Discover Community at Austin College — on Campus and Around the World

Sometimes the best things about a college are the hardest to describe—a feeling of belonging as you walk across campus, the recognition that differing opinions are respected and valued, the anticipation of a great class discussion on a topic that’s become a passion, a realization that people around you really want you to succeed.

That sense of “community” is important at Austin College, where visitors often describe a friendly atmosphere and a sense of openness. New students can quickly find a place to grow and thrive and share their talents. Connections in classrooms and residence halls and the campus dining hall happen easily.

But an emphasis on community doesn’t mean conformity. The Austin College community celebrates differences and encourages dialogue. The more opinions shared, the more ideas sparked, and the greater the flame of inquiry.

The sharing of ideas is at the foundation of a liberal arts and sciences education, as students examine a breadth of disciplines and then discover the connections that bring the strengths of varying disciplines to bear in proposing solutions for questions and problems.

Austin College has a student body of approximately 1,370. A 12:1 student–faculty ratio means our students enjoy close interaction with faculty as fully engaged partners in their learning. Professors know students by name and care about their education—inside and outside the classroom.

Austin College faculty members often collaborate with students on research projects and include the students in academic and professional conferences or other settings where the research results are presented. Austin College students have many opportunities to gain and hone research skills—regardless of department of major—and to prepare and present research findings to the college community and beyond.

Community is important beyond campus also. Austin College faculty and administrators recognize that ours is a world community. Global awareness and appreciation of other cultures are at the core of learning. Austin College encourages international study for all students, whether through study-abroad semesters, travel during January Term courses, or summer programs. More than 70 percent of recent Austin College graduates had an international experience of at least one month during college. The Jordan Family Language House helps prepare students for that study. The house includes four wings where students of French, German, Japanese, and Spanish live with native speakers and speak only the target languages in common areas.

At home and abroad, values are important elements of an Austin College education. Students are quick to respond to natural disasters, need for humanitarian support, and advocacy efforts for the rights of all citizens—from the close-knit campus to the international neighborhood that grows nearer every day.

The Austin College Service Station facilitates service opportunities for students. Last year, students logged more than 20,000 hours of service to the local community and in hurricane-relief efforts on the Gulf Coast. More than 60 student organizations provide all sorts of opportunities for student involvement and leadership.

Leadership is the focus of the college’s Posey Leadership Institute, which seeks to provide all students the opportunity to gain practical leadership skills and practice those skills on campus and beyond. Austin College offers more than 40 areas of study from which students select majors and minors, or create interdisciplinary majors that match their goals and interests.  

During the college’s January Term students take only one course, so they have the chance to complete in-depth study on one topic, to complete research through independent study, to spend the term in an internship for career exploration, or to take part in courses that include travel to sites around the globe or a month of prairie restoration work through the college’s Center for Environmental Studies.  

Learn more about these programs at Austin College’s Web site. To learn about some of the other aspects of Austin College—the intangibles, like inclusion and community—we invite you to visit our campus. Call us today!

Office of Admission: 1-800-KANGAROO


This article was written by Hannah Purnell

Hannah Purnell is a staff writer for Hannah writes extensively on the topic of undergraduate studies and the college search process.

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