New College Academic Program
Academics at New College are designed to
promote depth in thinking, free exchange of ideas, and highly
individualized interaction with faculty. Throughout the history of
New College, four principles have defined the college's educational
student is responsible in the last analysis for his or her own
best education demands a joint search for learning by exciting
teachers and able students.
progress should be based on demonstrated competence and real
mastery rather than on the accumulation of credits and grades.
should have from the outset, opportunities to explore, in depth,
areas of interest to them.
At New Student
Orientation you meet with a
member who serves as your
academic advisor during orientation, helping you plan for your first
academic contract. A contract lists your goals and
(courses and tutorials) for a semester. It
sets forth criteria the contract sponsor will use to evaluate you.
You undertake two contracts per year, one in fall semester
and one in spring semester.
Success! Your first contract is
The professor for each educational activity
listed in your contract prepares a narrative evaluation of your
performance. You and
your contract sponsor review these evaluations and, based upon your
overall performance in relation the criteria, your sponsor certifies
that you have satisfactorily completed the contract.
You use your evaluations and discussions with your sponsor
help with short- and long-term academic planning.
January Interim – Independent
During your first contract you consider ideas
for the first of three, month-long independent study projects (ISP)
you will undertake each January.
At New College you pursue a mix of courses
reflecting your interests, input from your contract sponsor, requirements
that you have breadth in your education, possible career goals,
and other factors. As
particular interests deepen, you begin to include tutorials and
independent reading projects in your contracts.
Often these expand upon issues and topics you first explored
in courses and laboratories. You
might do a contract off
Your second ISP might take you off campus to do research, and
it may well be related to the field(s) you are considering for your
area of concentration.
In your third year, you declare your area of
concentration (AOC). Your
contracts will focus more on advanced work through courses, labs,
and tutorials. Your
ISP, on campus or off, will be related to your AOC.
If you decide to study off campus for a semester or for
January Interterm, the activities you pursue will be influenced by
the requirements of your AOC.
Summers, New College is in recess. Faculty
prepare new courses and pursue their own programs of research and
scholarship. Often, NCF students are paid summer research assistants
or participate in programs at national laboratories.
Novocollegians call it “Thesis Year.”
Along with courses and tutorials, you’ll be doing your
senior thesis, a substantial, original project in your AOC.
You may have a grant from the faculty to defray costs your
research or creative project entails, and/or to present your
research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. You use January Interterm to work on your thesis.
Thesis completed, you sit for a baccalaureate
exam, an oral examination based upon your thesis, AOC and your
overall career at New College.
The exam is conducted by your thesis committee and is open to
the College community. After
you’ve passed your “bacc,” and completed your final contract,
the faculty votes your graduation.
Commencement occurs in late May.
Help along the way
In addition to the faculty, there are many
people and programs to help you fulfill your goals.
The professionally staffed Counseling and Wellness Center
provides individual and
group counseling and therapy; help in crisis situations; help with
immediate academic, personal or interpersonal concerns; assistance
with personal growth and self exploration; basic medical services,
and referral to appropriate resources as needed, whether on or off
campus. The Writing Resource Center can help you become a
self-sufficient writer. The
Division of Student Affairs
many services, including housing and activities that can expand your
education beyond classrooms, laboratories, and studios. New College Student
Alliance, the student government, represents you on faculty
committees and at faculty meeting, and manages student fees to
enrich campus life. Career
Services and Off-Campus Study provides professional career guidance,
helping you explore the career world and link your studies to
post-graduate educational and professional aspirations.
Career Services maintains a library of resources for both
domestic and international study away from campus.