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Colby 360: The Plan for Student Life and 360° Learning at Colby takes a two-tiered approach to student affairs. The first outlines a model for residential/cocurricular education focused on promoting specific learning outcomes. The second describes organizational and management strategies designed to ensure excellent, efficient, and sustainable oversight of the key administrative functions of the division.
Colby students and alumni travel varied paths through their professional and personal lives. Consistent throughout these many adventures is a core set of skills: communication, collaboration, problem solving, and fiscal responsibility. Colby 360 ensures that all students develop competency and capacity in each of these areas.
The ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing is essential in the world of the 21st century. Colby 360 incorporates opportunities for students to practice and refine their communication skills into the many cocurricular activities and programs in which they routinely participate. For example, student organizations are required to submit written proposals to obtain funding for events, and members of particular athletic teams are required to give brief speeches at year-end banquets.
Collaboration is a part of the fabric of the Colby community. Students work together in the classroom, on the field, in the residence hall, and in student government. In each of these environments students are learning the art of working together and utilizing each other’s unique strengths to realize the optimal result.
To supplement and enhance the individual advising they receive from their faculty advisors, all Colby student are assigned an Advising Dean. Advising Deans serve as advisors for the entire college experience, coaches through life’s challenges and uncertainties, and a support in students’ most difficult moments. Advising Deans partner with students not only to address a particular task or issue (e.g. planning to study abroad) but also to aid them in developing their personal efficacy and self-empowerment.
Colby students have regular, meaningful, and active exposure to diversity and human difference in many forms. The world into which the current generation of Colby students will graduate is increasingly pluralistic and "flat". To achieve personal success in the global economy and provide effective leadership in the 21st century, our graduates will need to be knowledgeable about cultural difference and adept at working and communicating with people who are different from themselves.
The Colby community is made up of students, faculty, and staff who come to Mayflower Hill from places ranging from Augusta, Maine, to Beijing, China, and from Warsaw, Poland, to Harare, Zimbabwe. Today the student body comprises more than 300 students of color from the United States and more than 200 international students, with more than 70 countries and 43 states represented in what is the most culturally diverse community Colby has ever seen.
The Pugh Center serves as an intellectual and social focal point on campus for conversation, exploration, and celebration of the diversity at Colby. Consistent with the College’s mission and educational precepts, the Pugh Center supports a wide range of programs and activities – lectures, concerts, performances, exhibitions, etc. – to help students become critical and imaginative thinkers who are welcoming of diversity and compassionate towards others.
Colby offers a wide of range of support regarding diversity and difference, with six administrative positions dedicated to supporting religious and spiritual life, gender and sexual diversity, multiculturalism, and international students. Collaboratively these positions endeavor to aid students both personally and professionally to create a fulfilling and meaningful Colby experience.
Colby takes seriously its responsibility to prepare the next generation of knowledgeable and engaged world citizens. Democratic citizenship is more than the exercising of specific civic rights (e.g., voting). Rather, democracy is a set of ideas and principles centered on the conjunction of individual liberty and collective responsibility for the common good. Many aspects of 21st-century life can be isolating and can emphasize individuality at the expense of collective responsibility. Through residential and cocurricular student experiences, Colby 360 emphasizes democratic principles and creates opportunities for students to practice self-governance and civic engagement.
As members of the Colby community students are responsible for their own journey and experience and for contributing to the community culture and environment. Our residential communities allow for students to develop shared values and expectations that shape their residence hall experience.
Integrity and accountability are values of the Colby community. Our students each have a civic responsibility to pursue their best selves and to hold each other accountable to the values of our community. Our student government is currently spearheading a campus-wide conversation about what students expect from one another and how they hold each other accountable in pursuit of their best self.
Our students’ civic responsibility extends beyond the buildings and lawns of the College. Our students volunteer and serve the larger Waterville community through mentor programs, homeless shelter volunteerism, and countless additional projects and initiatives.
Understanding wellness and practicing healthy lifestyle choices are critical components in a balanced and well-rounded education. Colby provides opportunities for students to become informed and active participants in establishing and maintaining good personal health habits both at college and in their lives after Colby.
In addition to providing outstanding health care and counseling services to students, the Health and Counseling Centers provide a rich offering of health education programs and support several student organizations dedicated to promoting health and wellness. The coordinator of drug and alcohol programs/health educator oversees a series of wellness seminars for first-year students on topics ranging from substance abuse to sexual violence prevention to stress management. Colby Emergency Response is an EMT service run and staffed by students under the supervision of the Health Center. Student Health on Campus (SHOC) and Active Minds are examples of student organizations focused on promoting education and awareness around issues of physical fitness and personal and mental health.
Colby is home to 32 varsity teams and offers 14 intramural sports and nine club sports. One in three students is a varsity athlete at Colby and more than twice that number participate in organized athletics. The Alfond Athletic Center hosts 24 strength and conditioning classes per week, complementing the 11 fitness and aerobic classes including yoga, cross-fit, others, all of which are open to the entire Colby community. The Outing Club, offering organized outdoor activities and equipment, is one of the biggest and most-active among Colby's more than 100 student clubs and organizations.
Incoming students are required to attend five seminars in their first two semesters at Colby. The intent of the wellness seminars is to encourage and assist the development of individual responsibility through programs centered on mental, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual fitness. These seminars lay an educational foundation for healthy behavior that should persist through and beyond the four-year experience.
All Colby graduates should understand their responsibility to be leaders in the broadest sense of the term. The Colby community provides an ideal framework for students to learn about and practice leadership through workshops, community-building activities, developing social alternatives, and hall governance.
Student Clubs and Organizations
The Colby community is enriched by more than 120 student-led organizations on campus. These organizations range from the Colby Outing Club to the Quilting Club and from the radio station to Mock Trial. Each club develops its own governing procedures and structure, creating a learning laboratory incorporating student governance, leadership, and collaboration. Student organizations plan events, manage budgets, recruit members, and enliven our campus. Clubs offer great hands-on training for collaboration, team building, fiscal responsibility, and much more.
Leadershape is a six-day intensive leadership-development program in which participants assess their leadership style, develop a vision, and learn how to develop a plan for realizing their vision. Participants also learn about general leadership theory, team building, and the value of reflection.
Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips (COOT)/Community Advisors (CA)
The COOT program and Hall Staff (Community Advisors) are two exceptional student leadership opportunities. CAs and COOT leaders are given the responsibility for shaping significant student experience in shaping residential communities and leading COOT trips. Both programs provide extensive training and coaching for student leaders.