Most Austin College students graduate in four years. Students who enroll as freshmen and stay at Austin College have a four-year graduation rate of 97 percent, and our graduates are sought after by leading institutions and employers around the globe. From day one, we want our students to succeed and our aim is to provide the guidance and resources to allow them to meet their goals.
Austin College graduates applying to medical schools and other health science programs during the past decade have enjoyed an 80 percent acceptance rate. Law school applicants are equally successful. Faculty advisors for students interested in careers in health sciences, law, engineering, and theology help students navigate their journeys to success, offering guidance through all steps of the process. A survey of five years of recent graduates found that more than 90 percent are working or attending graduate or professional schools within the first year after graduation. An Austin College liberal arts education is an interdisciplinary platform to success for the future.
During the past 10 years, more than 70 percent of graduating seniors have studied abroad while at Austin College, exploring countries all around the globe. Some students participate in semester-long study abroad programs. Many others take courses that include international study during the one-month January Term (Jan Term). Because students take only one course, faculty are able to enhance their courses with cultural immersion and on-site, hands-on learning in classes like “French Language and Culture,” “Peru, Ecuador, Galapagos: Explorations of the Natural World from Scientific and Cultural Perspectives,” and “Social Change in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Studying World War II history while standing in the trenches on the battlefield takes on new meaning.
Service is part of the culture at Austin College, and students regularly log more than 16,000 hours of service per year. Programs like the Great Day of Service encompass the entire College community, and several organizations, like Habitat for Humanity, are service-oriented. Most other student organizations also do service in the local community, and the College’s Service Station (run by students) matches needs in the community with students looking to serve. Students also react to tragedies near and far, raising money for victims and sending relief as possible. The efforts go international for 10 to 15 students accepted each year as Global Outreach “GO” Fellows. They receive funding to serve internationally and are involved in projects like teaching English in Peru, building homes for low-income families in Costa Rica, providing optometry services in Ghana, or helping women rescued from sex trafficking in Thailand.
At Austin College, learning happens in and out of the classroom. Students enhance language studies through an immersive residential program in Jordan Family Language House and team up with faculty on research projects. Student research happens in many departments across campus, and students often are able to present research findings at national and regional conferences. Through the Williams Student-Managed Investment Fund students work with asset allocation and valuation while managing a $1 million investment fund—not pretend portfolios. Students highlight their skills and abilities through participation in music and theatre productions and art exhibits—regardless of their majors or class year.
With a student to faculty ratio of about 12:1, students know—and are known by—Austin College faculty. Chances are students have faculty cell phone numbers—and may be invited to their homes for dinner. All students have a faculty mentor who leads their freshman seminar course (Communication/Inquiry) and continues that relationship for four years. Rather than academic advisors that students see once each term to get a perfunctory signature for course registration, the Austin College mentor has a broader focus: offering assistance to navigate the academic and intellectual maturation that takes place during college.
Community is foundational at Austin College. Students come to Austin College from 33 states and 9 countries, including China, Korea, and Mexico. Once on campus, you’re part of the family. Students are required to live on-campus for three years because being together builds the strongest bonds, and learning and growth take place beyond . Even when students can move off-campus as seniors, many choose to stay because they appreciate the convenience and camaraderie of the campus.
Austin College supports experiential learning that allows for ultimate exploration—of yourself and your interests. Whatever your interest, a means to pursue that likely exists on campus, from Career Services-assisted internships around the region and the world to National Model United Nations conferences in New York City or international sites, involvement in the Williams Student Investment Fund, projects through the Lemuel Scarbrough, Jr., Summer Research Program or the Robert L. Snider Social Science Lab, Medical Experience in Mexico, Economic Scholars Program for Undergraduate Research …. The list continues of programs that bridge knowledge learned in the classroom and the application of that knowledge.