Fall 2016 Enrollment
350 undergraduate students
75% of undergrad students are full time
43% male — 57% female
98% of students are from out of state
2016-2017 Academic Year
66 full-time faculty
49 part-time faculty
9 to 1 student/faculty ratio
94% of first year students live on campus
72% of all students live on campus
The mountain town of Prescott, Arizona, is nestled between the ponderosa forests and grasslands at the confluence of the Granite Creek watershed.The mile-high city is ranked a Top Adventure Town by National Geographic Adventure Magazine, and one of the 7 Top Trail Towns according to Trail Runner Magazine. With over 450 miles of multi-use trails, world-class mountain-biking, a thriving rock-climbing scene, and nearby lakes for kayaking and canoeing, Prescott is an outdoor paradise. The Grand Canyon, Phoenix, Flagstaff, and the red rocks of Sedona are all within a two-hour drive. The historic downtown is just minutes from campus.
|First-Year Seminars and Experiences||X|
|Common Intellectual Experiences||X|
|Collaborative Assignments and Projects||X|
|Service Learning, Community-Based Learning||X|
|Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience||X|
RETENTION FALL 2016
71% of students began in Fall 2015 and returned in Fall 2016 (full time, first time freshmen)
6 YEAR GRADUATION RATE 2016
49% of students graduated in 6 years
ENROLLMENT BY RACIAL/ETHNIC CATEGORY - FALL 2016
|Black or African American||1%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||4%|
|Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander||0%|
|Two or more races||7%|
|Race and/or ethnicity unknown||8%|
Prescott College’s intercollegiate cycling team is composed of scholar-athletes who enjoy both the thrill and challenge of high-level competition, as well as the camaraderie of collaboration and the rewards of service to both the environment and community. The team competes regionally and nationally in mountain biking in the fall, cyclocross in the winter, and both road and mountain biking in the spring. All team members receive scholarships with higher levels of funding available for cyclists who aim for nationals. Founded in 2013, Prescott College’s cycling team has taken multiple championships for Collegiate Team Omnium in USA Cycling’s Southwest Region, Division II.
Many academic courses directly integrate athletic activities such as hiking, backpacking, skiing, mountain biking, rafting, canoeing, and kayaking in order to access, experience, research, learn from, and sustain the diverse ecological and human communities of the Southwest.
Prescott College is a small, nonprofit, private liberal arts college with a strong emphasis on experiential education. The College recently turned fifty and is celebrating 50 Years of Innovation. It was founded in the 1960’s by a group of innovative educators brought together to design the “ideal college of the future that would prepare students for contributing in an ever-changing world.” Prescott College has led the development of many innovations in higher education that have been embraced as best practices by many other institutions. Such initiatives include sustainability education, experiential learning, wilderness orientation, distance learning, and competency-based education.
The College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Prescott College is the only college in the nation to have all programs accredited by the Association for Experiential Education.
Prescott College is a pluralistic community where respect for differences and dialogue are key aspects of true experiential education. The College places a high value on students who act as functioning and contributing members of the College community. Students’ opinions matter, and they have many ways to be involved in the governing of the College.
Prescott College was the first private college in Arizona certified as a Veterans Supportive Campus. As a direct result of a student-led initiative for the Freedom Education Fund, the College became one of the first private colleges in the nation to offer a full scholarship for undocumented students.
Adventure Education; Arts and Letters; Education/Teacher Certification (Elementary, Secondary); Environmental Studies; Humanities; Cultural & Regional Studies; Human Development.
Most Innovative Small Colleges: “emphasizes collaboration over competition and focuses on pressing world issues such as social justice, the environment, and multiculturalism.”
Best Value Colleges in Arizona: “not your average school...brings meaning to the term ‘experiential education.’”
Fiske Guide: One of the “13 most interesting institutions” among all schools in the Guide.
Arizona Department of Veterans Services: Veteran Supportive Campus.
New Student Orientation: Wilderness and Community Based
Students in the on-campus undergraduate program are introduced to Prescott College, the Southwest, and their learning community through an immersive 21-day Orientation course. Many students choose to enroll in Wilderness Orientation, an expedition in the remote canyons and mountains of Arizona. Other students choose to enroll in Community Based Orientation, which is carried out as a set of multiple mini-expeditions throughout Arizona and is specifically focused on exploring Arizona’s ecological, political, and cultural boundaries. Through Orientation, students develop a sense of place; gain knowledge about the College’s history, values, and pedagogical approach; and become engaged learners by gaining skills in interpersonal communication, leadership, and community building. Most importantly, students cultivate compassion and respect for self, the greater community, and the diverse Arizona environment.
Collaboration over Competition
At Prescott College, relationships, collaboration, and teamwork are seen as the cornerstone of learning. Grades are optional, and students are able to identify their own learning objectives for each course. In most classes, students are evaluated based on papers, presentations, and projects. Many of these presentations and projects are collaborative efforts through which students learn how to give and receive support as well as how to solve problems collaboratively by using the unique strengths of each of the group’s members.
Students have ample opportunities to engage in research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Research often happens under the mentorship of faculty and community experts within problem-based, solution-oriented experiential courses. For example, undergraduate students take courses that engage student teams in research on the fire, woodlands, and riparian ecology of the Southwest, working alongside environmental studies professors and management professionals. Fire ecology classes have worked with Prescott National Forest Service researchers on projects examining core samples of ponderosa pines to understand how local fire cycles changed after settlers populated the region. In other courses, students conduct hands-on research in the fields of counseling psychology, political science, sustainable development, indigenous land rights, climate policy, and education practice and policy.
Students also have opportunities to take engage in community-based experiential courses. For example, students can travel to Los Angeles to learn about the social, political, and environmental impacts of globalization, meeting and working with stakeholders from elected officials, artists business leaders, and urban planners to policy-makers, activists, and grassroots community organizations.
All students design and complete a senior capstone project in which they demonstrate academic competence within their individualized programs of study. Through research and other real-world projects, they also demonstrate professional competence in the field of their chosen career. Many students are even offered jobs prior to graduation as a direct result of their capstone projects.
Study Abroad Opportunities
Over the course of decades, Prescott College faculty and students have developed partnerships with communities around the world. Students are able to benefit from these strong ties and rich shared histories that provide unparalleled learning opportunities.
The Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies in Sonora, Mexico, is Prescott College’s field station on the shores of the Gulf of California, one of the most remote and unexplored seas in the world today. At the field station, students engage in cooperative research with the local Mexican and indigenous Seri communities. Throughout the academic year, courses are held at the Kino Bay Center in academic areas such as marine studies, cultural studies, and resource conservation and management.
At Prescott College’s field station in Kenya, Africa, students work alongside the Maasai people through the Maasai Community Partnership Project. Students participate in activism led by indigenous community members, learn from the perspectives of Maasai people, and become part of grassroots work for social and environmental policy change. Student research has directly contributed to lawsuit successes that have restored land rights for the Maasai.
Study abroad trips and excursions around the United States are often integrated into many Prescott College courses. For example, in the Explorations of Norway Nature and Culture course, students spend a month abroad exploring the country’s environment, culture, language, and history—students can even continue their studies for an additional semester at the University College of Southeast Norway.
Additionally, Prescott College is a member of two consortia, the EcoLeague and the Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning. Through these partnerships, Prescott College students can spend up to two semesters at partner institutions at no additional cost to their tuition. They also have access to the study abroad and career internship offerings at other EcoLeague-affiliated schools. These opportunities allow students to broaden their education by taking advantage of opportunities at nearly 20 colleges around the United States.
Credit for Life Experience
Prescott College holds an immense amount of respect for students’ prior learning, whether they learned in non-college settings or in extended, demanding professional experiences. Students are able to earn credit for their prior education by creating a portfolio that documents their experiences from before college. Credit earned through a Prior Learning Assessment can greatly accelerate the path to students’ degrees.
A Global Campus without Walls
Prescott College’s undergraduate and graduate distance learning programs allow students to stay in their home community while earning their degree. Through these programs, students work with Prescott College faculty, as well as additional mentors whom they select, to design a personally and professionally fulfilling degree path. Students can earn their degree from wherever they live, work, or travel, allowing them to conduct research and complete their studies in remote locations. They develop strong connections to the College community through online forums and by making periodical visits to campus for residency events.
|International Student Organization||X|
|Student-run film society|
Interdisciplinary Experiential Curriculum = Dream Courses
The mission of Prescott College guides all academic programs to enrich interdisciplinary curriculum with experiential learning and self-direction. Rather than prescribing typical sequences of disciplinary courses, Prescott College faculty members expertly design interdisciplinary courses that are based in field- and community-based learning environments in which students develop their skills across multiple disciplines.
