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Cornell College

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
600 1st St
Mount Vernon, Iowa 52314c
(319) 895-4334
School Information
Cornell College, a highly selective liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa, is recognized as one of the colleges featured in “Colleges That Change Lives.” Characterized by the life-changing academic immersion of its One Course At A Time curriculum, this distinctive approach allows students to focus on a single academic subject per 18-day block. The One Course curriculum mirrors the pace of working environments where employees are expected to handle tight deadlines and high expectations on every project, every day. Since there is never more than one course to focus on, faculty can take classes on field trips for a day or an entire block. The academic calendar also immerses students in full-time internships or research. Cornell’s residential campus attracts a student body from 42 states and 17 foreign countries. Together, they experience a vast array of off-campus opportunities designed to take them into the world to fulfill their academic and personal goals, as well as a lineup of speakers and entertainment options that brings the world to them. Cornell College is frequently cited as a “Best Buy.” 93% of Cornell graduates complete their degrees in four years, and 55% go on to complete an advanced degree.
General Information
Cornell College has taken symbolic steps including a brief statement supporting the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The College established numerous positions to this end over the summer of 2020. There is no evidence Cornell College requires any critical race theory or anti-racist education.

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • On June 29, 2023, in response to the Supreme Courts ruling to end affirmative action in higher education, Cornell stated the following: "This will impact large institutions like those in the case, but will not change the admission practices of many other schools that didn’t follow these practices. Cornell College is committed to providing a welcoming, diverse community of scholars at our hilltop home. Our admission process is focused on getting to know each of our prospective students individually to understand their academic history, community involvement, and educational goals to identify future Cornellians."
Program and Research Funding
  • CC's Race, Ethnicity, and Social Justice program "addresses questions of ethnic identity and relations between ethnic groups through a wide variety of courses in a range of disciplines...."
  • In the Spring of 2022, the DEI Office applied for the "NCAA Ethnic Minorities and Women's Internship Grant."
  • In June 2020, Cornell created the role of "Senior Diversity Officer." In August 2020, it expanded the "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion employee seminar," and appointed a "Staff Equity Officer." In February 2021, the College launched a "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Website."
  • In the Spring of 2022, the college finalized the "creation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan."
  • In the Fall of 2021, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion seminar "explored the meaning of Critical Race Theory and its impact on higher education." (Over 200 employees participated)
  • On March 5, 2024, CC's News Center announced that the Office of Intercultural Life would host "Diversity Week" starting March 18 "as a way to encourage conversation, celebrate diversity, and explore important topics." Programming included presentations on "Culturally Responsive Teaching and Mentoring" and  "Finding Community When You Hold Multiple Minoritized Identities."
Symbolic Actions
  • Cornell released a "Diversity and Inclusion Statement" which pledged the College to "continue to evolve into a more inclusive and equitable campus that is committed to civic and social responsibility through the collaboration of the President, Diversity Committee, students, faculty, and staff."
  • CC offers the "Each One Teach One New Student of Color Orientation" in order to "provide new students of color with an informative introduction to Cornell College that meets their specific needs not covered in New Student Orientation."
Last updated May 28th, 2024
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