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Antioch@175: A New Kind of American College

Antioch College began as an innovation.  The legendary educator Horace Mann journeyed from New England to Yellow Springs, Ohio to create a new kind of American college. He envisioned a place where students rose above the prejudices and sectarian limitations of the times to “win victories for humanity” through the powers of knowledge and conscience.  Later, under Arthur Morgan, Antioch’s practice of co-operative education (co-op) was developed to engage students in learning through real jobs and the real-world problem solving they demand. 

These groundbreaking visions continue to animate Antioch College on the eve of its 175th anniversary in 2025.

Antioch’s difference starts with the people it attracts—bright, spirited, and tenacious questioners. They find virtue in our being rigorous and open, creative and deliberative, diverse and self-reliant; and they relish the thoughtful scale of individual, small group and community learning, and the strong commitment to the principles of resilience and experiential education we embody.  They come to Antioch because it is a laboratory for discovering the new and better ways of living and learning that are the building blocks for democratic communities and a healthy planet.

As a laboratory college education at Antioch transcends convention, challenging notions of why and how colleges function.  Here, multiple ways of understanding are explored through the use of intuition, imagination, sensibility, body movement and reasoning. Through project learning, independent study, incubators, maker-spaces, studio intensives, cultural immersion and the work-based education of co-op, students develop, translate and put their ideas into practice. Guided by talented teachers, scholars and mentors, they claim a life’s education that is distinctively theirs: centered, inspired, applied and handmade.  They explore the overlapping spaces within and among the humanities, sciences, fine and design arts, and social sciences, transporting their understanding beyond the boundaries of current thinking and action; they come to know their strengths and weaknesses and how to balance them alertly in life. Here, to paraphrase Walt Whitman, students make their maps as they go.

To support those journeys, we offer dynamic resources and experiences: a 1,100-acre nature preserve and farm; a top-ranked environmental science program; the Coretta Scott King Center; our NPR affiliate radio station WYSO-FM; and the renowned Antioch co-op program, among others. The high level of student participation in the design and governance of the College is unmatched elsewhere. Antioch’s “d” lab facilitates the practice of deliberative democracy, dialogue and collaboration with other members of the campus to develop sturdy community here and in the surrounding villages and region. Alumni remain deeply involved in the College through opportunities that tap their professional experience, skills and knowledge and help contain costs.   

As a collaborative college we amplify and extend financial, operational and educational capabilities through shared platforms, consortiums, partnerships, and hybrid enterprises spanning the public-private spectrum. These connections permit us to be outsized in our thinking, cost-effective in our business management and a leader in low debt education for our students.  We thus do more as a small college than many medium and larger universities.

Antioch@175:  We are a laboratory college renewed through innovation, a passion for democracy and justice, and an inextinguishable commitment to finding new and better ways of living and learning sustainably on our planet.

Antioch@175: We are a collaborative college, an anchor for regional resilience among organizations and individuals whose willingness to share resources of all types has created a new ecology of education, work and community.

Antioch@175: We are a new kind of American college; we are a movement.

The Antioch College Board of Trustees has adopted Antioch@175: A New Kind of American College, a vision for Antioch’s future.

Antioch@175 was created building on insights from the FACT process and the results of FACT Week. Learn more about FACT.