Independent Minds, Working Together

Mission & Goals

Mission Statement

The mission of Off-Campus Studies at The College of Wooster is to support The College in encouraging independently-minded students to develop a respect for diversity and a sense of responsible engagement and leadership in their global and local communities through facilitation of domestic and international off-campus study.

Vision

International and domestic off-campus study provides invaluable opportunities for students to undertake independent learning and intellectual inquiry and to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills on their path to becoming creative, engaged and responsible leaders in our complex global society.  As students develop their capacity to function in an inter-cultural and diverse environment, they gain a deeper understanding of their own culture, of the world, and of themselves. Off-campus study is an integral part of a liberal arts education; students who participate in off-campus programs in racially and culturally diverse settings bring important diverse perspectives back to the campus community.  OCS aims to facilitate off-campus experiences and provide students with the opportunity to understand, apply and reflect upon The College of Wooster’s values and graduate qualities.   OCS strives to provide the administration, advising and programming that assists students in achieving these as well as their own unique learning and development goals.

Student Development and Learning Goals

Knowledge and Inquiry

  • Students should have knowledge of the historical, cultural, linguistic, political, religious and/or social aspects of their host site.
  • Students should understand how their host site relates to larger global processes.
  • Where appropriate, students will expand their breadth of knowledge and critical thinking skills within their major or a specific discipline.
  • Students should keep up to date and engage with current events and global issues.
  • Students should learn a new language or improve their second language skills (if studying in a country where the student’s native language is  not spoken).

Interpersonal Development and Cultural Understanding

  • Students should be able to adapt to a diversity of cultural and social situations.
  • Students should understand and respect multiple and diverse cultures, backgrounds, beliefs and ways of thinking.

Personal Development and Intrapersonal Understanding

  • Students should become more independent and confident in their own value systems and identities.
  • Students should gain a sense of self-awareness in relation to cultures, backgrounds, and ways of thinking different from their own.
  • Students should gain an awareness of their sense of agency within their global and local communities.
  • Students should gain an understanding of the dynamic interrelationship of the global and local.
  • Students will be able to articulate the skills, learning and development gained during the off-campus experience.

Programming Goals

In order to attain its mission and student development goals, OCS will:

  • Advise students on off-campus study opportunities, policies and procedures.
  • Develop organized, ethical and comprehensive policies and procedures that promote off-campus opportunities for all Wooster students.
  • Coordinate and sponsor on-campus programming to assist Wooster students in learning about off-campus study and in choosing appropriate off-campus opportunities.
  • Collaborate with all campus constituencies to help students integrate their off-campus experiences in a way that both enhances their education at Wooster and benefits other students on campus.
  • Work with the Off-Campus Study Advisory committee to evaluate off-campus programs and policies in order to offer recommendations for endorsement or de-endorsement in line with The College of Wooster and OCS missions and visions.