The Opportunity

The Prescott College board of trustees is seeking an experienced and compelling leader to serve as the next president. The search for a new president was launched in response to the decision by President John Flicker to retire in 2021. This individual will have an exceptional opportunity to build a college for the 21st century that has a historical focus on interdisciplinary and experiential learning, a strong online curriculum, and programs that blend the liberal arts and professional studies.

Prescott College, founded in 1966, has over a half-century of leadership in developing and refining experiential on-campus and online educational models that have kept the college at the forefront of institutions seeking to address urgent issues currently facing human societies. Collaborative learning, interdisciplinary studies, and individualized programs are hallmarks of the Prescott educational experience. Enrolling 977 students nationally in both on-campus and online programs, Prescott offers both bachelor’s, master’s, and a doctoral degree in liberal arts and environmental sciences, education, and health professions. As part of the EcoLeague, a consortium of liberal arts colleges grounded in missions for sustainability education, the college offers educational field stations in Mexico and Kenya. As a member of the Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning (CIEL), a working group of twelve institutions and programs that focus on innovative and transformative practices in higher education, Prescott offers programs such as the Tucson Changemaker k-20 Partnership, an experiential education lab school that allows students a direct pathway from k-12 through higher education including the doctoral level.

The Position

Role of the Prescott College President

Appointed by, and reporting directly to, the board of trustees, the president is the chief executive officer of the college principally responsible for implementing the board’s policies and overseeing strategic planning, budget and resource management, academic mission, student success, resource development, fundraising, and institutional operations. Together with the board, the president will work to engage the college with a vision for academic excellence that prepares students to be agents of change. As an institution committed to social justice and environmental sustainability, the president will recognize and advance the intersections of these areas working toward a more just and equitable society.

The president is responsible for driving enrollment; communicating a vision of student success that addresses retention, graduation, and employability; building upon the distinctiveness and mission that is Prescott College such as climate justice and environmental sustainability; and, developing and implementing a multi-faceted advancement strategy that engages alumni and institutional constituents in a culture of giving and support. The president will work across the college in piloting the 2025 strategic framework; identifying, building, and sustaining partnerships; and, supporting institutional shared governance.

The president oversees an $18 million institutional budget, an enrollment of 977 undergraduate and graduate students, 50 full time faculty, 164 part-time faculty, and 100 full and part-time staff. The president will be responsible for setting an institutional framework that integrates the academic programs and codifies operations, administrative structures, and decision making processes across the college.

Responsibilities of the president include the following:

  • Providing vibrant and strategic direction for the college that encompasses the diversity of the academic offerings threaded with the commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice.
  • Embedding diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice throughout all facets of Prescott’s curriculum, programs, and operations and fostering the understanding of how important building a campus community that mirrors the growing diversity of students nationally will be a key to Prescott’s future success.
  • Designing and developing an institutional framework that increases collaboration, integration, and accountability for all institutional units.
  • Unifying the campus under a compelling mission and focus that addresses the diversity of the academic program, the core of experiential learning, the mission of environmental sustainability, social justice, and student scholar activism.
  • Overseeing the management of the budget and other institutional financial resources with a focus on financial sustainability.
  • Building a fundraising program that deepens annual giving, supports major gifts and bequests, increases engagement across all alumni groups, and expands work with corporations, foundations, and governmental agencies.
  • Identifying sustainable alternate revenue sources, outside of tuition, as well as identifying and developing strategic partnerships–all with a focus on supporting institutional growth.
  • Continuing the construction of an institution wide retention process that involves academic affairs, student life, and enrollment.
  • Developing an enrollment plan that is clear, focused, directive, and achievable; that aligns with both available institutional resources and required net tuition revenue; and, that involves all key campus constituencies.
  • Nurturing Prescott College’s significance as an institution that is inventive, exploratory, and student focused, as demonstrated by a contemporary curriculum, deep experience in online learning, field-based and global programs.
  • Supporting the board of trustees’ commitment to the college through principled management, financial stewardship, and accountable governance.
  • Acknowledging the importance of faculty, staff, and student participation in institutional planning and processes.
  • Supporting and implementing the policy decisions of the board of trustees, ensuring sound fiscal and facilities management, and overseeing the adequacy of legal and risk management policies and programs.

Opportunities, Priorities and Measures of Success for the New President

Prescott College is seeking a focused, insightful leader as its next president. The next president will be a strong administrator and a clear communicator who will analyze the programs, offerings, and opportunities of Prescott College in alignment with the institutional mission. The new president will prioritize institutional needs and projects under a clear and directive operating plan—building institutional alignment and cohesive plans directed at outcomes that support the college’s strategic framework.

A predetermined leadership agenda has not been set however, the board recently approved a strategic framework of goals and targeted objectives through 2025 which provides a plan for the new president in prioritizing initiatives. There is agreement among institutional stakeholders that the new president will need to address the following themes.

A Developer of Institutional Resources

The Prescott College president is responsible for an $18 million budget. The college’s corpus true endowment is approximately $1.5 million plus over $4 million in other invested reserves.

The current president, John Flicker has been innovative in developing both tuition revenue and non-tuition revenue. Prescott College has done several teach-outs with struggling or closing institutions that has provided those students an opportunity to finish their degrees through Prescott as well as the opportunity for Prescott to hire faculty from the closing institution adding new or complimentary academic programs. Additionally, the college has engaged in several real estate transactions that have added to the bottom line. Continuing to increase the financial stability of the college will be important as the college undertakes the 2025 strategic framework. Prescott College, as a small private institution, is tuition driven and as such the new president will need to be very involved in the institutional enrollment strategy with a focus on growing enrollment, both on-campus and online, to a level that ensures long term financial stability.

Tuition and fees for the 2020-21 academic year for fulltime on-campus undergraduates are $33,639 and room and board are $10,314. Approximately 90 percent of the first-year class live on campus. For 2020-21, tuition and fees for undergraduates pursuing online degrees are $14,682 for two terms of full-time study. All graduate degrees are online with tuition prices between $304 and $1298 per semester credit for 2020-21. The online programs are driving enrollment growth with strong programs in education and counseling providing significant revenue. Recent external reviews of Prescott’s enrollment outreach anticipate that enrollment growth will continue to come largely from online students. The college remains committed to the on-campus student experience and as such the new president will need to work with closely with campus stakeholders to craft an enrollment strategy to increase the number of on-campus undergraduates as well. The vice president for enrollment management is an interim appointment and has agreed to remain in the role through the transition to the new president.

The college is a relatively new institution in the higher education landscape of centuries old institutions and lacks a well-developed advancement program. Private philanthropy currently represents approximately five percent of the college’s annual net revenue; total fundraising including grants represents approximately ten percent of annual net revenue. The new president will need to have a strong level of fundraising experience that speaks to building annual giving programs, major gift cultivation, work with corporations and foundations, and a knowledge of the grant process as well as alumni engagement. The chief advancement officer role is temporarily vacant and will remain vacant until a new president is hired.

A Force for Leveraging Prescott’s Key Drivers

Prescott College came to be in the turbulence of the 60’s—a “radical experiment in higher education” that was founded on a platform of developing leaders to “solve the world’s growing environmental and social problems.” This identity has morphed over the years as Prescott grew into its experiential liberal arts identity and today the college speaks of its role in educating global citizens with the threads of sustainability, social justice, and equity running through the curriculum and institutional programs. The new president must be able to appreciate the college’s historical strengths in producing environmental activists and social justice advocates while helping the college reflect on where it is as a liberal arts and professional college in today’s context. The college’s programs began largely as student self-directed and self-designed and that remains a cornerstone of the college’s pedagogy. However, the student population that the college is serving, and several of the larger academic programs, require more structured curricula and integrated systems of support focused on directly impacting student success. The new president must be able to honor the past and keep the college focused on meeting the needs of today’s students—from curriculum offerings to advising to career services.

A Leader of Student Retention and Persistence

Prescott College is behind its peer institutions in terms of retention of on-campus undergraduates but in step with peer institutions with retention of online students. For the fall 2019 on-campus undergraduate first year cohort, 60 percent of first year students returned for the sophomore year in 2020. For the 2014 cohort of on-campus first-time undergraduates, the six year graduation rate was 49 percent which, while a record high at Prescott College, is below peer institutions. Progress with on-campus completion rates appears to be continuing as the four year graduation rate for the 2016 cohort was 47 percent. For the 2014 cohorts of online undergraduate and graduate students respectively, the completion rates are 66 percent and 71 percent which are typical rates for the college. Prescott has lagged in developing processes to assess and measure the barriers to retaining undergraduates and has recently implemented systems to better identify and support students who are at risk. The college has implemented stronger advising that is better integrated within core curricula, aligned the calendars between the on-campus academic program and the online program to allow students to more seamlessly move between the two, and created an accelerated master’s degree program for undergraduates. The new president must continue the focus on student success, create clear pathways to graduation for students, and insist that barriers to student persistence in the systems, policies, and procedures be addressed.

An Advocate for Equity and Inclusion

Prescott College attracts students nationally to its programs both on-campus and online. The racial and ethnic diversity of the college’s students – historically stronger in the online programs – has been growing in the on-campus undergraduate program this past decade. Nevertheless, the demographic makeup of the college’s students more generally mirrors the demographics of Prescott, Arizona itself rather than that of the state of Arizona or that of the United States. The new president will need to foster and ensure a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all students, faculty, and staff as well as be adept at acknowledging, supporting, and cultivating diversity within the college itself. Prescott College has an aspirational goal of becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution. A priority for the new president will be to work with the college community in the recruitment and retention of underserved populations in all areas of the institution—students, faculty, and staff. Support for these initiatives will need to be built across the campus and resources will need to be developed to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion across all the operational areas of the institution.

An Architect for Academic Innovation and Alignment

Prescott College was one of the first colleges in the nation founded primarily to advance environmental studies and to do it principally through experiential education. Today, Prescott is a liberal arts institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission offering baccalaureate degrees (16 majors), masters’ degrees (10 degrees), a MBA, a MFA, one doctoral degree, and eight certificate programs. The college’s online master’s degree in counseling is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). The education and the counseling programs are the college’s largest academic programs by student enrollment. The college, by design, is able to move quickly to develop new academic degree and certificate programs and has demonstrated this ability across both on-campus and online programs. The new president will be joining Prescott as it has realigned the academic calendar’s four and eight week session lengths to allow curriculum offerings in specifically suitable timeframes that will enable courses to be shared across deliveries and degree levels. The college is also in the process of infusing diversity, equity and inclusion threads throughout the curriculum including a series of professional development opportunities for faculty and staff. Also in process is promoting best practices for working with queer, transgender and undocumented students and developing rubrics and resources for redesigning courses to be anti-racist and inclusive. The incoming president must continue to focus the academic program to develop cultural competencies, remain nimble in delivery and design of courses, and identify programs that align most closely with the needs of students and the marketplace.

A Builder of Strategic Organizations

Prescott College stakeholders describe themselves as innovative, nimble, non-traditional, and “scrappy”—an institution where people can take an idea and explore it with few internal barriers to impede progress. This energy and enthusiasm has fueled many creative and unique programs such as the Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies in Sonora Mexico, a master’s degree in social justice and community organizing, and a collaboration with the Ecosa Institute—the only design institute in the United States entirely devoted to sustainability. This culture of innovative independence has evolved with many departments and units largely forging ahead on their own prescribed path. The new president will need to engage the college in considering that to increase institutional scale greater infrastructure, prioritization, and support frameworks will be necessary. The president and cabinet, in alignment with the board of trustees, will need to communicate a clear prioritized plan for resource allocation aligned with enrollment growth, construct a focused fundraising unit designed to augment both operating and designated special projects, build a framework for an integrated student experience which will focus on retention and completion, and create processes for the continual assessment and revision of academic offerings to ensure and retain a competitive niche in the marketplace.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining Prescott College, these topics will initially define success for the new president.

  • The new president will be working closely with the enrollment and student affairs units to increase new student enrollment both on-campus and online as well as increase retention and completion rates for current students.
  • The president will have recast advancement at the college with a focus on sustainable annual giving, prioritized major gifts solicitations, increased work with corporations and foundations, broader engagement with alumni, and expanded grant efforts.
  • The new president will institute frameworks and processes for institutional decision making, planning, prioritization, and resource allocation that aligns and supports stated institutional goals.
  • The new president will define a plan focused on financial stability and growth that includes increasing enrollment, expanding fundraising, and identifying additional sustainable revenue sources.
  • The new president will demonstrate strong advocacy for diversity, equity and inclusion through the development of effective policy making, practices, and processes focused on increasing diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice across the campus.
  • The new president will review and evaluate major IT system implementations and student support technologies including student information system, communications and retention support systems as well as policies and procedures throughout the campus to look for efficiencies and opportunities to combine, streamline, automate, integrate, and use technology to create structures and improvements that serve all constituents.
  • The new president will be working closely with enrollment and academic affairs to continue to develop academic programs that align strongly with the market and drive enrollment.
  • The new president will be working closely with the board of trustees in a manner that is open and engaging and uses all of the resources of the institution to inform the board of the work of the campus, faculty, and students.

Qualifications and Characteristics

Prescott College seeks a mission-driven, visionary, ethical, and compassionate leader with a proven track record in institutional change—a leader who will embrace and build on the diversity of Prescott’s academic program, the core of experiential learning, the mission of sustainability, and student scholar activism. Minimum qualifications include five to seven years of established leadership and experience in complex organizations with significant financial oversight; supervision and leadership of multiple units and staff; a proven track record in advancement/fundraising; revenue generation responsibilities; and compliance/risk management. Successful candidates will possess the appropriate academic background and experience in a field related to the mission and vision of the college. The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of current and emerging topics in higher education, the entrepreneurial and analytical skills necessary to identify and implement new revenue opportunities, and the capacity to motivate and inspire productive collaboration.

