene that is conducive to use of public yoga props and group yoga practice.
n. Keep all laptops closed while in lecture, workshop or seminar settings; laptops can be used for student project work. Cell phones should be turned off in class.
o. Act as a steward of the campus and any other areas visited this quarter. The Pacific NW is an incredible place and Evergreen is in a particularly beautiful location. We have all chosen to come here and make this our home for various lengths of time. Let’s celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of this place. Take some ownership and pride in being here—clean up after yourself, smoke only in designated areas, pick up after others, and do your part to make your corner of Evergreen sparkle.

Students can expect faculty to:
a. prepare and present lectures, seminars, awareness and yoga labs, art workshops, and field trips and to support and expand students’ exploration and understandings of the program themes.
b. convene and be prepared for seminars.
c. Attend all program activities required of the entire group of students when not ill or absent for professional or religious reasons.
d. Respond to questions and concerns about the material, pace, or organization of the program.
e. read, comment on, and return student work in a timely manner;
f. Give students feedback throughout the quarter so that written evaluations are not a surprise; notify students by the mid point of each quarter if their work to date does not meet requirements for credit;
g. provide written evaluations of each assigned student;
h. be available for individual or small group consultation;
i. abide by the principles of the Social Contract and the Faculty collective bargaining agreement;
j. Continually work to create a community that respects differences and encourages an environment where students and faculty can learn with and from each other.
k. Attend a faculty seminar and business meeting each week ready to participate.

Central to creating a learning community based on equal opportunity is the consensus that all students and faculty agree to abide by the College Non-Discrimination Policy. In part this policy states that –
…all personnel and student-related transactions, and the operation of all College programs, activities and services, will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, or status as a disabled veteran, a Vietnam era veteran or other covered veteran. Harassment on any of the above-stated grounds is a form of prohibited discrimination. This policy applies to faculty, staff and students. This policy also prohibits retaliation for reporting possible violations of this policy, for cooperating with any related investigation, or for participating in such a complaint process.

Students with documented disabilities have a right to reasonable accommodations to facilitate their learning. Students understand that these accommodations must be coordinated in advance through Access Services.

Students and Faculty are also required to implement all other college policies related to equal opportunity and access to a safe, healthy learning environment. This includes following the Sexual Harassment Policy and the Air Quality Policy. Please note section 6 of the Air Quality Policy: Use of Scented Products. “Community members are asked to refrain from using or wearing scented products.” Air Quality also encompasses following the campus smoking policy. All of these policies can be read at http://www.evergreen.edu/diversity/policies.htm

II. Procedures for Evaluations and Awarding Credit
Evaluations will be based on the expectations detailed above, and on the quality of completed work. The credit policy is detailed in the program syllabus. Late work will not be considered for credit except in very unusual circumstances where permission is given in advance. Students are responsible for signing up for an evaluation conference with the faculty; to be announced by faculty during the program. The faculty will prepare a draft evaluation of the student for discussion during the evaluation conference.

Full credit will be given when students fulfill the college-level requirements and standards of the program. The evaluation is used to describe the QUALITY of the student’s work. Thus, a student could actually receive credit, but also receive evaluations that reflect poor quality work. On the flip side, a student could attend regularly but receive partial or no credit because of poor quality or missing work.

III. Dispute Resolution Policy
In case of a disagreement or conflict between members of the learning community it is primarily the responsibility of those involved to discuss the issue and come to a resolution. If a dispute arises between a student and a faculty member, the student should first try to resolve the conflict by meeting with the faculty member in question. If such a meeting does not resolve the problem, the student may request a meeting with the faculty team. We also expect students to resolve disagreements with other students face-to-face in responsible and respectful ways. Faculty are available to help mediate disagreements, when asked, if students have trouble resolving difficult issues. In addition, students are encouraged to use the college’s Mediation Services (X6656) and/or Campus Grievance Officer (x6296) to help resolve any conflict related to college life. If students are not comfortable with these options they should contact a college Academic Dean for assistance.

Continued registration in the program requires that the student has read, and has agreed to be bound by, this covenant and the syllabus of Sustainability From the Inside Out.

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