New College of California
New College of California is an accredited institution of higher learning whose mission is to integrate education with creation of a just, sacred and sustainable world. By "just" we mean that we aspire to a world in which all forms of inequality and dehumanization among people are overcome through both conventional liberal achievements such as the expansion of legal and political rights, as well as through emerging modes of social action that foster empathy, trust and mutual understanding. By "sacred" we mean that we aspire to affirm the inviolate beauty and interconnectedness of all life and deepen the sense of awe and grace that accompanies an awareness of this interconnectedness. And by "sustainable" we mean we aspire to a world in which all human activity is expressive of an ecological sensitivity that assures the extension of a just and sacred world to all of existence across the dimensions of time and space.
We have Bachelors Completion Programs in Interdisciplinary Studies, Activism and Social Change, Experimental Performance and Culture, Ecology & Sustainable Community, as well as a Bachelors program in the Humanities. We have Masters Programs (and some MFAs) in Activism and Social Change, Culture Ecology & Sustainable Community, Writing and Consciousness, Poetics, Creative Inquiry, Media Studies, Women's Sprirituality, Teaching Environmental and Global Literacy, Irish Studies and Humanities. Our Professional Programs include: Law, Green MBA, Psychology/MFT, and Teaching Credential. The Culture, Ecology & Sustainable Community program offers individually designed concentrations and concentrations in EcoDwelling, Consciousness Healing & Ecology, Ecological Agriculture, Holistic Nutrition, Activism and Social Change.
We are developing our academic programs and curricula to create pathways for our students to walk toward this better world. We teach of the need to heal from the traumas of living in less than a just, sacred and sustainable world; to resist the further destruction of people, planet and the more than human world; to create alternatives which inspire us to live differently in the world; to change consciousness from an objectifying and reductionist paradigm to one that is holistic and systemic; and, finally, of the need to overcome the fallacy of the isolated, autonomous individual and recognize the communal and ecological self.
Our teaching/learning environment combines a pedagogy of critique which emphasizes the development of a greater understanding of the problems that we face and their historical origins, with a pedagogy of possibility that emphasizes ways to create a better world. The creation of this environment requires an attention to both the process of learning and the content of what is taught. In the realm of process, we employ diverse methods—from the dialectic to the embedded experiential—to reach students in a manner attentive to the needs of each of the College's diverse programs and in a manner most likely to link each student's innate curiosity with the acquisition of the knowledge the student needs to contribute to the creation of a more just, sacred and sustainable world. In the realm of content, we seek to transmit to our students both the received knowledge of their chosen fields and critical and visionary perspectives on that received knowledge that has the capacity to make that knowledge transformative.
Corresponding to the five pathways toward a just, sacred and sustainable world, we want our students to learn what we call the five languages. These are the languages of critical thinking, imagination, empathy and compassion, action and activism, and community.
New College is committed to bringing to the learning environment diverse experiences and backgrounds in education and to build trust and solidarity across these differences. Our students come to us with their own individual qualities and interests, distinctive intelligences and talents, and diverse cultural and economic experiences. We serve students still seeking to find their meaning and purpose in life as well as students who know what they wish to do in the world and come to New College to acquire the requisite knowledge and skills to accomplish their goals. We seek to serve a diverse student body with respect to income and social class, race and ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation as well as age.
Finally, New College understands itself as an engaged campus drawing inspiration and support from the larger movement toward a better world to which we aspire. For that reason, we see it as part of our mission to contribute to this movement for positive change, not only through the teaching/learning process in the classroom, but through a co-curriculum outside the classroom in which faculty, students and staff conduct research, put on political, theatrical and cultural events, and participate in community activities with others who share our hopes and vision to bring the world we aspire to into being. Among the most important ways we seek to manifest our active engagement is by serving as a model of the very just, sacred and sustainable world to which we aspire in the ways we govern ourselves and in the ways we relate to one another.