Additional capabilities and attributes identified as important for the new president by Prescott College stakeholders include the following:

  • a goal focused strategic leader who will pull the campus together under an institutional umbrella and drive the goals and objectives of the 2025 strategic framework;
  • a builder—of systems, of operations, of staff and faculty, of resources, of organizations;
  • possession of a keen understanding of enrollment management in a tuition dependent environment including net tuition revenue and discounting;
  • a vision for academic excellence that prepares students to be agents of change for a more just and sustainable world;
  • a leader who embraces advancing diversity, equity and inclusion across an organization;
  • the experience to build a suitable and sustainable fundraising operation for a small college;
  • a leader with strong communication skills and a willingness to be both transparent and collaborative;
  • a forward thinker who can bring everyone together with their vision and focus;
  • an ability to shape leadership teams and to develop human resources;
  • a leader who can harness ideas, see potential, and invest in those ideas that most closely align with the college’s strategic objectives and are most likely to be successful;
  • a familiarity with matching academic programs with marketplace needs—a leader who is able to identify programs that serve regional and national workforce needs;
  • a knowledge of student success methodologies and an ability to assess clear pathways to graduation for both online and on-campus students;
  • a leader who is purposeful about the retention of students and assessing what obstacles impede a student’s persistence at the college;
  • a leader who will work to identify partnerships and collaborations that will support key Prescott College goals such as increasing enrollment, alignment of academic programs with workforce needs, increasing the diversity of faculty, staff, and students, and providing alternate revenue sources;
  • a leader who demonstrates self-confidence and sound judgment befitting an executive officer of a complex higher education enterprise;
  • a politically savvy and respectful administrator who embraces the college’s history and varied stakeholder perspectives;
  • a leader who demonstrates an understanding of shared governance and how shared governance supports an institution in planning, strategy, and outcomes.

Institution & Location

Overview of Prescott College

Prescott College is a small, private liberal arts and professional studies institution of 977 students in fall 2020—423 undergraduates and 554 graduate students of which 281 are on-campus undergraduates. Overall, almost three quarters of enrolled students study online. With an historic focus on environmental sustainability and social justice the college has built on its roots as an institution with a focus on experiential and online learning modalities across a varied set of academic programs.

Institutional History

Prescott College began in the 1960s when Dr. Charles Franklin Parker, minister of Prescott’s First Congregational Church and Prescott College founder, announced the ambitious project of creating the “Harvard of the West.” Many of the college’s core philosophical and educational principles emerged in 1963, in a conference of state and nationally known leaders from higher education funded by the Ford Foundation’s Fund for Post-Secondary Education, Business and Industry. These principles crystallized around a central goal–to produce the leaders increasingly crucial to successfully meeting the challenges of the changing world.

Mission and Philosophy

“It is the mission of Prescott College to educate students of diverse ages and backgrounds to understand, thrive in, and enhance our world community and environment. We regard learning as a continuing process and strive to provide an education that will enable students to live productive lives while achieving a balance between self-fulfillment and service to others. Students are encouraged to think critically and act ethically with sensitivity to both the human community and the biosphere. Our philosophy stresses experiential learning and self-direction within an interdisciplinary curriculum.”

Vision

“Prescott College sets the standard for academic excellence through experiential, collaborative education that transforms diverse learners into leaders who make a difference while making a living. Committed to social justice and environmental sustainability, we serve local and global communities through innovative and intellectually adventurous liberal arts and professional programs.”

New Educational Paradigms

“Over a half-century of leadership in developing and refining such new educational models has kept Prescott College at the forefront of schools seeking to address the urgent issues that face human societies right now. The themes students and faculty have identified over time as central to this effort include environmental awareness, social justice and peace studies, sustainable communities and sustainable agriculture, outdoor leadership, teacher preparation that includes multicultural education, and artistic and critical response to the issues of our world. The methods they have developed – collaborative learning, experiential education, and student-designed programs – assure students’ impact in their future roles. The college’s tradition of educating with ethics, vision, and sensitivity supports Prescott College students as they become the leaders the world needs now, and in the decades to come.”

Diversity and Inclusion

“Prescott College has a long-standing commitment to racial justice, equity and inclusion working with diverse students, collaborating with diverse communities and building solidarity across the intersections of identities and issues toward a more just society.”

Sustainability and Service

“The framing of social and economic policy in order to preserve with minimal disturbance Earth’s bounty, resources, inhabitants, and environments for the benefit of both present and future generations plays a significant role in defining the character of the Prescott College community. Sustainability also implies working together in a functioning community that has staying power for people and the world. Prescott College places high value on students as functioning and contributing members of the College community. The strong emphasis on ethics and sustainability that permeates Prescott College curricula and community life produces community members inclined to activism in environmental, political, and social issues. Many classes and groups actively examine local, state, national, and international events and viewpoints. The College unabashedly encourages students to think critically, get involved, make commitments, and try to change the world for the better. In almost any week of the year, there are events on campus that examine controversies and organize advocacy or service. Faculty- and student-led groups travel to the Arizona-Mexico border, to Africa or Latin America, to disaster relief projects, (students and faculty raised money to travel to New Orleans to help clean up and rebuild after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) to environmental restoration efforts, and to regional and international conferences.”

Accreditation

Since 1984 Prescott College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and since 1997 by the Association for Experiential Education. The college’s most recent decennial reaffirmation of accreditation from HLC was completed in 2019. The next decennial reaffirmation from HLC will be required in 2029.

The online counseling program is accredited through Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP).

Prescott College has been licensed to offer degrees by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education since 1985 when the state legislature first required licensure for higher education institutions.

Prescott College is approved to offer online programs to students living in other states through the Arizona Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement since 2015.

All teacher preparation programs offered by Prescott College are evaluated by the Arizona Department of Education and approved by the Arizona State Board of Education.

Strategic Framework 2021-2025

The recently completed 2020 Strategic Plan was endorsed and implemented in 2012. The plan had four major goals outlining objectives and benchmarks.

Develop and deliver curricula, programs, and services to ensure student success for diverse learners.

  • Strengthen, review, and align academic programs.
  • Develop new, and review and renew existing, curricula, academic initiatives and delivery models.
  • Broaden and strengthen student services and integrate academic and co‐curricular supports to maximize student learning and engagement.

Improve decision making processes to fully reflect the college’s mission and values.

  • Improve college governance by implementing a representative model that has clearly defined lines of decision making authority.
  • Build and maintain a sustainable economic model by prioritizing financial capacity in decision making and implementing financial modeling and a strategic budgeting process.

Increase and improve financial capacity, human resources, and infrastructure.

  • Strategically increase net tuition and non-tuition revenues.
  • Develop and support the diversity and quality of institutional human resources with professional development; a healthy work environment; a culture of appreciation and celebration; and equitable and competitive compensation.
  • Use institutional research data to guide improvements in infrastructure.
  • Improve information technology services and business processes.
  • Develop and enhance the physical environments.
  • Improve and expand campus services.

Tell the world.

  • Increase market presence by creating an integrated marketing work group from cross-college areas including representative academic leadership with authority and accountability to manage outreach, marketing, and brand.

The college experienced significant reductions in enrollment and net tuition revenue from 2012 through 2016 prior to the modest growth in enrollment and net tuition revenue in recent years; nevertheless, the college achieved or made significant progress on most 2020 goals and objectives.

For the 2021-2025 Strategic Framework the strategy committee of the board of trustees developed five overlapping strategies to guide the college’s next five year investment in programs, people, and infrastructure.

  • Renewing online and on-campus programs
  • Increasing justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Developing strategic partnerships
  • Employing diverse, collaborative, just leadership at all levels
  • Achieving lasting financial stability

As Prescott College made progress on meeting the goals and objective of the 2020 strategic plan, the 2025 strategic framework is not a change in direction, instead it is a reflection of the college’s renewed sense of urgency and commitment. Rather than an immutable long-term plan, the strategic framework provides high-level goals and strategies to guide the college’s operational planning initiatives. The strategic framework allows evaluation of annual performance on operational plans within the ongoing planning and budgeting process including annual tracking and reporting of performance towards goals and prioritization of specific objectives and initiatives in each cycle.

The articulated goals for this five year framework are to increase institutional scale, affordability, and sustainability; refresh the academic program to ensure the program will meet the needs of future students; and, amplify racial justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion across the institution. As the strategic framework is developing, the college is reviewing strategies such as obtaining Hispanic Serving Institute designation, developing additional educational partnership based models, and leveraging existing on-campus programs, the field centers, and field-based studies for potential expansion in both online and hybrid program deliveries.

Leadership

President John Flicker

Prescott President John Flicker joined the college in 2014 as Prescott’s 17th president, having previously served as president and CEO of the National Audubon Society, which he led from 1995 until 2010. During his tenure, Audubon significantly increased its focus on environmental education. Flicker led Audubon’s effort to create a network of 43 Audubon Centers, providing environmental education to diverse audiences from Los Angeles to Brooklyn. Prior to Audubon, Flicker spent 21 years with The Nature Conservancy where, as Florida State Director and then General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer, he helped protect more than one million acres of land. Flicker serves as a trustee of the George B. Storer Foundation, which promotes an ecologically rich and economically prosperous future for current and future generations. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the William Mitchell College of Law.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is the governing authority for Prescott College. As such, the board in consultation with the president, carries out all lawful functions that are permitted or required by the laws of the state of Arizona, the college bylaws, and the Prescott College Articles of Incorporation.

The board meets three times each year and the board meetings are normally held on the Prescott College campus. The board of trustees consists of individuals from around the United States committed to the mission of the college and its success. Dr. Katrina Rogers is the current chair of the board and president of Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. Fielding is the home of the Marie Fielder Center for Democracy, Leadership, and Education, which houses the Worldwide Network for Gender Empowerment (WNGE). In the course of her career, Rogers has taught in the field of global environmental politics and policy, social movements research and theory, and has served in many roles, including leading the European campus for Thunderbird School of Global Management in Geneva, Switzerland for a decade, working with international organizations such as the Red Cross, World Trade Organization, United Nations Development Program, and the European Union. She holds doctorates in political science and history.

View the full list of college trustees.

Institutional Administrative Officers

Paul Burkhardt, Executive Vice President and Provost

Since 2005, Dr. Burkhardt has served as the chief academic officer for Prescott College. In addition to leading the college’s student-facing instructional, academic support and student services functional areas, Dr. Burkhardt teaches and advises students in the undergraduate classroom and in the online doctoral program in sustainability education. He believes that student learning and faculty scholarship can be most effective, engaging, and transformative when integrated through participatory, field and community-based projects. Since the early 1990’s Dr. Burkhardt has been developing innovative uses of technology in the classroom, online, and in hybrid learning environments. Prior to coming to Prescott College in 2005, he held faculty and administrative positions at diverse institutions including the University of Arizona, the College of The Bahamas, and Arizona International College. Since 2007, Dr. Burkhardt has served in a variety of roles with the Higher Learning Commission, most recently as a member of the HLC’s Specialized Corps for review of change of control and other specialized accreditation processes. He regularly facilitates national conversations regarding deep educational partnerships, innovation, technology, and best practices in transformational learning for social justice and environmental sustainability. Dr. Burkhardt earned his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in comparative cultural and literary studies, as well as a M.A. degree in comparative literature and literary theory, and a B.A. degree in English and American literature.

Anita Fernández, Chief Diversity Officer

Anita Fernández is the chief diversity officer at Prescott College, and the assistant dean of the college’s Tucson Center and the Social Justice & Community Organizing graduate program. Her teaching, scholarship, activism, and organizing have been in the areas of racial justice, decolonizing pedagogies, Latinx movements, and social justice education. After the 2012 dismantling of Tucson’s renowned Mexican American Studies Program, Dr. Fernández co-founded and serves as the director of the Xicanx Institute for Teaching & Organizing (XITO), an urban education consulting collective continuing the legacy of that program by providing decolonizing professional development to educators across the country. XITO has become a national leader in the training of Ethnic Studies educators at the k-20 level and to date has trained thousands of teachers, administrators, and counselors in culturally responsive and re-humanizing pedagogy. In that capacity, Dr. Fernández has been locally and nationally involved in the fight for ethnic studies and the need for statewide policies to require ethnic studies at the k-12 level. Dr. Fernandez earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona’s College of Education.

Jeffrey Handler, Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing

Jeffrey Handler has been serving as the interim vice president for enrollment management and marketing since September of 2020. He has been responsible for providing leadership, inspiration, vision, and tactical direction to the enrollment and marketing functions. Handler brings to higher education institutions analytical data driven strategies for enrollment management operations that are linked to the core academic mission and strategic goals of institution. His background includes having served as vice president at FIT—the Fashion Institute of Technology, Empire State College, Lesley University, and Saint Peter’s University.

Andrea Jaeckel, Chief Financial Officer

Andrea Jaeckel has served as the chief financial officer for Prescott College since 2015 and has 20 years of experience in higher education financial management. As chief financial officer Jaeckel oversees business office operations, human resources, facilities, information technology, and the Café auxiliary enterprise. Prior to joining Prescott College Jaeckel served as the associate vice president for finance at both Eastern Michigan University and Stockton University in New Jersey. Jaeckel is passionate about furthering the mission of higher education. She holds a Certified Public Accounting license from New Jersey and has a master’s degree in business administration from Stockton University where she belonged to the state honor society and received an award for program distinction. She an active participant in the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).

Kristine Preziosi, Associate Dean for Student Affairs/Title IX /Risk Management

Kristine Preziosi (“KP”) began working in the field of adventure education in 1994. In addition to her responsibilities as the associate dean of student affairs at Prescott College, she reports directly to the president in her roles of risk manager and Title IX coordinator. With an MA in education and a background in mental health, her main work is rooted at the confluence of a student’s discomfort and growth. Before taking on her current role at Prescott College, she served as director of the wilderness orientation program, lived on the Sea of Cortez at the Bahia de Kino field station, managed a collegiate recovery program, and instructed courses within the adventure education program. Most recently, KP led the college through the development of COVID-19 protocols, planning and mitigation efforts. KP currently serves on the accreditation council with the Association of Experiential Education.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty

Prescott College has 50 full time and 164 part-time faculty under the purview of the executive vice president and provost. Direct academic reports to the provost include the dean of on-campus programs; the dean of graduate and online programs; associate dean of student affairs; chief institutional research, planning, effectiveness officer; the associate dean of advising and academic achievement; the director of research; and the manager of library operations. The Prescott faculty are not in a tenure system. Faculty hold multi-year contracts within a peer based review system. The evaluation process encompasses a first year review, a three year review, and at five years a faculty member becomes eligible for a sabbatical and renewal on a five year cycle. There can be a call for a review of performance in mid-cycle if there is an issue and the college has an option not to renew a faculty member.

