The Colby Experience
Life at Colby is centered on the notion that learning extends beyond the classroom into all aspects of the college experience. As shaped by the College’s mission and precepts, a Colby education is characterized by academic rigor, a strong community, a friendly campus atmosphere, global reach, and active engagement with a diversity of thought and human experiences.
Dean of the College Mission Statement
The Dean of the College division creates transformative and integrative learning that develops purposeful, compassionate, and global citizens. We support a holistic and reflective community that acts with integrity and courage to promote justice and equality at Colby and in the world.
Dean of the College Division and Staff
The Dean of the College Division oversees student life and learning outside of the classroom, and it comprises the Office of the Dean of Students, the Office of the Dean of Studies, the Office of Campus Life, Counseling Services, DavisConnects, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, International Student Programs, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Security, the Office of Community Values, Conflict Resolution, and Restorative Practice, and support for accommodations and learning differences. Experienced staff members who are on call at all times advise and support students’ experiences related to their academic, social, cultural, and personal life at the College. Staff members help students to shape and maintain positive living and learning communities, opportunities for civic engagement and leadership development, and a rich array of cocurricular experiences.
Academic Advisors: All incoming students are assigned a first year Academic Advisor who helps students navigate their first year academic experience. Incoming first year students are assigned to faculty advisors through the Office of the Dean of Studies. Advisors and advisees establish contact with one another in early summer to help guide course selection for the fall. Advisors meet with students during the orientation period and assist students during the period when courses may be added or dropped from the students’ schedules. Academic Advisors provide guidance to students during course selection for JanPlan and spring and help students as they navigate their first year academic experience. During the end of the second, third, or fourth semester, when students may elect a major, they will move under direct advisorship of a major department or program.
Class Deans: The Dean of Studies Office supports and enhances Colby’s commitment to first-rate, individual advising of students. In addition to having an academic advisor from the teaching faculty, every Colby student is assigned a class dean to provide advice and support during their time at the College. The class deans are knowledgeable about issues and problems that arise for students and are a good source of information about College resources and policies. They offer general advising as well as referrals to other campus offices. The class deans help students and parents/guardians manage academic and non-academic situations as they arise, consulting extensively with faculty and staff across the College. Students may contact their class dean or the Dean of Studies Office at 207-859-4560 or [email protected]
Access and Disability Services: Colby offers programs and resources that support a range of learning differences—to make sure every student can maximize their academic potential. As part of the ADA accommodations process, Colby provides a range of supports for students with learning differences, including but not limited to additional time on exams, note taking support,,and other adjustments in academic procedures, in accordance with recommendations of qualified diagnosticians. Students also work with Access and Disability Services to request accommodations related to housing and dining.
Colby also offers learning consultants who can assist students with study habits and other targeted strategies. These expert coaches are available to any Colby student who wishes additional academic support, coaching or skills building. All students are expected to attempt to complete the foreign language requirement. Students who experience inordinate difficulty in completing this requirement and who have documentation of a language-based learning difference that meets Colby guidelines may petition to modify the foreign language requirement with an approved program of alternative study, which will include three courses reflecting aspects of a single language of culture. Students with questions in this area can contact the director of student access and disability services at 207-859-4560 in the Dean of Studies Office located in room 107, Eustis Hall.
Student Success Fund: Colby College is committed to providing educational access and opportunity regardless of a student’s financial background. In pursuit of this goal, the Assistant Director of Student Success and Support will work with students on a case-by-case basis to identify and connect them with available resources to help alleviate distressing situations that can interfere with academic success. Students are encouraged to contact the Assistant Director to discuss their concerns and explore options: 207-859-4560 in the Dean of Studies Office located in room 107, Eustis Hall.
There are many places students can turn to on campus for advice and support when they are encountering difficulties, whether involving interpersonal relationships, fitting in socially, or worrying about the direction life is taking. The nearest resource is often the residence hall staff. These trained student staff members, community advisors, can provide information about support resources. When students are facing more serious issues, it may be appropriate to seek out more specialized resources. These resources include deans, Counseling and Health Center staff, and Religious and Spiritual Life staff. When problems arise outside of business hours and on weekends, students can access emergency and support resources through our on-call systems. To access the professional on-call or Colby Emergency Response, call Security at 207-859-5911. To access after-hours Counseling Services, please call 207-859-4490 ext 0.
