Life After New College: Personal Comments from Graduates

Novo Collegians generally remain very connected to their alma mater – in part because of the intimate, personalized educational journey that they took here, and in large measure because they keep returning to the kind of out-of-the-box, problem-solving, collaborative learning skills that we teach here. They become thinkers. That often makes them think of us, and of the many ways that their New college education informed their future.

We’d like to share some of the comments we received from alumnae/i (Survey, 2008) about the value and usefulness of their New College education. As we think you’ll see, many of them thought it was nothing short of “transformational.”

Growth and development of independent thinking

• New College prepared me to be personally responsible for my education and career goals. I feel very comfortable and competent expressing myself to my colleagues and asking for what I need from my supervisors at work to grow in my field.
• My New College experience was invaluable and I take pride in my education. I am far more open-minded, less judgmental, more articulate, and I seek out intellectual challenges and I am not afraid of trying new things or taking risks. I live for myself and not my parents.
• New College taught me how to learn, and how to think. Other colleges teach you information. New College teaches you how to think and how to be a student of life itself.
• It enabled me to become an adult -- to chart my own educational and personal course, make significant mistakes, and learn how to adapt.
• NC helped me to grow not only academically, but as a person. I was able to step out of my box and experience new things, forcing me to examine my life and the direction I was heading in.
• I feel it’s been very useful in heightening my creativity and really making me think of alternative paths to the same destination. Namely, it's made me very persistent and innovative in a lot of my approaches to various things, whether it’s getting a job, publishing a book, or working out my future life plan.
• New College was transformational for me. It forced me to push the limits of my thinking as well as to impart humility. Its intimate environment is also an important part of this experience, both academically and socially.
• New College retains supportive, skilled, expert Chemistry faculty that seem to reward a student's efforts to increase his knowledge and skills within any specific field of interest.
• The values of social responsibility, education, community, and self betterment fostered and developed at New College have been invaluable. I view them at the heart of my successes, and my experience at New College is one of my most treasured.
• Learning to be responsible for policing my own learning instead of expecting someone to tell me what I have to learn.

Future preparation

• New College prepared me well for life after college. The knowledge presented to me was at least equal to that at other schools but the papers, assignments, presentations load were given much more attention and critique so that I was able to learn more form my errors.
• I am continuously challenged. I learned how real academics do it.
• New College taught me how to think broadly; a semester abroad taught me how to live. I believe it prepared me for a thoughtful and objective world view.
• Extremely beneficial in preparing me for advanced education/graduate school, in assisting me toward developing intrinsic motivation in accomplishing life goals.
• Incredible value, it was wonderful to have such close contact with faculty, process of writing a thesis was a good prep for grad school.
• I find that my education at New College helped to develop my critical thinking skills and the course work and experiences I had there made me a well rounded person.
• The evaluation system is incredibly constructive and has helped me tremendously in my professional development. It challenged me to always strive for better quality work.
• The difficulty of the program and the self-discipline required to complete it left me well prepared for law school.
• New College expanded my knowledge of the diversity of thought of multiple facets of worldly concepts both abstract and historical. My open mind was entertained and flourished colorfully by the immersion of intellectual and spiritual practices and New College helped me refine myself and where by interests are deeply seated.
• New College re-sparked my interest in learning and taught me how to find answers to questions. Invaluable education that I don't think I could have gotten anywhere else.
• Supportive professors and no core curricula requirements allowed me to spend time concentrating on what I enjoyed. Keeping vocation and avocation well blended makes for a satisfying intellectual life.
• New College was very important in developing my intellectual curiosity, research, and writing skills. ISPs (Independent Study Projects) and the thesis were valuable first experiences with research and defending my ideas.
 

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