Coordinator New School: Allister Neher
The New School is not a program or a profile, but it is another way of doing your Humanities and English courses within Dawson. New School courses are open to anyone in any program. They are equivalent to regular Humanities and English courses.
The New School’s approach is based on the principles of Humanistic Education. We believe that people learn best when they have a say in what and how they will learn. Accordingly, we give students a role in shaping the content of their courses and designing how they will study their subjects.
We take the time to meet with students to find out where their motivations lie and to work with them to develop an appropriate course of studies. New School courses address the whole person. That is, in our courses students are encouraged to relate their studies to their personal and social lives.
Since we want to meet the varied interests and needs of our students, we emphasize a multi-disciplinary approach to learning. In our classes (which we call “Learning Bands”) students work with a teacher (whom we call a “facilitator”) to establish their curriculum, their learning activities and the modes of evaluation that will be used.
While students improve their academic skills and knowledge in the Learning Bands, attention is also given to other aspects of their lives. Learning Bands provide students with a supportive environment in which to learn, reflect and grow personally.
We are proud of past New School students, many of whom have established themselves in professions and careers as diverse as law, medicine, education, social work, business, film making, writing and publishing, research, art, theatre, communications and a variety of community-based jobs.
From our graduates we have learned that their success is at least partially due to the seriousness with which we encourage them to examine their own lives and to think about their futures. Students benefit from their many hours of training in listening and communication skills. Educators and employers are increasingly demanding the kind of oral and written communication skills that have been emphasized at the New School since it creation in 1973.
The New School asks a lot of every student. You are responsible for designing and respecting the course of studies that your Learning Band develops. Because we are interested in the learning process, how you learn and contribute to the group is as important as what you learn. We like you to produce something you can be proud of, but how you get there is also very important. We rely on all our students to demand the very best from their facilitators (teachers), from each other, and from themselves.
We are a small community of about 125 people, and we take pride in having a welcoming environment. Small groups allow for the discussion and community spirit at the heart of a good college education. Students like to hang out in our space on the 8th floor where we have a large lounge/community space, kitchen, classrooms and offices.
If you would like to attend the New School, you must be accepted in any diploma program at Dawson College. You will also need to submit an application form directly to the New School. These forms are available in the New School in the 8B wing or by email .You will be invited to a New School orientation session which will provide you with more information about us. At that time we will also learn about you and your interests. We are looking for curious and motivated students who seek a challenging approach to learning in a community setting. Acceptances are based upon acceptance to Dawson College and your application to the New School.
Please note that in order to register for a New School course or courses you must register through the New School. You cannot register online for New School courses – we will register you with the Registrar’s office once we have your APPLICATION FORM and acceptance.
Please note as well that when you receive your schedule from the Registrar's office, your New School courses will not be blocked out on it. They will be listed as “to be scheduled.” They cannot be blocked out in advance because you will choose your time slots and Learning Bands during “shopping." Shopping is when you and the other New School students meet with the facilitators to work out with whom you are going to work and what the content of your courses will be.
Please see the Dawson Academic Calendar for the deadlines for the Fall and Winter semesters.