A flagship course suite at Prescott College is the Grand Canyon Semester. This field-based interdisciplinary program integrates Wilderness Expeditions & Recreation, Landscape Ecology & Public Lands Issues, and Resource Management & Conservation Leadership. Students spend a semester hiking and rafting the Grand Canyon, learning through hands-on research and service with park managers. Other examples include: U.S. Mexico Border Studies; Marine Studies: Natural History of the Gulf of California; Normalizing the Body: Race, Gender, and Disability; Geology through Bikepacking; The “F Word:” Feminism, Women, and Social Change; Environmental Perspectives and Whitewater Rafting; Changing World Order: The Political Economy of Globalization; and the Art of Teaching: Community, Curriculum, and Cooperation.
Prescott College’s first-year experience courses provide support and guidance to on-campus students throughout the first semester of their freshman year. After their Orientation course, students can choose from a variety of interdisciplinary classes that are linked and co-taught by faculty members from various disciplines. For example, courses like Ecology, Home, and Outdoor Education and Recreation, Wilderness and Civilization, Creative Expressions, and Yoga Philosophy are linked to the Writing Workshop course.
These first-year courses emphasize the exploration of self. Each student reflects deeply on their personal history, culture, values, and sense of place, working with their peers to develop a sense of curiosity, engagement, and purpose. Courses emphasize writing, relationship development, and community building through collaborative projects, wilderness expeditions, and/or team projects with community organizations. A co-curriculum and peer-mentoring program support students’ human development as they explore greater independence and deeper collaborations in new communities.
The Core Curriculum
The Core Curriculum is designed to support students in becoming successful self-directed learners. Building upon the first-year experience, the Core Curriculum includes interdisciplinary courses in each of year of study. For example, second-year students might choose a course like Art and Agency in the Borderlands or Evolution and Revolution in the Anthropocene. Through the third-year experience, students take a course that explores interdisciplinary research methods, such as Inquiry and Analysis in the Liberal Arts, in which student construct a literature review and proposal for their upcoming senior capstone project. By the end of their first three years, students will have shaped and constructed their degree plan in time for their final project. In their senior year, students work together as a cohort, implementing their senior projects to support and learn from one another’s challenges and successes with their methods, project management, analysis, and presentations.
At Prescott College, each term begins with a Block Course before returning to the standard multi-course semester format. Block Courses are three-week classes that are taken on their own, allowing students and professors to direct all their focus to one course. These courses provide students with opportunities to travel and learn in places like the US-Mexico Border, Joshua Tree National Park, Norway, Costa Rica, Alaska, the Gulf of California, or locally at the College’s agro-ecology research farm, in the National Forests and public lands surrounding Prescott, or in K-12 schools around Prescott and Tucson. Students can also take advantage of these three weeks to engage in service projects or paid internships.
The Center for Student Success
Housed across the College Library, Student Life Building, and One-Stop Shop, the Center for Student Success engages and supports students in a variety of ways. Support services tutoring to career counseling. The Center for Student Success is also the hub for such administrative services as the registrar and financial aid office, so everything one could need is all in one place.
|English (including composition)||X|
|Sciences (biological or physical)|
Class Size Breakdown
|Number of Classes||61||71||0||0||0||1||0||133|
A Shared Sense of Purpose
At Prescott College, the combination of field-based courses and interactive classroom learning develops deep and meaningful relationships between faculty and students. This mission-driven learning community grows as alumni develop their careers and networks across the globe. Eighty percent of alumni—regardless of degree title—have reported that their profession has allowed them to do meaningful work that supports a more just and sustainable world.
Opportunities to Get Involved
The Student Union Board and Director of Student Engagement provide support and funding for any students who was to launch a student initiative or form a new club. This allows the campus environment to be student-directed and relevant to student interests. As a result, the campus climate is positive and responsive to change and emerging challenges. Students have created such organizations as the Bike Club, Mi Familia, Black Student Union, Queer Student Union, Garden Club, Music Club, and the Peer Education and Resource Center. Such a sustained student interest in their community has led to the development of a digital video and audio recording lab.
Community Lunch - A Weekly Gathering
Community lunch is a proud tradition at Prescott College. Every Wednesday, the community comes together for free soup and bread provided by the cafe on campus. Students, faculty, staff, and other community members gather to talk, make announcements, and connect to discuss the issues of the day.
Colloquia on Campus
Colloquia and symposium are held on campus every semester. These meetings are a time for distance-learning students to share their research and learn about the work of others in the field. The colloquia include keynote addresses from experts in their fields and provide both information and inspiration to students as they continue on their educational journeys. All members of the College community are invited to attend, connect, and learn with one another.
The Prescott College Symposium on Sustainability Education is an annual conference that brings scholars, practitioners, and students together to learn about the latest work in the emerging field of sustainability education. All members of the community are invited to attend the conference and learn from students in the Ph.D. in Sustainability Education program, all of whom collaborate to organize the symposium theme, invite the keynote speaker, and present their research findings.
