Created initially as New Oberlin, Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan was started by the many of the same people who started Oberlin in Ohio. In operation since 1844, Olivet was initially denied chartering for years, perhaps due to their ideas on education, many stemming from their United Church of Christ associations (an affiliation still surviving today). Believing in an education built on service, a coeducational experience (none denied for race/religion/sex), and a desire to bring education to everyone, not just the rich (none denied for lack of fund either), Olivet has a long history of quality undergrad and graduate programs.
Olivet contains a student body of roughly 1100 (about 96% from Michigan), with the majority Bachelor seekers in one of their 28 different baccalaureate programs. Majors span from education to biology to the fine arts (there is a fine Music program with several degrees offered), all coordinated under the Olivet Plan, a faculty/student program that outlines the curriculum expectations for all undergrads from the expected (liberal arts concentration, students service) to the unique. One of the more original is a Portfolio programs whereby a student works with a faculty mentor to compile yearly portfolios of their best work to date (this starts freshman year and continue through to graduation).
The school also offers a Masters degrees in Education and an MBA in Insurance, as well as dual degree programs in cooperation with two other Michigan higher learning academies.
There are some distance learning opportunities available for students at Olivet, including one of the “first live, online, professional Master of Business Administration in Insurance where you can see and talk with your instructor”. The Insurance MBA program is designed for “insurance professionals with or without an undergraduate degree in insurance or risk management” with weekly online classes that require attendance blended with online coursework through Blackboard. One of the only hybrid degree programs that does not require on campus work, it operates an entire class with webcams and online chats through microphone or typing.
Olivet also offers an online certification to in-service corrections officers looking for Criminal Justice education. Certificates are given through online coursework and require 20 hours of coursework chosen from a list of online classes (at a very affordable price).
There are additional online classes offered to through Blackboard every semester, as well as online library access, advisement, and class registering with a campus wide online network.
Olivet College operates on a vision of “education for individual and social responsibilities”, looking to use academics to provide benefit to surrounding communities on a large and small scale. There’s a service learning office at Olivet (aiding in coordination outreach programs and to help students fulfill their service learning requirement) that offers programs both at home (with weekend service trips) and abroad (with an alternate spring break program at Heifer Ranch in Arkansas and Hurricane Katrina service trips). A little more than 125 miles from Detroit, internship programs are also available.
Training the students of tomorrow with time tested ideals of service and inclusion, Olivet College offers an affordable education with over two hundred years of education history behind it.