Finding Your Place at Pitzer

April is a tumultuous month of self-reflection and future planning – for juniors, it’s the time to begin the journey of college applications, and for seniors, it’s the time to decide where to spend the next four year. Pitzer offers an exceptional education for students who are serious about their role as an agent of change. I first started working at Pitzer three years ago and was instantly impressed by the openness of our students, who weren’t afraid to challenge, question and seek alternative answers to some of our most pressing societal issues. The education here is focused on freedom – the ability to use your education to make a difference in diverse communities by following an academic path guided by your interests and our dedicated faculty. Students actively seek out opportunities to roll up their sleeves and get involved in their local and global community. It’s what sets Pitzer apart from other institutions; the heartfelt drive of our students to think deeply about critical issues of privilege, social status and culture. It’s embedded in the curriculum at Pitzer and found in the mindset of our students.

Students are also connected through an unmatched commitment to social justice and responsibility. Our students embody diversity in a multiplicity of avenues – they study everything from Anthropology to Zoology; they are artists, social entrepreneurs, biologists, philosophers, computer scientists, and environmentalists. However, the foundation of their academic inquiry revolves around the question of how they will use their knowledge gained in their classes and their action research work to impact diverse communities. I’m always impressed when I talk with students to learn how they push the conversation forward in the classroom, while participating in our Student Senate or with their peers; they are never satisfied with easy answers or traditional solutions.


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You probably could be easily swayed by the stunning native plants and sustainable landscaping, near perfect sunny weather, the beautiful and poignant murals, and friendly students, faculty and staff (of course, all compelling reasons to spend four years at Pitzer!).  Yet, deciding where to go to college should focus on the character and values of the institution – values matter.  This is where you will spend four defining years. This will be home and your peers and faculty will serve as your second family.

How do you find the school where you can find your place and know that your values match with theirs? Take the time to talk with students on campus, look deeper at the course curriculum, sit in on a class, participate in an evening lecture or athletic event, or sit it in the middle of the campus coffee shop or dining hall listening to every day conversations.  Feel the energy and the pulse of the campus! If you cannot make it to campus, talk with an Admission counselor who can help guide and connect you virtually to community members who can share their experiences.

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You have the potential to be one of our next Fulbright Winners, or perhaps you will start your own NGO, go to medical school, work at the United Nations, or write a novel – perhaps a combination of the above.  Those who opt to attend Pitzer will enjoy the benefits of four years of education firmly grounded in the concepts and philosophies of social responsibility, environmental sustainability, interdisciplinary learning, intercultural understanding and student engagement. These values are what matter most to our community and interconnected world. And that’s at the heart of what I love about Pitzer. Our students are engaged in the messy, real life work of making a difference. I hope you will discover in your own way what makes Pitzer so very special.

Photo credit: Pitzer College and Robert Little

Posted by Jamila Everett, Interim Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid