Prescott College began in the 1960s, a time of optimism and growth when leaders of a small town in the stunningly beautiful pine and chaparral country of central Arizona were searching for a new cultural identity. 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 – Prescott College. With the group of visionary leaders, Parker drew on the Congregationalist tradition of founding over 50 leading colleges and universities in America, beginning with Harvard in 1636, and including such institutions as Middlebury, Dartmouth, Amherst, Smith, Yale, Oberlin, Grinnell, Whitman, Colorado, Pomona and Scripps.
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.