Individualized education

Our innovative academic program encourages out-of-the-box thinking and the love of learning for a lifetime. New College graduates are prepared for the ever-changing 21st-century global workplace and the academic rigor of graduate and professional schools.

It all starts with the contract

The academic contract is the core of the New College academic program.

Students complete seven contracts prior to graduation in lieu of credit hours. With their faculty adviser, students create a written agreement each semester and set criteria for measuring success.

Each contract must contain the equivalent of at least three full semester educational activities to be evaluated for transcript entry, both before and after contract renegotiation. A typical contract includes three to five academic activities (including courses, tutorials, internships or independent reading projects) that will develop a student’s personal educational goals.

The contract is the product of focused dialogue between student and sponsor. Both can use this opportunity to discuss and articulate the student’s short- and long-term goals, and to monitor progress toward completion of the five chosen area of concentration and graduation requirements.

From a bureaucratic standpoint, the timely submission of each contract is critical because it officially “registers” the student in courses and other activities.

Although a contract can be renegotiated prior to the final two weeks of the semester, students may not change contract sponsors during the semester.

You also meet regularly with your faculty adviser to discuss your progress — not just once or twice in four years as happens at many colleges.