Campus Housing Options for Undergraduates
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|Apartments for single students|
|Special housing for disabled students||X|
|Special housing for international students|
|Other housing options|
Learning through Service
Prescott College strives to provide an education that enables students to live productive lives, all while achieving a healthy balance between self-fulfillment and service to others. Students are encouraged to engage in service work that benefits both the community and the students themselves. They can even receive college credit for their service learning and internship experiences.
The College’s Arizona Serve program hosts a large AmeriCorps/VISTA cohort of over one hundred members serving across the state of Arizona. Prescott College is also an Employer of National Service, which offers a full match of the Segal Education Award for past participants in service corps. Additionally, students can join a range of other service projects, including the Butte Creek Restoration Council, which works to restore the ecology of the small creek that bisects the campus.
Internships and Practica
Gaining hands-on experience is a critical component of a Prescott College education. Courses emphasize experiential learning, giving students opportunities to practice and develop new skills that will support them in their future careers. Students also gain valuable hands-on experience through internship opportunities as well as required practica for certain degree programs. Paid, credit-bearing internships are available across Pima and Yavapai Counties through Arizona Serve.
Senior Projects - The Bridge to What’s Next
All Prescott students complete a senior project to demonstrate their competence in their area of study. For many students, the senior project builds a bridge between college and what comes next, be that a career or graduate school. Some students have even used their projects to act as the early stages of development for businesses and nonprofits. For example, alumni Kado Stewart developed a camp for LGBTQ youth as a senior project and, in 2008, founded Camp OUTdoors. Camp OUTdoors was recently featured in the ground-breaking National Geographic Documentary, Gender Revolution, hosted by Katie Couric.
Making a Difference
Prescott alumni go on to exciting and unique careers. Many feel empowered to launch their own businesses: Alumni Kent Madin and Linda Svendsen, founders of Boojum Expeditions, offer “uncommon adventure travel,” leading trips in Mongolia, Tibet, China, Argentina, Venezuela, and Yellowstone. Alumnus Dustin Tester started Maui Surfer Girls, an instructional surfing school for girls and women in Hawaii. And Kim Reynolds co-founded the dZi Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting the health, culture, and welfare of indigenous mountain communities.
Admissions Fall 2016
314 Total Applicants
215 Total Admissions
47 Total Freshmen Enrollment
68.47% of applicants admitted
Admissions Deadlines for 2017-18 Admission
Rolling admission? Yes
Priority date: Mar 1
Rigor of secondary school record
Standardized test scores
Level of applicant’s interest
Freshmen Profile Fall 2016
|25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
|SAT Critical Reading||480||620|
Prescott College utilizes a holistic admissions approach that encourages applicants to demonstrate their academic ability, intellectual curiosity, good citizenship, community involvement, and self-motivation to prepare them for a self-directed experience.
Each degree program requires:
- An admissions application
- An essay
- Letter(s) of recommendation from an academic or professional sources
- Resume for graduate programs only
- Official high school and/or college transcripts
- SAT or ACT test scores for first time students
TUITION AND COSTS
Net Price Calculator
TUITION AND COSTS BEFORE FINANCIAL AID 2017-18
|Room and Board (on campus)||$7,700|
|Estimated Total On Campus||$38,311|
Average Financial Aid Packages 2016-17 estimated
$23,691 First year students
$15,202 All undergrads
Financial Aid Breakdown 2016-17 estimated
64.7% on average, the percentage of need that was met
9% of financial need students that had need fully met
$15,202 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,576 Average need-based loan
Prescott College seeks to support every student’s success. Every student admitted into the college is considered for a diversity of scholarships based on considerations such as academic excellence, financial need, field of study, school activities, leadership, and community service. Specialized scholarships are offered in partnership with AmeriCorps, City Year, EcoLeague, National Merit Scholarship Corporation, NOLS, Phi Theta Kappa, and raise.me. Graduate assistantships, fellowships, federal work study, and student employment opportunities are available.
A sampling of additional specialized Prescott College scholarships include:
The Arizona Opportunity scholarship provides a matching tuition rate that is comparable to in-state Arizona public universities.
The Freedom Education scholarship annually provides full-tuition aid to an undocumented student.
The Early Childhood Workforce scholarship supports students working in the early childhood education field in Arizona who wish to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Special Education, or Early Childhood Management.
The Arizona Teaching Intern scholarship supports students to become certified to teach in Arizona.