Monday, March 5, 2012

What does Charter Oak mean to you?

Recently John Ebersole, President of Excelsior College, published a book called Courageous Learning: Finding a New Path through Higher Education (Hudson-Whitman Press).  The book highlights some of the most creative approaches to learning available in higher education.  Excelsior College is an institution very similar to Charter Oak; in fact, Excelsior played a role 39 years ago when Charter Oak was being created.  It serves adults, is non-traditional, and like us, works to validate the prior learning of its adult students.  John was kind enough to include a section about Charter Oak in the book.  I encourage you to pick up a copy.

As I explained our programs and students in our materials for the book, an idea began to take form.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out—directly from you, our students and alums—what Charter Oak means to you?  We think we know what you value from our list of programs and learning options because we see what appears on your transcripts.  We know who takes tests, who uses portfolios, how many credits you each transfer in, and how long you take to finish.  In other words, we have lots of data that describe your activities, but we do not have a statement from you about what meant the most to you on that journey.

The list of things that might have made all the difference for you may have nothing to do with our programs.  It might involve an advisor, or a fellow student, or an instructor.  It might be financial aid, or a scholarship, or just the low price of a Charter Oak education. 

I am preparing my graduation speech, and I would love to include some of your responses in that address.  So please give some thought to the question “what does Charter Oak mean to me?”  Send me your answer either by email to or in the comments on this post.  And as always, I look forward to hearing from you.