By Anna Wright
Don’t you wish there were more places like New College? Five schools, just as eco-friendly and academically forward-thinking, have now opened their classrooms to New College students in an academic exchange called the EcoLeague.
The EcoLeague is a consortium of small liberal arts colleges focused on making strides towards sustainability through student-centered, experiential learning. New College signed on to the partnership last spring.
Students are able to pay New College tuition and take courses at any of the other private universities, much like the National Student Exchange (NSE). Each of the institutions in the consortium focus on the particular ecological issues in their region, which span the United States:
- Alaska Pacific University (Anchorage, Alaska)
- College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, Maine)
- Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pennsylvania)
- Northland College (Ashland, Wisconsin)
- Prescott College (Prescott, Arizona)
New College is the only public institution in the consortium. Julie Morris, associate vice president of academic affairs, was instrumental in signing on New to the program:
“The benefits that we hope will come are both more opportunities for students to exchange and faculty collaborations around teaching or research,” Morris said. “The EcoLeague also has a consortium approach to admissions and recruitment, and co-marketing and collaborated recruitment efforts as well.”
New College is starting student exchanges during the League’s initiative to expand the traditional audience for environmental studies to be more diverse, inclusive, and to deal with equity. Morris believes the exchange will foster conversation about best practices in both sustainability and independent learning.
“We’re a small place, so feeling like you’re not so alone– having contacts and networking with faculty at other small institutions that are interested in the environment– always has the potential to be positive.”
— Anna Wright is a Public Affairs Student Assistant in the New College Office of Communications and Marketing.