Leaves of Absence/Withdrawal from the College: For the full policy on leaves and withdrawals, please check the Dean of Students website or contact [email protected]
Medical Leaves: For the full policy on medical leave, please check the Dean of Students website or contact [email protected].
Colby Health Services: Colby’s Garrison-Foster Health Center, in the Garrison-Foster Building, is the only AAAHC-accredited college health center in Maine. Its mission is to enhance the academic environment at Colby by providing quality health care, health education, and preventive services to students in a caring, cost-effective, and convenient manner. The health center provides a bridge for the health care needs of our students as they transition away from home, often for the first time. The health center emphasizes preventive and outpatient care. The health center is available to all students at no cost for routine office visits. The health center is staffed by a dedicated group of medical providers with experience in caring for college students. They provide general medical care, women’s health services, drug and alcohol misuse services, and travel medicine services. A registered dietician and a board-certified psychiatrist are also available for consultation. Students who need emergency care or more specialized attention are sent to Maine General Medical Center, a major regional hospital located less than a mile from Colby. Appointments with medical practitioners are available weekdays during business hours for students. Students can see a nurse if they are sick during weekends or during regular hours to have injuries evaluated or arrange immunizations for travel abroad.
Colby Emergency Response (CER): CER is a group of students trained and licensed as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who respond to health emergencies on campus. This network supplements the care provided by the health center staff to ensure that all accident/illness victims on campus are assisted swiftly and skillfully.
Colby Counseling Services: The mission of Colby Counseling Services is to foster the well- being of all students within a respectful and confidential environment through providing a range of psychological counseling, consultation and outreach services. Our diverse team of psychologists, professional counselors and social workers collectively have over 40 years of experience working collaboratively with students. We work with students in individual counseling, group counseling, through teaching practices such as meditation, and in a variety of other capacities. Students also have access to our counselor on call for mental health emergencies when the office is closed.
The Counseling Services office is located in a comfortable and private setting on the second floor of Garrison-Foster and all of our services are free of charge. We also want you to know that we take your confidentiality very seriously and your privacy is protected in the same manner it would be if you were visiting a counselor as an adult in your home community. Appointments can be made by calling our main number at 207-859-4490, or by stopping in Room 205, Garrison-Foster Building, during regular business hours. You can find more information at Counseling Services – Life at Colby.
In a mental health emergency, students can reach the on-call counselor 24/7 by calling Counseling Services at 207-859-4490 and pressing “0”. For off-campus help you can reach out to the Maine Crisis Line at 1-888-568-1112. For suicide prevention details, please visit our website at Suicide Prevention – Life at Colby or call Campus Security for assistance.
Health Records: No student will be allowed to register, attend classes, or participate in any campus activities, including COOT (Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips), until health and immunization records have been received and approved by the College’s health center.
Documentation of a physical examination within the past 12 months is required. For students participating in varsity athletics, the NCAA requires that the physical examination be in the past six months. Proof of the following immunizations is also required: COVID-19, tetanus and diphtheria (primary series plus booster within 10 years), meningitis vaccine (one dose after the age of 16), and two doses of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines given after the first birthday. Not required but recommended are the hepatitis B immunization series and a chickenpox vaccine if there is no history of this disease. Students are encouraged to discuss these recommended vaccines with their health care provider during the summer.
Arrangements can be made through the health center to receive these non-required vaccines. Maine state law requires that immunization records be complete, showing month, day, and year that immunizations were given, and that they include the signature and address of the health care provider; a valid copy of school immunization records or hospital/clinic records also may be acceptable. Details can be found in the immunization form mailed to all students or on the health center website. If proof of vaccinations cannot be obtained, vaccines should be administered again by the student’s health care provider before the student travels to Colby. It is expected that physical exams and immunization forms will be completed by July 15.
