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- What Makes Us Unique
- News & Events
- Environmental Commitment
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College of the Atlantic is for students who want their four college years to be a challenge, to be transformative. Those words you see after our name: "life changing, world changing," we take them seriously. COA is for questioners and idealists, for dreamers and activists - for those who see both the beauty and the trouble that is present in the world - and long to enhance the good and discover ways to transmute the difficulties. If you're that kind of a person, keep reading! And then, if possible, do come visit.
COA's professors are passionate about teaching and relish interacting with our students, because the students pursue their individual interests with such enthusiasm. The faculty believes that college should push students beyond their comfort zone - so be prepared for challenge. There is room at COA both for lively discussions and solitary contemplation. There is also an opportunity to expand beyond the campus. More than half of COA students include international study in their curriculum.
At COA, you will learn from experience, not just from second-hand readings. Whether observing whales from the college's research vessel or offshore islands, raising chickens on one of COA's organic farms, doing an independent photo-journalism project in the Yucatan, studying international treaties, or modeling clay in the ceramics studio (converted to solar power by students in another COA class), you'll be immersed in your education. COA's education is hands-on and active. Thanks to the guidance of faculty and staff, many students compare their work at COA to that of graduate students at other universities.
COA students go on to careers in many fields. But at the end of the day, what sets them apart is that they care - and often find creative ways to express this caring. Here are just a few of them:
Urs Riggenbach '12 Solar Fire Energy, designed local, renewable energy system for remote Nepalese school
Elena Piekut '09, Assistant City Planner at City of Ellsworth, Maine
Juan Hoffmaister '07, Loss & Damage Coordinator for the United Nation’s G-77, China
Jessica Glynn '06, Supervising Staff Attorney, Anti-Trafficking Program at Safe Horizon
10-20 years out
Josie Sigler '99 published author of short story collection, The Galaxie and Other Rides, 2012, and poetry collections, living must bury, 2010 and Calamity, 2009
Scott Bishop '97 National Design Award-winning landscape designer
Amy Toensing '93 National Geographic photographer
Jeff Miller '92, President, CEO of Alliance for Biking and Walking
20-40 years out
Nell Newman '87, CEO, Newman’s Own Organics
Greg Stone '82 Senior VP, Conservation International, critical in establishing Kiribati's Phoenix Island Protected Area, world's 2nd-largest marine protected area in the world
Chellie Pingree '79, US Congresswoman from Maine
Scott Kraus '77, VP for Research, New England Aquarium
COA students seek, challenge, and question; as they do, they find ways also to enjoy—to dance and sing, to draw and laugh, to organize pick-up games of soccer or cricket, or head up to Acadia National Park for a quiet moment in the woods. If you are this kind of person, the kind who sees both the delight and the difficulties, and can't imagine not pushing for change, then COA would be a great fit for you.
So if you like the idea of small, rigorous classes (in a beautiful place), are looking for a tight-knit community that respects individualism, think far enough out of the box to want your studies to encompass several fields, have always thought about studying abroad at some point, and believe that the world needs you (and you need the world), we encourage you to sign up for more information about COA.
- 340 students
- 9:1 student to faculty ratio
- Students come from 42 different states & 34 different countries
- COA was the first college to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero
- 55% of COA alumni attend graduate school
- 20% of COA grads become scientists 12% go into social service or government work 23% are involved in education 17% pursue careers in art & design 13% go into business