Emory University offers two academically equivalent yet distinctively different educational programs for first-year students and sophomores. Oxford College is located 38 miles east of Atlanta in the village of Oxford, Georgia, on the campus where Emory was founded in 1836. Approximately 900 students, one fifth of the Emory first-year and sophomore classes, enroll on the Oxford campus where they pursue a liberal arts intensive program for the first two years of their Emory baccalaureate degree.
Oxford College concentrates on development of students’ intellectual, social, and personal capacities as these are understood in the liberal arts tradition. In their third and fourth years, Oxford students join their classmates on the Atlanta campus where they focus more on their majors and have immediate access to the resources of one of the world’s leading research communities. Oxford College offers the advantages of (1) faculty who come to Oxford because they recognize the transformative potential of the first two baccalaureate years, (2) small classes averaging 17 students (the largest class is 33), (3) challenging yet supportive personal working relationships between faculty and students, (4) an environment that provides extensive opportunities for student participation and leadership, and (5) an exceptionally strong sense of supportive community among students, faculty, and staff.
Oxford’s liberal arts–intensive character is expressed more in pedagogy than in curriculum. In-class discussion and debate, problem-based learning, case studies, individual and team research projects and presentations, frequent writing, and detailed analysis of texts are among teaching strategies that the faculty employs. A consistent theme throughout is to compel students to become engaged, active learners so that ultimately they acquire knowledge, skills, and understanding as a result of their own mental effort and discipline. Students are urged to go beyond the syllabus and to think creatively in deepening their knowledge and connecting what they learn in one course with what they have learned elsewhere. These teaching strategies are possible because of Oxford’s small classes and the faculty’s commitment to working with students as individuals.
All Oxford students live on campus in college housing, and residential life is an integral part of the Oxford educational program and the Oxford experience. Clubs, varsity and intramural sports, student theatrical and musical productions, personal development, and leadership training are among the activities that attract high levels of participation. There is an active program of weekly social and cultural events. Oxford students are generous with their time and concern and serve the Newton County community through Volunteer Oxford, the Bonner Leaders program, and extensive use of service learning in classes. One of Oxford’s special assets is the ethnic, racial, socioeconomic, and geographic diversity of its students. The closeness of the Oxford community means that students are quickly known as individuals rather than as representatives of a group, and students report that often their most profound experiences are learning from others who are different from themselves. Oxford students form lifelong friendships and say that when they move to the Atlanta campus as juniors, they go with 300 friends.
Oxford College is unique. Students spend two years in an intimate, challenging, yet supportive community where they develop as scholars and as persons and then move on to a rich research university environment where the resources and opportunities are unlimited. For many students, it is the perfect combination.
Oxford College of Emory University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097: Telephone number 404-670-4501) to award the Associate of Arts degree. In addition, Oxford College is accredited by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.
Oxford College provides a challenging liberal arts–intensive program for the first two years of the Emory baccalaureate degree. These years offer unique opportunities for intellectual, personal, and social development, and Oxford College is optimized to seize them. Oxford’s students develop a fundamental understanding of how knowledge is created and applied; a broad knowledge of intellectual disciplines; well-honed skills in critical analysis, problem solving, and written and oral communication; and an understanding of the moral dimensions of the individual in a diverse society. They cultivate their capacities for self-authorship, leadership, personal commitment to wellness, and community engagement. This growth is fostered by an exceptionally supportive community in which students know each other, students know their faculty, and the faculty know their students. After completing the Oxford program, students spend their junior and senior years on Emory’s Atlanta campus, where they have the resources of one of the world’s leading research universities to support work in their majors.
Oxford College will attract and enroll exceptionally well-qualified student scholars poised to flourish in and significantly contribute to our liberal arts–intensive setting. We will achieve international recognition for our rigorous liberal arts curriculum and intentional programming and for the related scholarship and pedagogical innovation that support this enterprise. We will engage every student in substantial research, leadership, and character-development programs. Our collective efforts will foster a model community of inclusivity, in which we will recognize, nurture, and celebrate diversity in all of its manifestations.