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Prior to this spring’s chaos, enrollment issues at Evergreen State College had already placed the college in jeopardy of losing its public funding, according to a recent column in the Seattle Times.
Information released by the Seattle Times editorial board revealed that Evergreen State College was already in jeopardy of losing its public funding as the consequence of missing an enrollment quota established by the state legislature.
According to the column, Evergreen fell approximately 300 students short of the state’s funded enrollment target, despite that an overwhelming 98.9 percent of applicants are accepted to the college.
Despite being a public college, Evergreen has an unusual structure. The college employs an experimental and non-traditional learning style in which full-time students enroll in interdisciplinary academic programs rather than classes. These programs can run the entire length of an academic year in order to accommodate a greater breadth of material. Professors at Evergreen praise the structure because it allows them to get to intimately know their students and their individual learning needs.
The student-centered approach to learning may have led President George Bridges to provide more freedom than he should have when students began to protest against professor Bret Weinstein and his refusal to participate in this year’s “Day of Absence” event. When students aggressively demanded that he bow to their demands, Bridges praised their “passion.”
Evergreen State College is the only four-year institution in the state of Washington to see a steep drop in enrollment since 2011, according to the Seattle Times. Speculators would assume that this spring’s chaos likely won’t help enrollment at Evergreen, placing the college at a greater risk of losing its public funding.
The college may be following in the footsteps of the University of Missouri, which had to shut down three dormitories in 2017 following a massive drop in enrollment. Many attributed the drop to the protests that became the focus of national media stories during the 2015-2016 academic year.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at email@example.com