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Coe College


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Coe College is a national, residential liberal arts college offering various programs in the arts, sciences, and professions. Our mission is to prepare students for meaningful lives and fulfilling careers in a diverse, interconnected world. Coe'sThe success of our graduates will judge the code's success.
American higher education is facing unprecedented challenges in economics, technology, government funding, and student demographics. These conditions are incredibly tricky for residential liberal arts colleges, causing many of them to abandon (or at least diminish) their liberal education curricula. They seek to attract students who are mainly concerned with career preparation. This is ironic in light of the abundant evidence demonstrating that a broad-based liberal education, which includes deep learning in multiple areas of study, integration of knowledge across disciplines, and a host of other benefits in terms of critical thinking, problem-solving, independent research, and communication skills, remains the very best form of career preparation. It is also the foundation of our democratic system, which relies on a liberally educated populace.
We do not believe that Coe should follow this trend. We affirm that students still desire education to surpass excellence in a wide range of areas. The residential model, characterized by small classes and close student-faculty relationships, remains the most effective teaching and learning form. We acknowledge that students invest a great deal in their educations, and they are understandably concerned about career preparation. Our job is to demonstrate to them why our residential liberal education - which includes traditional liberal arts disciplines and professional programs taught within a liberal arts context - is superb preparation for both citizenship and careers.
We are hampered by the fact that Coe has a smaller enrollment and lower per-student tuition revenue than comparable colleges. Therefore, the primary purpose of this plan is to increase Coe's value proposition among prospective students. We will add or enhance programs that affirm Coe's value in terms of the campus educational experience, and that demonstrates how a Coe education prepares graduates for lives and careers in the world beyond our borders. We will do this by emphasizing a small number of significant improvements that we can make over five years - improvements to students Coe's academic mission and distinctive qualities. This plan affirms that the student experience (in and out of the classroom) is of paramount importance, and acknowledges that Coe's strength is in residential liberal education.
Coe College is a selective, private, nationally recognized four-year coeducational liberal arts institution providing superior educational experiences for students since 1851. Coe's residential campus is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa - the second largest city in the state - and only hours from several major cities such as Chicago, Minneapolis, Omaha, and St. Louis. The 1,400 students enrolled at Coe make up a diverse population, representing more than 40 states and over 20 foreign countries.
Coe prides itself on the ability to give students a personalized education. The average class size is 16, with a student/faculty ratio of 11:1. The personalized attention and diverse student body contribute to the learning experience of superior quality - one that prepares them and prepares them well for life after college.
Coe College students exercise the ability to appreciate the ethnic and cultural diversity that makes up our residential campus and community. As an international student at Coe, you will be welcomed by over 80 international peers from countries like China, Japan, Nepal, Vietnam, Germany, and India. Expect to have a four-year experience filled with academic exploration, friendship, and preparation for success.
A liberal arts tradition and cutting edge advancements await you here at Coe! You have put in the work and invested time in your education. Now make it worthwhile and finish strong here at Coe College. Our exceptional liberal arts curriculum is recognized nationally as one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the U.S. It is featured in college guidebooks such as "Peterson's Guide to Selective Colleges" and Barron's "Best Buys in College Education." Coe College was selected as one of the country's top institutions for undergraduate education in the 2013 edition of The Princeton Review's "379 Best Colleges."
Coe College claims the shortest name of any American higher education institution, but the school has carried five titles through its history. When the Rev. Williston Jones founded the college in 1851, he called it The School for the Prophets. Cedar Rapids' first resident minister opened the parlor of his home to young men to educate them for the ministry to serve churches in the Midwest.
Two years later, while Jones was canvassing churches in the East for money to send three of his students to Eastern seminaries, a Catskills farmer named Daniel Coe stepped forward with a pledge of $1,500 and urged Jones to start his college in the frontier town of Cedar Rapids.
Legend has it that the $1,500 raised by Coe was brought from New York west, sewed into the petticoat of a lady visitor traveling by stagecoach to Iowa. Coe gave this generous gift with the stipulation that the proposed institute should be "made available for the education of females as well as males." Accordingly, Coe was coeducational from its founding. With Jones' blessing, the Cedar Rapids Collegiate Institute was incorporated in 1853 by a group of Cedar Rapids leaders chaired by Judge George Greene. They used Daniel Coe's money to purchase two downtown lots for the school and 80 acres of farmland on what was then the edge of town. The farm would evolve into today's campus.
To further enhance the campus environment, Coe completed the largest capital project in its history in 2017. Make Your Move – the Campaign for Eby and Hickok – included $24 million in essential enhancements, including an Athletic and Recreation Complex project and the renovation and expansion of Hickok Hall, one of the college's main academic buildings. The result is vastly improved academic, recreational, wellness, and competition facilities to benefit future generations of students.

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