image of a person with long brown hair and a pink shirt leaning on a little brown wall.
Dear Evergreen Colleagues,

All around me, faculty colleagues have been asking, “What can we do about enrollment?” 

It’s not just enrollment, my friends. 

It’s also, “What can we do so students want to stay?” 

Four out of ten students leave Evergreen in their first year. Four out of ten. 

We make all those phone calls to potential students, send hand-written postcards, and create teach-pieces to share in local schools, and then four out of ten first-year students don’t stick around. 

So, “What can we do so students want to stay?” is an equally important question. 

One thing you can do is go out of your way to support our student success course, Greener Foundations, as it gets on its feet. There are many good, evidence-based reasons why we created it; I will list some here. You can go to our First-Year Experience Workgroup site for the details, including charts, graphs, and articles. 

Cynthia’s top four reasons for supporting Greener Foundations: 

1.  Greener Foundations is an equity practice. According to our own Institutional Research, 82% of our students identify with one or more underserved populations. Student success courses are High-Impact Practices and have been shown to dramatically lift levels of college engagement and achievement for students who, a few decades ago, might not have been in college at all. 

2.  Student success courses have been widely shown to have positive effects on retention across all sorts of colleges and universities. They don’t take any one form which means our course can be unique, just like we are. 

3.  They can address several of the reasons we know—from the Non-Retained Student Survey and other data—that students have left Evergreen. Greener Foundations can help students in several ways: 

- Develop confidence in the value and benefits of an Evergreen liberal arts education  
- Receive academic and career planning   
- Connect to the larger Evergreen Community and develop a sense of belonging 

4.  Greener Foundations can expand students’ knowledge about and use of a wide range of our support services such as Academic Advising, the Writing Center, the QuASR, the Wellness Center and more. 

So, yes, make phone calls, send postcards, and give talks to local high school and community colleges, but also get curious about what you can do so that, once they are here, students succeed and want to stay. One way to do this is to help Evergreen create a flourishing student success course. This might include figuring out how to disrupt your 16-credit program in a creative way so that a subset of students can be absent two hours a week to do other work. It might mean letting first-year students know you value the work they are doing for those other 2 credits. Or, it might include reaching out to me, the First-Year Faculty Fellow, with ideas about how to make changes so Greener Foundations can better thrive in our unique setting. There are many ways to offer support. 

I am looking forward to next year, to welcoming our newly enrolled students, and to doing all we can to help make those four out of ten students want to stay at Evergreen and succeed. 

In service, 

Cynthia Kennedy 
First-Year Faculty Fellow   

PS – Clarissa Dirks and I will be presenting an assessment of Greener Foundations at the Week 10 Faculty meeting. I encourage you to attend if you want to hear more about Greener Foundations, what students have to say about it, and what lies ahead. The HAPPieR group will also be engaging with the faculty about their work so far this year, including a focus on equitable and accessible syllabi, and a discussion about how we award credit. In preparation for that discussion, please complete the survey on awarding credit if you haven’t already. 

The Learning and Teaching Commons newsletter is delivered to your inbox on the Friday of odd weeks of the quarter.  Click here to read past newsletters.


  • Please take a moment to offer gratitude, appreciation, and warm wishes to Dr. Jeannette Smith using this Kudoboard by June 1st. 
  • IESS sent out a communication regarding its upcoming spring and summer events. For more information on these events, read this recent email.  
  • Be advised, is being retired. Faculty sites are being archived and/or migrated to by request. For more information on this, please review this blog post
A view of the Evergreen Clock Tower shot from below looking up with a blue sky and green leaves.

Inclusive Teaching Tip

Every newsletter will feature an Inclusive Teaching Tip that you can add to your toolbox. Submit a tip for future newsletters.

Evergreen is removing pronouns from narrative student evaluations.

For this week’s Inclusive Teaching Tip, we are boosting this recent announcement from our Academic Deans. 

Why is this an equity practice?

When we write about student work using pronouns, we risk unintentionally misgendering students.