Staff

To complement the college’s faculty, there are 100 full-time and part-time staff positions (non-faculty). The college staff is focused on supporting the educational endeavors of the institution in an employee-friendly environment.

Student Characteristics – fall of 2019

Ethnicity – all programs:

  • White–66%
  • Hispanic/Latino–7%
  • Two or more races-7%
  • Black or African American-3%
  • Non-resident alien–0%
  • Asian–1%
  • Native American–2%
  • Race or ethnicity unknown–14%

Gender – all programs:

  • Female–67%
  • Male–33%

Age – undergraduate students:

  • 24 and under–71%
  • 25 and over–29%

Alumni Outcomes

  • All alumni (2017-18) currently working or in graduate school–93%
  • Undergraduate alumni (2017-18) currently working or in graduate school–86%
  • Undergraduate alumni (2017-18) employed in a career directly based on field of study at Prescott College–41%

Licensure exam pass rate

  • Arizona Educators Proficiency Exam (2016-17/n=15)–100%
  • Arizona Educators Proficiency Exam (2015-16/n=17)–94%
  • Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)–98%
  • National Counselor Examination (NCE) (2017-18 pass rate)–86%

Financial Aid – fall 2019 first year class:

  • Received need-based grants from Prescott College–75%
  • Average amount of gift aid awarded–$21,334
  • FAFSA filers–94%

Advancement and Alumni

Prescott College has 14,177 active alumni that live all across the country. Currently, the chief advancement officer role is vacant and the new president will fill this vacancy. Additionally, the assistant director of alumni role is also vacant as that staff person moved to the role of executive assistant for the president’s office. A search for a new assistant director is underway. Operationally, Blackbaud Net Community is host to all advancement electronic communications and Raiser’s Edge is the donor management system. Recently implemented, Give Lively, is a new “text to give” platform.

The advancement office sends out a monthly Ecos eNewsletter; manages Alumni Facebook page, Alumni LinkedIn, and the Alumni Sharing Knowledge Career Network accounts; and, works with various campus departments to advertise, solicit, recruit, and promote gatherings and special events for alumni. Prescott advancement initiatives include an annual fund, targeted major gifts, grants, and bequests. The vast majority of private philanthropy each year comes from a small number of major donors. The new president will be responsible for maintaining these relationships and expanding the pool of major donors. The college has undertaken several small capital campaigns and the next annual campaign coming up in April will be the PC Gives Day campaign, a giving day-style campaign that will include matching gifts.

For the past several years, the advancement office has increased its efforts in assisting programmatic areas across campus with fundraising. This has included efforts ranging from providing general consulting services, to creating and sending fundraising appeals to constituents on behalf of the program area. Specifically, advancement has been collaborating with the Kino Bay and Kenya Dopoi centers assisting with restricted campaigns. The last two fiscal years have been exceptionally successful ones for fundraising for Kino Bay and Kenya Dopoi Centers.

Arizona Serve is a sponsored program of Prescott College that brings together AmeriCorps

and VISTA members to fight poverty in Yavapai and Pima Counties. Arizona Serve has one of the largest and top-performing AmeriCorps projects in the state of Arizona. The Arizona Serve staff, all of whom were National Service members themselves, oversees a collaborative team that is focused on supporting communities in the fight against poverty. The majority of the funding for Arizona Serve comes from government grants.

2020-21 fiscal year six-month fundraising highlights (July – January):

  • Annual Fund–$91,384
  • Kino Bay Center–$121,493
  • Kenya Dopoi Center–$120,050
  • Other restricted monies raised–$121,238
  • Scholarships, endowed scholarships–$5,620
  • Arizona Serve—$589,656
  • Endeavor Foundation grant of $90,000 for COVID-19-related financial aid
  • Storer Foundation grant of $100,000
  • Social Justice Charitable Corporation grant of $87,500

Enrollment Management and Marketing

Prescott College’s fall 2020 headcount enrollment was 977 students—423 undergraduates and 554 graduate students. Currently, Jeff Handler, the vice president for enrollment management and marketing is an interim appointment through The Registry and has agreed to stay on to overlap with the new president. The executive director of marketing and communications is a recently hired staff member and the position of registrar is filled with an interim. Operationally, the current vice president for enrollment is implementing new, highly targeted digital marketing technology in an effort to lower the cost of recruiting transfer and online graduate students. The vice president is also launching a collaborative process between enrollment management and the academic program leadership to review and refine, by program, multi-year new student projection numbers. Slate, the college’s new customer relationship management system, is being deployed for new online students for the fall 2021 cycle. The college also engaged Generations, a marketing consulting firm that has completed the first phases of a branding and positioning project. Generations interviewed representative focus groups of students, staff, faculty, and alumni as a part of constituent listening sessions that informed the development of the 2025 strategic framework. The firm has completed recommendations for considerations of website revisions and new marketing materials.

Prescott has been seeing a steady increase in student deposits in online programs in the last five years. In the fall of 2020 with COVID-19, enrollment of new on-campus students did not decrease due to a decision to increase financial aid for that cohort. The college altered its fall 2020 financial aid strategy to cover all unmet need for these students after all sources of internal and external aid had been applied. The average discount rate for all 2020 on-campus undergraduates is 57 percent. Increases in new student enrollment for recent years including fall of 2020 and spring of 2021 have been almost entirely within the online master’s programs. Of note, 16 percent of new master’s students for spring of 2021 are undergraduate students accelerating from the college’s on-campus or online undergraduate programs. This represents a continuing trend for the college of increased participation of undergraduates into the accelerated online master’s program as approximately 20 percent of seniors/rising seniors are now taking this path. Prescott College experienced significantly less decrease in fall 2020 total student enrollment due to COVID-19 than what was seen nationally in part because almost three quarters of Prescott students were already in online programs. In addition, the small size of the on-campus program allowed for quick and creative responses to managing the COVID-19 risk issues that enable many classes to return to in-person and field-based learning for fall 2020.

Financial Aid

Institutional Financial Aid FY 2020: $5.3 million

Federal Financial Aid FY 2020:  $9.4 million

For the fall 2020 class, 99 percent of students received financial aid. The college recently integrated financial aid, student billing and the registrar’s office into the enrollment management unit and with that integration engaged Financial Aid Services (FAS) to conduct an audit of student billing and financial aid services. The audit focused on billing and financial aid services, policies/procedures, staffing, and systems across the student success center and business office to improve service, automation, efficiency, system integration, and assure continued compliance. Prescott College is a PowerFAIDS campus.

