Guiding Principles

Robert College has a rich heritage

Robert College, the oldest American school outside the United States, was founded in Istanbul in 1863. Over the years, the school has developed a unique educational program reflecting its American and Turkish roots. We honor our past and carry it proudly into the future.

Students are the focus

We are a student-focused school that empowers students to go where their minds will take them. This orientation is reflected in all aspects of Robert College life, including: the academic and co-curricular program, our approach to teaching and learning, school schedules, school rules, the campus environment, personnel practices and board governance.

“Student-focused” means that we

·   put student interests first

·   support student agency

·   respect student perspectives and voice

·   acknowledge and work with learning differences

·   assess academic success by what students learn/demonstrate

·   honor the individual talents and interests of each student

Being student-focused implies a spirit of partnership in teaching, learning, and living at Robert College among the faculty, staff, and students.

Robert College students are prepared

We equip students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences from which to build a successful future by ensuring all aspects of a young person’s life (intellectual, physical, social, moral, and emotional) get the attention they deserve. We strive to ensure that RC students: 

·   develop analytical and critical thinking skills

·   demonstrate agency in acquiring new skills and knowledge

·   develop fluency in English and Turkish

·   assume self-advocacy and self-understanding

·   have character and a strong sense of integrity

We offer a rigorous program of studies, complemented by a robust co-curricular program to prepare students for post-secondary educational success in Turkey or abroad.

The Robert College program is both classic and innovative

We offer a rigorous university-preparatory program designed to give students an exceptional foundation in mathematics, the natural sciences, the humanities, technology and the arts. This program is complemented with a robust array of co-curricular and athletic activities, ensuring that students have the opportunity to explore their interests and learn through service to others and their community. Robert College expands opportunities for learning and community outreach using up-to-date technology.  

We emphasize fluency in English and prioritize achieving it.  

Robert College leavens its traditional program with an emphasis on creativity, innovation, risk-taking, and entrepreneurship. We teach our students to work collaboratively, connect academic disciplines, and communicate effectively in diverse settings.

Robert College students and faculty engage in learning from and with each other

We expand our faculty’s involvement with students outside the classroom to include break and meal times, weekend and evening interactions, and a program of one-on-one faculty work with students.  

Robert College faculty members serve as mentors and advisors to students via the Robert College Advisory Program.

Robert College is a community

We are a unique school built on the strength of a residential school philosophy in a largely day school setting. At Robert College we ensure that:  

·   students feel a sense of ownership and belonging

·   students are known and cared for as unique individuals

·   faculty and staff go beyond in loco parentis responsibilities and develop healthy relationships with students that extend beyond the classroom with the aim of nurturing capable, caring, and engaged adults  

The Robert College campus operates as a hub of connections to the wider Robert College community. Robert College brings multiple generations of the Robert College community together to build stronger ties among each other. Such connections include sharing time at meals, in the evenings, and on weekends in both formal and informal settings.

The adult members of the Robert College community model integrity and demonstrate that freedom implies responsibility to respect the needs and rights of others. 

Robert College students learn democratic values and practices through: 

·   engagement with their peers and the wider Robert College community

·   exercising civic/community rights

·   acknowledging that with rights come accountability and responsibility  

Robert College engages in competitive activities to foster the virtues of teamwork, sportsmanship, skill development, personal insight, and perseverance.  

Robert College celebrates and promotes healthy competitiveness as part of its character and values curriculum.  

Robert College is proactive in promoting the emotional and mental health of its community members, students and adults.

The measures of Robert College are global and world leading quality

We compare and assess ourselves against the most successful schools in Turkey and the world. Robert College maintains a list of benchmark global schools that demonstrate the level of success and distinction to which Robert College aspires. Benchmark schools are selected for their capacity to inspire, provide models, and enrich our understanding of the best of schooling. We prepare our students to navigate the world as citizens prepared for life both in and out of Turkey.  

We have an International College Counseling/University Placement system that is a benchmark quality program. We measure our performance on ultra-competitive international university admissions compared to our benchmark schools.

Robert College provides opportunities

We offer scholarships to top students in Turkey needing assistance that will provide opportunities to enjoy the full Robert College program. The scholarship program ensures that eligible students from all over the country, regardless of financial means, are able to attend. