The Essence of Colby's Mission

Colby College gives students a broad acquaintance with human knowledge, an array of intellectual tools, experience as active participants in a diverse community of scholars, and opportunities to engage the world.

To fulfill its mission and to help each student achieve his or her potential, the College has adopted this set of educational precepts:

  • to develop one’s capability for critical and creative thinking;
  • to learn to communicate ideas;
  • to learn to work independently;
  • to learn about American culture and the current and historical interrelationships among peoples and nations;
  • to become acquainted with other cultures by learning a foreign language and by living and studying in another country or by closely examining a culture other than one’s own;
  • to learn how people different from oneself have contributed to the richness of society, how prejudice limits such enrichment, and how each individual can confront intolerance;
  • to understand one’s values and the values of others;
  • to become familiar with the art and literature of a wide range of cultures and historical periods;
  • to explore in detail one or more scientific disciplines, including experimental methods, and to examine the interconnections between developments in science and technology and the quality of human life;
  • to study the ways in which natural and social phenomena can be portrayed in quantitative terms and to understand the effects and limitations of using such data in decision making;
  • to study one discipline in depth to gain an understanding of that discipline’s methodologies and modes of thought, areas of application, and relationship to other areas of knowledge;
  • to explore one’s responsibility to contribute to the world beyond the campus.