Academic Affairs

The division of academic affairs encompasses all the college’s academic programs including undergraduate, graduate and online, advising and academic support services, the library, student affairs, institutional research, and all the centers and sponsored programs. The college integrates experiential learning modalities into programs at all degree levels and in all deliveries. Interdisciplinary program design supports student self-direction in learning and individualization of degree plans. Prescott has been offering distance education programs since the mid-1980s when the college developed its adult degree completion program geared towards working professionals.

Prescott College offers certificates, undergraduate, and graduate degrees.

Certificates

  • Adventure-based Counseling
  • Nature-based Counseling
  • Expressive Arts Therapy
  • Elementary Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Special Education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Special Education

Undergraduate Degrees

  • Adventure Education (BA)
  • Education (BA)
  • Psychology and Human Development (BA)
  • Arts & Humanities (BA)
  • Arts & Letters (BFA)
  • Environmental Studies (BA/BS)
  • Sustainable Community Development (BA)
  • Sustainable Food Systems (BA/BS)
  • Cultural and Regional Studies (BA)
  • Sustainability Management (BA)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies (BAS)

Graduate Degrees

  • Outdoor Education Leadership (MA)
  • Education (MA and M.Ed)
  • Social Justice and Community Organizing (MA)
  • Social and Environmental Arts Practice (MFA)
  • Counseling (MS)
  • Critical Psychology and Human Services (MA)
  • Sustainable Food Systems (MS)
  • Environmental Studies (MS)
  • Resilient and Sustainable Community Development (MS)
  • Sustainability Leadership (MBA)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies (MA)
  • Sustainability Education (PhD)

In 2020 the college’s online counseling program received accreditation from the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs for the master of science counseling degree program. A significant driver of the enrollment growth for the program has been the success of the certificate programs—adventure-based counseling, nature-based counseling, and expressive arts therapy. As a result of this success the counseling program faculty developed two additional education specialist degrees—Ed.S. in adventure-based counseling and Ed.S. in nature-based counseling— currently pending HLC approval.

The college has also been involved in several teach-outs in which Prescott takes in students from institutions that are closing, allowing the student to complete their degree through Prescott. Most recently, Prescott served as the preferred teach-out college for the closing of Green Mountain College which was also an EcoLeague institution. This particular teach-out agreement resulted in the hiring of seven Green Mountain faculty and the development of four new online master’s programs, including an MBA program. This teach-out also resulted in the hiring of Green Mountain leaders in marketing, recruiting, and retention functions. The teach-out model has contributed significantly to enrollment and net revenue growth for the college, allowing further investments in marketing, recruiting, retention, and instruction. In 2019 when Prescott College partnered with the Ecosa Institute, Prescott College acquired the Ecosa Granite Dells property located just outside of the city of Prescott.

The most recent Higher Learning Commission visit reaffirmed the college’s accreditation through 2029 and required a monitoring report updating the calendar of periodic academic program reviews to incorporate all new programs in addition to the submission of two specific program reviews. The two program reviews, one for the Ph.D. in sustainability education and the second program review for the BA/BS in environmental studies have both been completed. The calendar of academic program reviews has also been updated.  The HLC has accepted the monitoring report and no further monitoring is required.

Prescott College Centers

Tucson Center

Prescott College’s Tucson Center is the site for the only k-20 campus in Arizona bringing together Mexicayotl Academy, Changemaker High School, and Prescott College to one location, on the Changemaker campus. The k-20 partnership includes dual enrollment classes, cross-level, and age-group collaborations as well as a “Grow Your Own” teacher education program for training culturally sustaining and critically conscious future educators.

Tucson Center faculty and staff offer students in southern Arizona coursework, academic advising, admissions support, and opportunities for networking with fellow students and the community. The center also provides courses for main-campus and online learners centering field and community based studies in southern Arizona and along the U.S.–Mexico border.

Prescott College Tucson also houses Arizona Serve on the Changemaker Campus. Arizona Serve hosts nearly 200 AmeriCorps and Vista members serving schools and nonprofits across Pima County and Yavapai County.

Kino Bay Center

The Kino Bay Center is a Prescott College field station on the shores of the Gulf of California in Sonora, Mexico. Each year the Kino Bay Center hosts over 1,200 researchers, students, resident fellows, and community visitors from dozens of institutions and community groups across Mexico, the United States, and other parts of the world.

The Kino Bay Center facilitates, supports and integrates collaborative efforts promoting sustainable use and conservation of resources in the culturally and biologically rich Midriff Islands region of the Gulf of California. The mission of the Kino Bay Center is to protect priority species and habitats through the integrated application of science, education, information exchange, and community participation. The center provides high quality opportunities for experiential and field-based education to contribute to research and conservation in the region and to build capacity within local communities for participation in conservation and sustainable development. The center promotes and models collaborations between people of different cultures and institutions to co-create solutions to complex conservation challenges.

DOPOI Center

The Dopoi Center is a Prescott College field station in rural Kenya which hosts Prescott College students, faculty, and activists of the Maasai Indigenous community to promote cultural survival and environmental justice in Maasailand. The center is located on ten acres in the southern Rift Valley, bordering the world-famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve, nestled in a rural landscape among Maasai villages, herds of cattle, and wildlife such as elephants, big cats, giraffes, and dozens of species of birds. At Dopoi students participate in village life and learn first-hand the meaning of sustainable livelihoods and the practice of academic activism in an international context. Students share the classroom with Maasai teachers and students in a setting that respects Indigenous knowledge. Classes in many disciplinary areas are taught at Dopoi, typically in the spring semester with graduate courses available throughout the year, and students are also welcome to do independent studies, senior projects, and internships at the Dopoi Center.

Center for Nature & Place

The Prescott College Center for Nature & Place was established to support and expand training for early childhood educators, pre-service teachers, administrators, and program directors in developmentally appropriate nature and place-based pedagogy. Founded in 2016 with support from the George B. Storer Foundation, the center is housed in, and integrated with, Prescott College’s department of education and teacher preparation.

The center focuses on designing innovative nature and place focused college course curricula for Prescott College students in the early childhood and early childhood special education undergraduate and graduate programs. It also offers residential professional development institutes and outreach workshops that provide training and experiential learning opportunities for early childhood educators across Arizona and beyond, including the Summer Institute for Nature and Place-Based Early Childhood Education.

The center provides opportunities and support for student research on the effectiveness of nature and place-based early childhood teacher education and outdoor learning activities in order to add to current professional knowledge in the field. The center actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with other higher education institutions, schools, and organizations in implementing nature and place-based teacher training initiatives and related research projects.

Frantz Fanon Community Strategy Center

The Frantz Fanon Community Strategy Center (FFCSC) is a community organizing and mobilization project devoted to education, advocacy, and organizing. The FFCSC is a space for students of color at Prescott College, as well as northern Arizona community members, to organize around issues vital to their respective communities.

