Evergreen has retention problems

July 1st, 2014 by Ken

Social, cultural and physical isolation is causing student retention problems at The Evergreen State College.   That’s the assessment of Evergreen trustee Dave Nicandri.

Nicandri said that Evergreen’s location coupled with a lack of social activities is causing the college to have a drop-out rate among first and second year students double that of other state colleges.    He made those remarks on Coffee With Ken, my radio show on KGY FM airing every Tuesday morning.

While most college drop out rates are around 10 percent,  Evergreen’s is around 20 percent.

Nicandri said there’s a lack of things for students to do on the college campus, and its physical isolation causes even more problems.   “There’s no place for a student to buy an aspirin or visit a laundromat or buy other needed items without leaving the campus,” he said.

While touting the great academic component of the college, Nicandri said its time to re-look at the campus and perhaps allow some commercial activities.   This has to be coupled with renovating the existing dorms and constructing additional housing facilities.

“Perhaps its time to talk about requiring students to live on campus,” he said.

Nicandri pointed out that Evergreen was originally founded as a live-in college, but currently more than 80 percent of the students commute to the campus.

He also thought that the college should have more sports programs to build a better sense of college community.

The college trustee said there is talk among his colleagues about changing the culture of campus life, but so far it’s just talk.

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