Coordinated studies and the seminar are uniquely social modes of learning, with potential for either reinforcing social inequalities or transforming them, for enabling people to feel confident and assertive, or making them feel inhibited and fearful. In practice, we recognize that a considerable degree of trust is necessary in order for people to exercise their rights to voice opinions and to be as honest as the Social Contract requires. (If you are not familiar with the Social Contract, read it on line at http://www.evergreen.edu/social.htm.) This program covenant is a set of mutual expectations, elaborated over years of teaching and learning at Evergreen, designed to create an environment where people can collaborate to enhance each other’s learning, challenge each other intellectually, and trust each other enough to put the Social Contract into practice.
Expectations of Both Students and Faculty
To ensure compliance with the Social Contract and to optimize the collaborative teaching and learning that will take place in this program, faculty and students agree to meet the following expectations:
• attend all scheduled classes regularly, on time, and ready to work, informing your seminar leader and the group of intended absences and schedule changes; please note that faculty will deduct credit if a student misses more than 3 days of class (=7 class meetings, which will absorb any illnesses, medical appointments, court dates, observance of religious holidays, personal or family emergencies, obligations to college athletic competitions, alarm clock or transportation fiascos, etc.);
• maintain an open, inquiring attitude toward the material;
• be willing to examine our own cultural, philosophical, and political assumptions;
• treat all individuals with kindness and respect, especially when disagreeing;
• be willing to admit ignorance, to experience discomfort, and to make honest mistakes, since often these are a sign of ongoing learning;
• allow each other to make more than one mistake, and provide feedback on those mistakes in a manner which does not make further conversation impossible or less likely;
• cultivate sensitivity to and respect for all differences among us, including gender, ethnic/cultural background, age, sexual orientation, disability, and religion;
• acknowledge that racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and other forms of institutionalized oppression exist everywhere, and that one mechanism of their perpetuation is our systematic misinformation about members of various groups;
• agree not to blame ourselves and others for the misinformation we have learned, but to take responsibility for unlearning this misinformation within the context of our learning community;
• encourage all participants in the program to speak, but avoid singling out individuals as spokespersons for particular groups;
• allow each other space for humor and relaxation;
• come to all program functions sober (please note that any recreational drug use at any program meeting is grounds for immediate dismissal from the program);
• refrain from using laptops in class, except for assigned presentations, and disable both the ringer and vibrator of cell phones during program meetings;
• prepare delicious food for program potlucks;
• address any grievance directly to the person involved, and if it is still unresolved, bring it to a meeting first with seminar faculty, then the faculty team, then the academic dean, and finally, if necessary, with a mediator agreed upon by both parties. Please note that the college offers a range of support services that may be useful to you in challenging situations. Among these are the Grievance Office (x6891), Access Services (x6348, TTY 360-867-6834), Counseling Center (x6800), First People’s Advising (x6467), Housing (x6132), and Sexual Assault Prevention Office (x5221). The Grievance Office can refer you to additional support services.
Additional Expectations of Students
Students understand that this is a full-time integrated program and that they will receive full academic credit if they complete all the assigned work; if assignments are not completed, faculty will decide whether to reduce credit, grant an incomplete, or award no credit. Please note that awarding credit is not the same as a positive evaluation.
Completing all the work will require 40-50 hours per week. Students who cannot dedicate this amount of time and effort should not register for this program.
Students aren’t expected to have all the skills or experience to be a strong classroom participant at the beginning of the quarter, but are expected to improve communication skills over time. This can vary by individual. For example, students who are uncomfortable with public speaking will work to increase verbal participation and/or to develop other ways to contribute to the program’s collective knowledge. Students who are comfortable with public speaking will work to improve listening skills, the ability to draw other students into discussion, the powers of persuasion, etc. No matter the starting place, all agree to develop their communication, debating, and listening skills.
These are additional expectations of students:
• read and abide by the Social Contract and the Student Conduct Code;
• be well-prepared to begin the work of each class; commit to learning from each assigned text, activity, and class meeting; and take responsibility for becoming a contributing member of the group;
• be prepared to speak, listen, read and write well, taking every opportunity to go beyond self-limitations;
• use high academic standards in preparing all papers, projects, seminar contributions, and classroom presentations;
• submit required writing on time, typed, double-spaced and in 12 font;
• document fully any ideas or material directly used from research conducted, and be fully aware that presentation of the work of others as your own is plagiarism, a serious offense which will be treated in accordance with the provisions of the Social Contract;
• keep the faculty apprised of any academic problems or difficulties;
• use and check Evergreen email accounts and keep the inbox sufficiently empty to receive messages, as communications relevant to the program will be sent to that address;
• submit a typed self-evaluation and typed faculty evaluations at the end of each quarter; failure to do so will result in the loss of two credits;
• attend a scheduled evaluation conference at the end of each quarter (refrain from making plans for vacation without first signing up for an evaluation conference); failure to attend the evaluation conference will result in loss of credit;
• recognize that admission to, and ongoing participation in, spring quarter study abroad or internships is a privilege subject to faculty approval, based on students’ maturity, responsibility, and academic performance in all three quarters.
Additional Expectations of Faculty
Faculty further agree to:
• participate fully in the planning of the program;
• be fully prepared for seminars, lectures, and workshops;
• not accept late papers;
• comment on students’ papers and return them in as timely a manner as possible;
• warn students in writing during the fifth week of the quarter if they are in danger of losing credit;
• be available to students for help, advice, and encouragement;
• write evaluations of students at the end of each quarter;
• hold evaluation conferences at the end of each quarter.
Faculty may ask students to leave the program at any time, here or abroad, if their behavior or academic performance is deemed counterproductive to our learning community as a whole.
Each member of the program recognizes that this covenant expresses the ground rules governing the program and agrees to abide by it by the act of registering and continuing in the program.