The Residence Experience: As a residence campus, Colby College’s residence halls are where students call home while achieving their academic pursuits. The residential setting is an integral part of the college experience, and therefore, all students are expected to live in the College’s residence halls. Residence halls across campus vary in size and can accommodate between 30 and 200 students. All first year students reside in a designated cluster of residence halls. Upper class students are housed in all other residence halls with the exception of the Harold and Bibby Alfond Residence Complex (which houses only seniors), and the Bill and Joan Alfond Main St. Commons (which houses only juniors and seniors). In all buildings, students can expect a safe, inclusive, and supportive living environment that integrates the academic, creative, and cultural dimensions of college life. Residence hall communities are led by student leaders specifically hired and trained to promote an engaging residential community that fosters connections, personal growth, civility, and student success.
Students have access to a variety of specialized housing options including but not limited to substance-free, and healthy living options. Room selection is generally assigned by room draw with first priority given to seniors. More detailed information about residential living at Colby can be found on the Life at Colby website.
Dining Services: The College offers a board plan of 21 meals per week for all resident students. Meals are served in three separate on-campus dining halls—in Foss Hall, Dana Hall, and Roberts Building, each with a different menu. Students living in the Alfond Residence Complex, the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, and the Mary Low Coop, or students living off campus who do not subscribe to the full meal plan, are entitled to an adjustment of the comprehensive fee (see Fees and Charges section of the catalogue).
Cotter Union/Pulver Pavilion: Cotter Union is located near the center of the campus and serves as the student center and a venue for more formal gatherings including lectures and performances. The Office of Campus Life, the Colby Bookstore, the student mailroom and Post Office, the Blue Light Pub, offices of the Student Programming Board, the Pugh Center, and the Page Commons Room are in Cotter Union. Pulver Pavilion features a variety of informal spaces and a snack bar and grill called the Spa.
Student Organizations and Leadership Development: The Office of Campus Life is committed to creating opportunities for students to explore, practice, and develop their leadership capabilities. Leadership development occurs through experiences with student organizations and clubs as well as through retreats, trainings, and workshops. Colby has approximately 100 student-led clubs and organizations focused on cultural, athletic, musical, political, publication, religious, service, or other themes.
The Pugh Center: The Pugh Center serves the Colby community as an integral resource and catalyst for engagement and advocacy that supports the college’s fundamental goal of academic excellence through cultivating an inclusive and equitable campus community. The Pugh Center supports students through the development of co-curricular initiatives, opportunities to apply theoretical frameworks explored in the classroom, and fosters intellectual engagement with critical conversations across campus constituencies.
Our physical space, located within Cotter Union, Colby’s student union, is dedicated to all students interested in and devoted to engaging with experiences and issues related to race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic and first-generation status, ability, religion, and spirituality. Beyond our physical space, we work intentionally to integrate our initiatives throughout the campus community.
Student Governance: Students play significant roles in shaping student life through the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Student Programming Board (SPB). The president and vice president of the SGA serve as student representatives to the Board of Trustees, and students serve on College committees, including Academic Affairs, Administrative, Admissions and Financial Aid, Athletic Advisory, College Affairs, Cultural Events, Financial Priorities, Healthcare Advisory, Independent Study, Information Technology, Library, Multicultural Affairs, Security, Race and Racism, and the Environmental Advisory Group.
Safety and Security
Colby’s Security Department works to provide a safe and secure environment for the Colby community. The department, located in the Roberts Building, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained, professional officers patrol campus on foot and in cruisers. A blue-light emergency phone system is in place throughout the campus with more than 50 call boxes. The ColbyCard electronic access system is in use in all residence halls and academic buildings. The Security Department provides ride and escort services upon request. The department operates a free jitney service to downtown and other Waterville shopping centers. The Colby Jitney operates on a scheduled basis daily from 2 to 7 p.m. and on an on-call basis after 7 p.m. A campus emergency notification system was installed in 2008. Colby’s crime statistics are available on the Security Department website.
All students are expected to know of the regulations in the Colby College Student Handbook and in the Colby College Catalogue. The handbook covers academic, administrative, and social regulations.
Colby complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which establishes the rights and restrictions of students to inspect and review education records, provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data, and establishes standards for disclosure of student information. Complete guidelines used by the College for compliance with the act are published in the Student Handbook and may be obtained at the Dean of Students Office.