Students have a variety of options for completing their coursework. These include on-campus, field-, or community-based or online courses created and taught by faculty; credit-bearing practica or career internships supervised by College faculty; capstone projects; mentored studies created by the student in consultation with their faculty advisor and course mentor; and courses presented by the College’s educational partners such as the Ecoleague (www.ecoleague.org) or Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning (www.cielearn.org).
Students may also complete external learning via prior college-level learning, study abroad, service learning, career internships, MOOCs, etc. and request evaluation of this learning for credit via the College’s Prior Learning / Life Experience Documentation process.
The College’s mission emphasizes self-direction and experiential learning within an interdisciplinary curricula. Students are encouraged to take an active role in the design and implementation of their learning. Mentored studies courses are developed collaboratively between students, faculty advisors, and expert mentors. Mentored studies may only be conducted with the approval and under the supervision of the faculty advisor with the direct mentoring of a faculty member or external expert. A mentored study should be an intense academic undertaking involving the student deeply in the subject matter. It involves responsible participation from the student, the faculty advisor, and the course mentor. This type of study is limited only by the imagination and expertise of the participants. Mentored studies can be individual, or group, involving several students in a seminar, a research project, or a community service effort. When a structured on-campus or online course taught by faculty exists, students may not create a mentored course with the same or similar name without prior approval of the appropriate department chair and dean. Mentored study contract forms are available on the college’s website along with detailed information about independent study approval guidelines. A handbook for mentors of independent studies is available on the college’s website.
Practica and Career Internships
Given the College’s emphasis on experiential learning, all students are encouraged to integrate practica and career internships into their degree plans. Many programs require practica and or internships as graduation requirements. Practica and internships are approved and evaluated by the faculty advisor and may include a relevant course instructor or site supervisor. The requirements for practica and internships (e.g., student teaching; counseling practica and internships) are highly prescribed in the professional preparation programs; students should study these requirements in the relevant handbooks at the beginning of the programs of study and consult early and carefully with their faculty advisors.
Field Stations and Educational Exchange Partners
Prescott College’s curriculum is enhanced by the use of off-site field stations and regional hubs and extended through exchange partnerships with other domestic and international institutions with similar missions.
Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies in Bahía de Kino, Sonora, Mexico
Located on the coast of the Gulf of California, the Kino Bay Center sits amid the diverse Sonoran Desert on the coast of the Midriff Island region of the Gulf of California, an area rich in marine habitats, seabirds, marine mammals, fish, mangrove estuaries, and other coastal flora and fauna. Through its relationships with the local
Mexican fishing community and the Seri Indian village, Prescott College is able to explore a variety of marine environments, study human interactions with the sea, and participate in cooperative marine conservation research projects.
Kenya Center: Maasai Education and Ecological Research Partnership
Located on the edge of the Maasai Mara ecological game reserve, the Prescott College Kenya Center is a longstanding partnership with the Maasai people. Students and faculty work together with Maasai on research and projects that achieve goals set by the Maasai such as indigenous land rights restoration, water projects, sustainable community development, and the Maasai guides union certification training.
Walnut Creek Center for Education and Research
Walnut Creek Station is run through a collaborative partnership between the College, Yavapai College, Sharlot Hall Museum, Northern Arizona University, and the Prescott National Forest. The 250-acre site, located in the national forest approximately 15 miles north of Prescott, is used for classes, meetings, and a variety of long- and short-term research projects.
Prescott College has developed exchange opportunities and partnerships with nearly 20 colleges, universities, and other organizations locally and throughout the world that complement and enhance the College’s mission. Many of these programs operate through funding provided from their programmatic and research activities, while at the same time connecting to and facilitating the learning and service mission of the College. These opportunities allow students to experience ecological and cultural diversity and explore areas of study that enhance and extend what is available to them at Prescott College.
The Eco League (http://ecoleague.org/), a consortium of schools that includes Alaska Pacific University, Dickinson College, New College of Florida, Northland College, and College of the Atlantic, was created in 2003. All the colleges share similar missions and value systems based on environmental responsibility, social change, and educating students to build a sustainable future. Among its many functions, the Eco League provides for student and faculty exchanges and serves as a medium for cooperative environmental education and activism. Students may elect to study for a term at any of the Ecoleague schools.
Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning
Prescott College also is a member of the Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning (http://cielearn.org/), a consortium of highly innovative colleges and universities: e.g., The Evergreen State College, Fairhaven College at Western Washington University, Hampshire College, New College of Alabama, New College of Florida, Rochester Institute of Technology, Bennington College, Quest University in Canada, and University of Redlands. Students may elect to study for a term at any of the CIEL schools.
University of South-Eastern Norway
The exchange program with University of South-Eastern Norway gives Prescott College students the chance to undertake detailed work in Adventure Education and Environmental Studies for a study-abroad term.