In 2017 The Chronicle interviewed Dr. Z Nicolazzo who at the time was an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Northern Illinois University (and is now Associate Professor of Trans* Studies in Education at the Center for the Study of Higher Education and a member of the Trans* Studies Initiative at the University of Arizona). In this interview Dr. Z gave the following advice about the use of pronouns:
The thing that is probably most important to me is that we stop making assumptions and stop putting gendered pronouns onto people. I tell students and peers all the time, there are lots of different ways to talk about people without using their pronouns, because we all have names, right? Or we can ask the question, What are your proper pronouns? And some folks will say, Oh, that’s kind of awkward, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s far more awkward when you misgender someone, especially in public places.
Gardner, L. (2017, February 22). Thinking Beyond Best Practices to Achieve Gender-Inclusive Campuses. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 
Narrative evaluations are part of the students’ transcript. Thus, these transcripts will be read by employers, graduate admissions officers, scholarship committees, and many others. Multiple studies have shown that implicit gender bias has an impact on how one’s performance and potential gets coded in professional settings.
For example, Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio's 2017 article in Harvard Business Review illustrates the how gender bias influences performance reviews:
In this study, I found that these biases can lead to double standards, in that a situation can get a positive or a negative spin, depending on gender. In one review I read, the manager noted, “Heidi seems to shrink when she’s around others, and especially around clients, she needs to be more self-confident.” But a similar problem — confidence in working with clients — was given a positive spin when a man was struggling with it: “Jim needs to develop his natural ability to work with people.”
Cecchi-Dimeglio, P. (2017, April 12). How Gender Bias Corrupts Performance Reviews, and What to Do About ItHarvard Business Review.
So, as you write narratives that describe and evaluate a students’ work in your course or program, support students by using names instead of pronouns. The recent announcement offers a couple of “fake evaluations” that serve as useful models.
…and for additional advice on writing narrative evaluations, check out this Inclusive Teaching Tip from Fall 2020
In the interest of keeping our newsletter brief, this Inclusive Teaching Tip has been truncated. Please visit the Learning and Teaching Commons blog for access to the full-length article. 



If you registered for any of Evergreen’s 2021 summer institutes, or signed up for any waitlists, you can check your status by visiting this page.
If you think you are on any registration lists or waitlists in error, or need to cancel your participation in an institute, please eMail the Learning and Teaching Commons as soon as possible. We have healthy waitlists for many institutes, and may be able to move a waitlisted participant into the institute if you cannot attend.
We look forward to supporting your learning this summer. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Check Registration Here!



Online Learning Consortium

Don't forget to explore the resources available to you through the Online Learning Consortium! Evergreen holds an institutional membership to the Online Learning Consortium. As a member institution, faculty have access to free webinars, and other online teaching and learning resources. Members also receive special discounts on workshops, teaching certificate programs, conferences and events. 

To access your member benefits, create your free user account here. Be sure to use your Evergreen email to create your account. 

EdPuzzle is Now Available Through July 2021

EDpuzzle is a teaching tool used to place interactive content into pre-existing videos from a variety of sources, such as TED or YouTube, or into videos you have made. More information can be found here.   

Request a Teaching Consultation 

Do you have a teaching dilemma, issue or question? Is there an activity you are struggling to translate to remote teaching? Do you need some help designing asynchronous activities?
The Learning and Teaching Commons offers individual and small group remote teaching consultations. Consultations provide an opportunity to get direct feedback on your teaching puzzles. Click here for details.


These individuals and offices are eager to support students remotely. Keep this list handy when advising students or reach out to schedule a visit to your program or course.

Academic Statement Writing Guide

The first edition of A Guide to Writing Your Academic Statement is now available in print and electronic versions.  This guide will help students understand how to do the research, brainstorming, drafting, revision, and proofreading needed to create a finished draft of their academic statement.

Basic Needs Center- 1st Floor of the CAB

Students now have access to a space every Monday and Friday from 3pm-6pm to procure basic items. Students may schedule an appointment to pick up items such as PPE, library books, clothes, and hygiene items. Please let your students know about this resource.   

Evergreen Organic Farm

Tell your student that the Evergreen Organic Farm is working on accepting basic food and EBT payments for local, fresh produce on campus! Enrolled students received discounts thanks to support from the Services & Fee Allocation Board (S&A).

Hungry Greener Program

If you know of Evergreen students that are concerned about where they will get their next meal, this program will provide limited funds to eligible students that can be used confidentially in The Greenery using a current student ID card. Because the block meals will appear on ID cards, others will not know that the blocks have been donated. Complete a simple application for more information.

Other Resources:


Agenda Committee (hand-off meeting) | 1-3pm 
Faculty Meeting | 3-5pm 
Evaluation Week
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