A word from Ed Kaelber
The term "experimental college" has much currency. It is unfortunate that we have to resort to this phrase; it should be a redundancy. Any college that is not constantly seeking new ways of doing things is only half alive. But the very fact that there has been a need to coin the phrase is an indication that the structures and teaching methods of many colleges have become rigid and unresponsive to changing conditions in our society. College of the Atlantic expects to be experimental in the best sense of the word. We will not be bound by tradition nor will we make the dangerous assumption that just because something is different it is automatically better. We expect to be not only inventive of new ideas and practices but we will be unabashedly eclectic in drawing from what exists or is being proposed and tested elsewhere. Above all, we will build into the structure of the college a mechanism that insists on continuing evaluation. Without self-criticism, rigor becomes empty form and compassion becomes merely sentiment. Education, as we see it, is possible only as this institution changes to reflect new knowledge and new techniques aimed at meeting the changing needs of man and his environment. That is what the College of the Atlantic is about.
- Ed Kaelber, founding president of College of the Atlantic