Welcome to Oberlin’s Experimental College!

Welcome to ExCo, Oberlin’s only dual student organization and college department. ExCo gives students, faculty, staff, and community members the opportunity to teach courses that are considered non-traditional, experimental, or simply too niche to be otherwise taught in an academic department. The Experimental College was founded in 1968 and offered five courses that students could take for college credit. Fifty years later, ExCo is able to offer over fifty unique courses per semester to students interested in expanding their education outside of the traditional classroom. Highlights include courses that have now been taught for decades, such as Elementary Korean, Beginning Pottery, and Taiko Drumming, as well as new courses introduced every semester (recent additions include Contemporary Black Queer Film and Culture, Longboarding, and MemeCo, among others).

Mission Statement

The Experimental College is both a student organization and a department of Oberlin College that sponsors for-credit courses taught by Oberlin students, administrators, townspeople, and faculty. Run by a small committee of students, “ExCo” exists to give students, faculty and community members the opportunity to learn to teach and to push the boundaries of teaching in innovative ways. ExCo also allows students to learn underrepresented and nontraditional materials, giving them a chance to broaden their horizons past the typical college academic experience. Since ExCo’s original charter in 1968, the ever-changing course catalogue has served as a unique record of which topics Oberlin students are engaged with, interested in, or experts on. These courses reflect the current academic, cultural, social, political, and intellectual trends of the Oberlin community.
The goals of ExCo are as follows:
-To provide the Oberlin community a space to share interests, knowledge, and expertise that Oberlin College curriculum does not or cannot cover.
-To validate a wide variety of interests and subject matter as academically enriching parts of the learning process.
-To allow students and community a teaching experience through which they can learn about the academic environment from a new perspective and create their ideal classroom.
-To support the Oberlin community’s diverse skills and interests through institutional affiliation, financial support, and organization.
-To maintain a record of ExCo’s history at Oberlin and thus a record of Oberlin’s evolving interests as a greater community.

Get Involved

There are a number of ways you can get involved in the ExCo program. You are always welcome to take an ExCo course, or you can apply to teach an ExCo during our application season. If you’re interested in learning more about the ExCo program, feel free to drop by the ExCo Committee’s office hours. The Committee hires a new member about once a semester, so learn more about the Committee or check out our application page if you’re thinking about joining the fun group of students who run ExCo.

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

The deadline to for all applications to teach an ExCo in Fall 2018 is April 13th. All application materials are available on our Apply to Teach page. If you would like an extension on submitting your application materials, please email us as soon as possible (exco@oberlin.edu).

Check out our Facebook page to stay up-to-date regarding upcoming instructor deadlines, fun ExCo events, and any major policy changes enacted by the ExCo Committee.