Mission Statement

Mission: to be the best liberal arts college in America.

At New College of Florida, we aspire to become the nation’s preeminent liberal arts college through our unwavering commitment to the cultivation of an extraordinary educational environment grounded in the principles of intellectual curiosity, open discourse, respect for tradition, and an unceasing pursuit of knowledge, innovation, and excellence. 

New College’s unequaled approach to education places students at the heart of their learning journey. Guided by a faculty of distinguished professors, scholars, and visionaries, New College students experience the transformative power of a liberal arts education, graduating with the critical thinking skills and resiliency to navigate a rapidly changing world.

Goals

To fulfill our mission, New College:

  • Provides a haven for intellectually adventurous freethinkers who love playing with ideas.
  • Combines educational innovation with educational excellence.
  • Recruits top-flight students who crave a demanding, stimulating college experience.
  • Honors each student’s individuality with a personalized course of study.
  • Immerses students in rich, experiential learning opportunities.
  • Forges a learning community through a unique core curriculum wedding enduring human questions to the challenges of the information age.
  • Balances critical thinking skills with the tools of applied knowledge.
  • Integrates research into the curriculum, giving each student the opportunity to expand the collective human body of knowledge and experience.
  • Promotes freedom of expression amidst the broadest possible range of viewpoint and experiential diversity.
  • Elevates the skills needed to frame the right questions before looking for answers.

Principles

Five principles define our educational philosophy:

  • Personal Responsibility: You, the student, bear ultimate responsibility for your own education.
  • Collaboration: Quality education unites exciting instructors and enthusiastic students in a quest for learning.
  • Demonstrability: The sign of educational progress is demonstrated mastery,  rnot the accumulation of credits and grades.
  • Exploration: Students deserve to immerse themselves in the exploration of their deepest interests.
  • Freedom: No idea or expression is off-limits—as long as you’re prepared to defend it against all challengers in a respectful exchange.

Values

An open, welcoming, and intellectually challenging community

New College welcomes students from all walks of life, with all aspirations, all experiences, and all philosophies.  We ask only that they arrive with an open mind, an eagerness to share what life has taught them, and a willingness to learn.  We seek students who embrace the challenge of learning, enjoy the arts of argumentation and debate, and love to play with ideas.  We seek to make our campus a space that is physically safe and intellectually adventurous.  We encourage the respectful exchange of ideas and hope that our students learn as much from each other as they do from our faculty.

A rigorous and innovative curriculum

Our students are smart, motivated, and self-directed.  Our faculty teach critical thinking skills that last a lifetime.  Our program is designed to teach how to think, not what to think. Our community-forging core courses connect the Western canon to the challenges of the information age.  Our logos/techne curriculum ensure that all graduates emerge skilled in both reasoning and applied knowledge.  Our students work one-on-one with faculty to develop individualized educational contracts culminating in original research and a senior thesis.  We track progress with narrative evaluations, not summary letter grades, to provide maximum actionable feedback.  It’s not easy. It’s not for everyone.  But if it’s right for you, it will set you up for success in graduate study, in the workplace, and in the lifetime challenge of finding useful information in a sea of noise.

A collaborative learning environment

Our classes are small and intimate.  Our students collaborate with faculty mentors to craft seminars, tutorials, independent research and off-campus study. Faculty draw students into their own research projects.  We believe that every member of the New College community has ideas and experience that matter and that have value.  We work hard to ensure that the New College whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

A place to chart one’s own course

Personal responsibility is the gateway to maturity.  We expect our students to arrive eager to take charge of their own education.  Our professors work to nurture individual accountability.  Students and faculty collaborate to craft individualized course of study—reinforced with relevant, stimulating summer internships and volunteer projects.

Statement on Free Expression

New College of Florida promotes a climate of free expression and tolerant civil discourse according to the principles set forth in the State University System Free Expression Statement and the Board of Governors Civil Discourse Final Report.