The Experimental College is dedicated to innovation and collaborative learning and teaching. Students are exposed to subjects and teachers beyond traditional classrooms and discover possibilities they never could have imagined. How do we do this? By bridging the academy with the world of work, and including students in all aspects of our governance. Our faculty come from a range of professions and teach with passion. Students participate by designing, selecting and teaching our courses. At the ExCollege, they learn the value of interdisciplinary education, engaged leadership, and active citizenship.
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 ExCollege. 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 courses and our first-year seminar program, Explorations.
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. Interactive and collaborative teaching methods are strongly encouraged, and many instructors have incorporated dynamic elements in their teaching, such as small-group work, case-studies, 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