Green Mountain Center for Sustainability

The Green Mountain Center for Sustainability at Prescott College serves students, alumni, staff, local citizens, and an online audience promoting learning through the development of practical solutions for increasing community sustainability. The center integrates Green Mountain College’s award-winning approach to sustainability education with Prescott College’s rich history of leadership in environmental studies and social justice. By building learning communities through events and programs, facilitating connections among stakeholders, and sharing resources, the center cultivates the skills and knowledge needed to create a more just and sustainable society.

ECOSA

ECOSA is a Prescott College program that studies design thinking and the “art” of design in relation to ecology, architecture, and systems. ECOSA reaches beyond sustainability to the level of regenerative design, developing change agents who work collaboratively and critically to find practical answers to the challenges of climate change, energy, and the new green economy.

Finance and Administration

The college’s unrestricted operating budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021 is approximately $16 million, and the total budget including restricted funds is approximately $18 million. In 2020 Prescott added assets, through partnership with Ecosa, including property valued at $2.9 million. The property was recorded as a donation, a non-cash item, which allowed the college to make significant cash investments to support planned growth initiatives. The college has also received one Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loan under the first phase of the CARES Act and has applied for a second Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loan. The college restructured debt through bonds in 2013 to obtain a fixed lower rate of interest and these bonds will be coming due in 2023.

In 2020-21 Prescott’s tuition and fees for full time, on-campus undergraduates are $33,639 and room and board are $10,314, for a total of $43,953. The college has consistently raised its tuition price incrementally for most programs in prior years; however, for 2021-22 the college is implementing a tuition price reset for the online undergraduate program, from $598 to $498 per semester credit hour, to make Prescott more competitive in the marketplace and better aligned with the online tuition rates at Arizona’s public universities. It is anticipated that lowering the cost of this program will increase enrollments.

The annual budget process at the college is a collaborative and consultative process. There is a campus committee comprised of staff and faculty from enrollment management, institutional research, retention, and academic affairs that gathers the information needed to forecast revenue. The focus of the revenue forecast process is primarily on anticipated enrollment. Following the development of revenue forecasts, the anticipated expenses are determined and a budget model is established. Individual unit requests for additional resources and funding are considered and once the final draft budget has been built it is reviewed and sent to the president. The president then reviews the budget and, once this process has been completed, the president seeks approval of the budget from the board of trustees. As a matter of procedure, the college monitors its operating activities through budget controls.

The college’s corpus endowment fund is approximately $1.5 million plus over $4 million in other invested reserves.

Facilities

The college’s main campus spans the better part of three city blocks within the urban setting of downtown Prescott and is composed of 23 buildings measuring a total of 107,000 square feet. A result of college-wide campus master planning processes in the 1990’s and 2000’s, the College’s 2020 master campus plan continues to emphasize creation of a more closely knit campus footprint.

In addition to keeping the campus close in proximity, deliberate co-location of offices that require considerable communication and collaboration has increased the ability to meet student needs. For purposes of efficiency and economic necessity, the master plan emphasizes the need to have space that is flexible. Much of the space that has been recently renovated moves away from static space, such as offices, and makes use of an open floor plan with cubicles and private huddle rooms, allowing for better space utilization as the college grows and changes. Safety and health for occupants continues to be of the highest priority and most of the buildings have been brought up to code during recent renovations.

In 2012 the college constructed student housing which attained platinum LEED certification, the highest level in the standard developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building exterior is corrugated steel, which is versatile, innovative and energy efficient and solar panels support 60 percent of the total KWh consumed by the residence halls. Since 2016, the college has been purchasing one hundred percent of the electricity used on campus from renewable sources.

The landscaping is dotted with native dryland plant species that do not require intensive irrigation and cisterns catch rainwater for the irrigation of food producing landscaping. The facilities unit has compiled a list of energy efficiency measures for the campus and is reinstating two on-campus rainwater catchment systems.

The existing footprint of the campus is sufficient; however, the college is seeking to move away from properties that are currently leased and consolidate function on-campus. The College is in the process of acquiring a property contiguous to campus that is a 2.6 acre parcel with two main structures that would be ideal for housing field operations and perhaps the arts programming both of which are currently located in leased spaces.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion

The college recently named Anita Fernández as the new chief diversity officer. Dr. Fernández has outlined a series of initiatives that are being implemented in line with the 2025 strategic framework including:

  • mapping out a series of professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on decolonizing and culturally sustaining pedagogy as well as best practices for working with queer, trans and undocumented students;
  • developing rubrics and resources for redesigning courses to be anti-racist and inclusive;
  • researching processes and practices for becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution;
  • working across campus to ensure policies and practices are welcoming for all students including gender non-conforming students’ ability to use their preferred name across all college systems;
  • collecting information on equity impact analysis consultants to determine cost, data needed to complete the analysis, alignment with the college’s current scope of work, etc.;
  • supporting on-campus BIPOC students who are faced with a variety of racial justice and inclusion issues.

The Racial Justice and Inclusion Committee

The Racial Justice and Inclusion Committee works to promote, enhance and embrace diversity at Prescott College. With representatives from students, staff, faculty, and administration, the Racial Justice and Inclusion Committee has been central in the development of the college’s responses and strategic initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Guided by their recommendations the college has prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion in the 2025 strategic framework and developed a range of new policies and procedures. The Racial Justice and Inclusion Committee plans and recommendations have contributed to the growth in the ethnic diversity of on-campus students over the past decade and to increases in rates of retention, completion, and student success. The Faculty Leadership Council has implemented a pilot initiative to include a representative from the Racial Justice and Inclusion Committee on the council to systematically broaden ethnic diversity in faculty leadership. The Faculty Leadership Council will propose a revision of the faculty policy manual in order to make representation from the Racial Justice and Inclusion Committee on the Faculty Leadership Council permanent.

Student Life and Retention

Student Life

The associate dean of student affairs oversees housing, residential programming, student activities, student union board, student conduct, equipment, and transportation to support orientation, field courses, and community programming. Counseling and contracted health services report to this area. Students may access brief counseling free of charge during each semester of enrollment.

The housing director, residence life coordinator, student engagement coordinator and eight residence assistants manage and provide programming for 128 resident students.  Housing options include singles and doubles with ADA accessible suites in townhouses as well as cottage style living. Resident Assistants develop programming in the areas of life skills, community building, sustainability, Prescott exploration and a passion project. Suite meetings occur monthly to address congregate living dynamics and develop effective communication.

Trends in student mental health across the country are reflected in our Prescott College students. With regards to our traditionally aged resident population, “Gen Z” students exhibit a rise in anxiety disorders and requests for emotional support animals and single occupancy rooms. Our online undergraduate students and graduate students have experienced a rise in anxiety related disorders in the last year as COVID has created some tenuous home and work environments for our non-traditionally aged students. This has resulted in a higher demand for counseling services across the college. Counseling services have been offered through zoom and face to face during the pandemic. Zoom has broadened access for our students who do not reside in Prescott.

