ExCo was begun in 1968 as an experiment in alternative education, and today it still provides the Oberlin community with perhaps the most enjoyable and most rewarding experience in college learning.
The Experimental College is run as a student organization and headed by a volunteer committee which is solely responsible for choosing the curriculum and maintaing the integrity of the program throughout the academic semester. In a given semester there may be between 60 to 90 courses, so there is always plenty of variety. Anyone may take classes--students, faculty members, staff members, and townspeople alike. Those who demonstrate expertise and enthusiasm may teach a course as long as that course is judged to have educational merit and a reasonably serious purpose.
Due to its flexible nature ExCo reflects the current academic, intellectual, social, ideological, philosophical, political, emotional, sexual, and fashion trends of the Oberlin community. Students may receive college credit for taking ExCo courses, which are offered for 1 to 3 credit hours.Each student may accumulate up to 5 of the 112 credit hours needed for graduation through ExCo, and, of course, can take any ExCo course for no credit at all. Those who teach ExCo courses also receive credit.
The ExCo Committee is the student organization that oversees and evaluates the applications of proposed courses, prints the ExCo catalogue every semester, handles the everyday bureaucratic tasks, and organizes ExCo registration.