The oldest organization of its kind in the United States, the Experimental College at Tufts University serves as a major focus for educational innovation, expansion of the undergraduate curriculum, and faculty/student collaboration within Arts, Sciences, and Engineering.
After more than 50 years as a vital, thriving part of the university, the Experimental College is no longer an “experiment.” Yet our commitment to keeping Tufts an exciting place to learn and teach remains as strong as ever.
Through its innovative, interactive, and interdisciplinary programs, the Experimental College strives to enrich the intellectual experience of undergraduates at Tufts. These programs serve as an incubator for new ideas about teaching, learning, and curriculum. They also aim to engage students actively in the design and delivery of new academic initiatives, often in collaboration with faculty. Shared governance, collaborative learning, and involvement with the community are hallmarks of the ExCollege.
The Importance of Students
Student participation has always played a key role in the administration and activities of the Ex College. Since 1966 students have been full voting members on our governing board, have served on committees that evaluate all course proposals, and have taught courses of their own design. In addition, nearly 1500 undergraduates take advantage of our academic offerings each year — enrolling in over 100 courses, including our peer-taught, first-year seminar programs: Explorations and Perspectives.
ExCollege courses are aimed at students looking for something new. While wide-ranging, they tend to involve issues of current importance and/or interdisciplinary subject areas that do not significantly overlap with what’s being offered in the traditional departments. They are also intended to be discussion-based and participatory in nature. Interactive and collaborative teaching methods are strongly encouraged, and many instructors have incorporated such dynamic elements in their teaching as small-group work, case-study method, role-playing, simulations, and service learning. ExCollege courses earn regular Tufts credit and count toward graduation.
For much more information about the history and mission of the ExCollege, go to our website: http://excollege.tufts.edu