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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Prescott College is the Result.

Dear prospective students of Prescott College,
        As a disclaimer for this school: Upon graduation you will understand the world differently than you currently do; you will work harder than you probably ever thought you could; and some of the remarks people make about this school will not hold true.
         As one of my professors asserts, “Prescott College is an alternative college, not an alternative to college.” To me, this illustrates very well what we do here. No, we do not have multiple choice tests. Yes, I read and write more than I have ever done before. No, we students are not seen as a number, and perpetuating the academic industrial complex. Yes, I know everyone on campus by first name, which means the expectations are set extraordinarily high. No, we do not invest millions of dollars into a football team. Yes, we have many classes that include traveling to engaging environments both nationally and internationally.
        Essentially, this college is seen in many different shades of light. Adjectives have included the use of various cereals, bathing habits, and the term “shredding the gnar.” In my belief, however, these could never describe what I have experienced here. I turned down some of the most “prestigious” institutions to attend this school and I feel completely justified in this decision. We have an incredibly challenging academic program that many do not take the time to see. Our education program is viewed by many in the industry as one of the most effective in the world. As for the Cultural and Regional Studies content area, which some would define as Political Science, students graduate as amazingly effective agents of change who understand activism, collaborative community building, and how systems of oppression are perpetuated.
        Yes, Prescott College does, arguably, have the best adventure education program in the country. And, graduates with a degree in environmental studies will probably never have a hard time finding work. The question becomes, however, are we these two programs? Or, is Prescott College effective because of the sum of its parts? In my belief, all of the aforementioned content areas are amazing because this school challenges the status quo of what education is “supposed” to be. Moreover, these challenge are not out of unreflective reactivity; rather, it is because we believe that education is about leading people toward wholeness. 
             In summary, when I searched for a school I admittedly began with the “top” universities in the country, then I began to see, however, what they held as important; if watering ivy, having teachers who do not know anyone’s name, and memorizing lots of information to fill in lots of bubbles sounds gratifying - then by all means venture forth. This school is not a so called hippie haven, shredders paradise, or any other false colloquialism. It is challenging, and I have never worked harder in any other academic environment.
                Look past what others choose to see, and view what is actually real. In 1963 the Ford Foundation challenged the country’s most innovative educators to come together and design an “ideal college for the future that would prepare students for contributing in an ever changing, and ever faster moving world.” Prescott College is the result. 
Enjoy the journey,
Jordan

1 comment:

Francesco Sinibaldi said...

In the breath...

Simply, like
the sunshine
in the middle
of a luminous
thought, you
live with a
certain idea.

Francesco Sinibaldi