The college has a student union board whose officers are elected and whose funding is through student activities fees. Students have the option to create their own club which requires a staff or faculty liaison and a new club may submit a proposal to receive funding from the Student Union Board. The Fanon Center supports several student organizations including the Black Student Union; Fuerza, the college’s Latinx student organization; and CHIWA, a sense of place for indigenous identifying students and allies among predominately white learning institutions. The Fanon Center student organizations have also developed a system for central coordination and organizing through the TOCA committee. The Green Mountain Center for Sustainability is a gathering place for faculty and students relocated during the closing and teach-out of Green Mountain College as well as the larger Prescott College community working together for environmental sustainability.

The director of career services reports to the associate dean of advising and academic achievement. There are limited on-campus activities with employers and minimal participation by students. As the College moved career services online this past year, there has been a significant increase in utilization. The college is in the process of reviewing career services systems with a focus on what kind of services or platforms would best serve students and developing ways to integrate career planning and other career services into the core curriculum. Next steps for career services include building program-specific career outcomes, providing annual career outcomes surveys, creating student portfolios, and integrating career tools (e.g., Handshake and Burning Glass) into career support processes

The student conduct code consists of community agreements which are reflected in department handbooks and program materials. During Orientations to different programs at the college, the student conduct code is reviewed by students and reinforced through academic pedagogy that supports community and individual responsibilities to the college.

Retention

Despite the significant increases in first year retention over the past decade, the college has not until very recently seen significant or sustained increases in the six-year graduation rate for on-campus undergraduates which has been running between 30-40 percent–significantly below graduation rates for the college’s peer benchmark institutions. An interesting exception has been the six-year graduation rate for the most recent fall of 2014 cohort of on-campus full-time, first year students that graduated at a record level of 49 percent. A trend in increased retention and graduation of on-campus students may be forming as the four-year graduation rate for the 2016 cohort is 47 percent. Despite the work to increase on-campus retention and graduation rates, such a sudden and dramatic increase was not anticipated. The retention rate for students in online programs runs approximately 60-70 percent and is much more in line with the national averages.

To assist in addressing retention and graduation rates the college implemented the Starfish Retention Management System, rebranded as Prescott Success, in January of 2021. Additionally, the college is working towards full automation of Degree Works, degree planning and auditing system. Degree Works is expected to go live in the fall of 2021. To address retention of undergraduates, particularly on-campus undergraduates, the college reworked the orientation program; reduced the level of self-direction required of students and increased the advising structure; created a first year experience; built out the core curriculum to include a degree plan; and expanded student support services. The accelerated master’s degree option has also increased retention at the undergraduate level.

Prescott College has a blended faculty-staff advising model. Staff advisors assist with student onboarding, advising within the core curriculum, graduation, as well as on-going retention initiatives through holistic support.  In addition to their regular meetings and events with students, staff advisors closely monitor the Prescott Success retention management system and reach out to students and faculty as issues arise. All students also have a core faculty advisor. Faculty advisors are matched with students based on their curriculum and serve as strong mentors throughout the student’s educational experience. Faculty advisors are most familiar with each curriculum pathway and help with class registration, career guidance, and resource support. In addition to open faculty and staff advising hours, three advising fairs are offered each semester and several events around extended learning opportunities (field sites, EcoLeague/CIEL, and internship experiences). The college has a full-time learning specialist that assists all students in academic support (time management, note taking, learning strategies, etc.) as well as provides accommodations for students with disabilities. In addition to this, the college has a writing center director that provides coaching to students on writing assignments.

Student support services are located in the Prescott College Library, the center of the campus. Prior to COVID the first floor of the library was transformed into an advising and learning commons. This area was the central location for a variety of events including faculty advisor office hours, regular advising events and workshops, writing jams, and tutoring sessions. During the pandemic most student support services were available online.

About Prescott, Arizona

  • Population: 38,930 in Prescott and 227,000 in Yavapai County
  • Cost of Living: above average, index 105
  • Rain: 19 inches
  • Snow: 21 inches
  • January high temperature: 50 degrees – January low temperature: 22 degrees
  • July high temperature: 89 degrees – July low temperature: 57 degrees

Known as “Everyone’s Home Town,” Prescott is located in the Arizona mountains at 5,000 feet above sea level. It is located 95 miles north of Phoenix and 90 miles southwest of Flagstaff. It was established in 1864 and incorporated in 1881. “Mile High Prescott” is known for its ideal four season climate with mountain breezes and is generally 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix. Prescott is consistently ranked by Money Magazine as a top 20 place to retire in the United States.

Prescott’s largest employers include Yavapai County, Yavapai Regional Medical Center, Northern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care System, Prescott Unified School District, State of Arizona, City of Prescott, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Yavapai Community College, and the West Yavapai Guidance Center.

The Prescott airport caters to general aviation private and light aircraft and is immediately adjacent to the Antelope Hills Golf Course. The airport offers non-stop flights to Los Angeles and Denver. In addition to the Antelope Hills public golf course there are six private golf courses in the area—The Club at Prescott Lakes, StoneRidge Golf Course, Capital Canyon Club, Talking Rock Country Club, The Prescott Golf Club, and Quailwood Greens.

Prescott Quick Facts

  • Prescott newspapers include: The Daily Courier, Arizona Senior World, and The Arizona Republic.
  • There are over 700 buildings in the Prescott region on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Prescott has a strong sense of history. The famous Whiskey Row and the beautiful town plaza, shaded by cottonwoods, are must see attractions.
  • The Prescott National Forest is 1.25 million acres.
  • There are six biomes within 10 miles of the center of Prescott— Riparian, desert grassland, chaparral, piñon pine/juniper, ponderosa forest, mixed conifer/aspen forest.
  • Within 10 miles of Prescott there are five lakes: Watson, Willow, Goldwater, Lynx and Granite Basin lakes.
  • There are nine named creeks running through Prescott (the highest number of any town in the state) — Granite, North Fork of Granite, Willow, Spence, Miller, Butte, Banning, Aspen, and Manzanita creeks.

Popular outdoor recreation activities include camping, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, and bouldering. Nearby destinations include Groom Creek Bouldering, Granite Mountain, Thumb Butte, The Granite Dells, Watson Lake, Lynx Lake, and Goldwater Lake. Trails of all kinds crisscross the plentiful forests and open space. The Prescott area also offers opportunities to explore Arizona and the culture of the southwest. From nearby ghost-town-turned-art-colony Jerome to the Grand Canyon to the Sonoran Desert and the borderlands and beaches of Mexico, plus little-known gems like Montezuma’s Well, the region never fails to delight. The new-age art mecca of Sedona is an easy drive from Prescott as is Flagstaff, which hosts a wonderful historic downtown and venues for touring musical acts. Phoenix and Tucson offer the amenities of city life and both are driving distance for a weekend away.

Benefits Overview

Prescott College offers the following benefits:

  • Health Plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Dental and Vision plans
  • Life Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Health Savings Account
  • 403(b) thorough TIAA-CREF

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Ellen Heffernan at eth@spelmanjohnson.com or Anne-Marie Kenney at amk@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Prescott College website at https://www.prescott.edu/

Prescott College is committed to Equal Opportunity Employment and supports excellence through diversity. We encourage qualified applicants from historically underrepresented groups along with Veterans and AmeriCorps, Peace Corps and other national service alumni to participate in our recruitment efforts.