Our Core Values
Our Guiding Principles
Our Brand Pillars
Learning Goals and The Five Cardinal Experiences
Otterbein Stands for Bold Ideals
Otterbein University will be nationally recognized as a model community of educators, leaders, and learners who set the pace for higher education and contribute to the common good.
Otterbein is an inclusive community dedicated to educating the whole person in the context of humane values. Our mission is to prepare graduates to think deeply and broadly, to engage locally and globally, and to advance their professions and communities. An Otterbein education is distinguished by the intentional blending of the liberal arts and professional studies, combined with a unique approach to integrating direct experience into all learning.
OUR CORE VALUES
We are committed to creating a culture that recognizes, respects, embraces, and values differences in the broadest sense.
We are committed to sustaining an environment where all community members have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
We are committed to being inclusive - a historic value which led to the creation of a distinctive culture as a welcoming community and a sense of shared responsibility for the future of the University.
We are committed to providing avenues for students, faculty, and staff to pursue opportunities to continue to develop their skills and knowledge either for the purposes of advancing their careers or for personal fulfillment.
We are committed to remaining a “College of Opportunity” for students, faculty and staff with the potential to succeed at Otterbein.
We are committed to fostering a culture of social responsibility, civic engagement, and meaningful service to our communities.
We are committed to pursuing the ideal of sustainability in the decisions we make in planning the future of our community.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
We hold ourselves and one another to high professional standards and accept responsibility for our actions.
We believe in working together for the betterment of our students and community.
We work hard to excel individually and collectively to establish Otterbein as a leader in higher education.
We look for creative and innovative approaches both in the way we routinely do our work and how we address challenges.
We pledge to be honest, just, and consistent in word and deed.
We embrace a high quality working and learning environment that seeks opportunities for continuous improvement.
We will work together to promote a culture of openness and transparency that ensures efficiency, effectiveness, and builds trust.
OUR BRAND PILLARS
- the smartest way to learn
- a place to belong
- the opportunity to realize one’s personal best,
- and the values to serve the common good.
Living and learning as a contributing member of Otterbein’s model community will prepare you to lead a life of purpose.
LEARNING GOALS AND THE FIVE CARDINAL EXPERIENCES
Otterbein graduates should be agile thinkers, effective communicators, flexible problem-solvers, and global-minded citizens. To that end, our graduates, through curricular and co-curricular experiences, will become:
All students will participate in one or more of The Five Cardinal Experiences, or the “Five Cards.” Opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning are an essential part of the liberal arts education and can be found in every discipline. These active and authentic concrete experiences engage students in real-world opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired in the classroom. A Cardinal Experience may occur in the community, on campus, or across the globe through experiential coursework, co-curricular programs, and individually-crafted initiatives. They are generative, reflective, and creative activities that promote significant change in our communities, scholarship, and students. The Five Cards are integrated throughout a student’s academic journey, from the First Year Seminar (FYS) to an integrated experience in the Senior Year Experience (SYE).
The Five Cardinal Experiences are:
- Community Engagement
- Global and Intercultural Engagement
- Undergraduate Research and Creative Work
- Internships and Professional Experience
- Leadership and Citizenship
OTTERBEIN STANDS FOR BOLD IDEALS
That is the hallmark of Otterbein University and those connected to this private, picturesque university perfectly situated in Westerville, Ohio, America’s fifth friendliest town (Forbes), just minutes from Columbus, the 15th largest city in the country.
Otterbein is committed to standing as a college of opportunity. This commitment to opportunity started with its founding in 1847 as one of the nation’s first universities to welcome women and persons of color to its model community of educators and learners. Named for Philip William Otterbein, a founder of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Otterbein maintains its close relationship with the United Methodist Church and the church’s values still guide this model community of leaders and learners. Otterbein has set the pace by providing an educational experience that is progressive, innovative and inclusive.
Otterbein is believed to be one of the first colleges in the country founded as a coeducational institution enabling women to follow the same course of study as their male counterparts. The first graduating class consisted of two women, Sarah Miller and Mary Katherine Winter.
Not only did women stand shoulder to shoulder with men as students - they also proudly served as faculty members from the school’s earliest days. Founded by an anti-slavery church, Otterbein is also believed to be one of the first in the nation to open to students of color.
Early in its history, the University aligned itself with causes. University officials joined city founders in support of emancipation, and were active participants in assisting runaway slaves as Westerville became a station along the Underground Railroad. The town of Westerville was also home to the Anti-Saloon League. Today Otterbein is still, officially, a “dry” campus.
Advancing the common good remains a mission-driven priority. Otterbein is a recipient of the 2015 Carnegie Community Service Classification (2015 Press Release); finalist for the 2014 President’s Award for Economic Opportunity Community Service (Press Release); and has been honored With Distinction by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll since the list’s inception in 2006 (Press Release).
Curricular innovation has long been a hallmark of the University. The pioneering work of Dr. Lavelle Rosselot established the method of Foreign Language instruction that is still in use today. The Integrative Studies Curriculum, a common course of study for all students, has garnered national recognition and serves as a model for many colleges and universities seeking to adopt similar programs.
In recent years, Otterbein is helping set the national conversation for its pioneering work in experiential learning. Academically, Otterbein is nationally-recognized for its intentional blending of liberal arts and professional studies through its renowned Integrative Studies curriculum and its commitments to experiential learning and community engagement. It consistently ranks in its category’s top 20 in U.S. News & World Report’s guide to “America’s Best Colleges.”
The turbulence of the 1960s led to a reorganization of the University governance system. In the early 1970s, Otterbein became the first University in the nation to have students and faculty seated as permanent, voting members of its Board of Trustees. In 2014, the University governance system voted to create an independent Student Government, to reflect the changing needs of students.
Today Otterbein University enrolls approximately 2,600 traditional, adult and transfer undergraduate students, and 400 graduate students working in one of several master’s degree programs, and some towards a doctorate degree in nursing practice.
Integrity, humane values and an inherently just, moral compass have guided Otterbein’s forward-thinking vision and actions - from its curriculum to its responsibilities as a member of academic, regional and global communities.
In fall 2014, Otterbein announced the launch of the “Where We Stand Matters” campaign - a campaign for Otterbein’s future affirms that where Otterbein stands, and what it stands for in the higher education community, matters. This historic $50 million campaign will position Otterbein to stand strong among the great institutions of our country. Its three funding priorities - campus renewal, access and affordability, and building a model community - demonstrate the University’s commitment to investing in students first to ensure they are standing on firm ground for their futures.
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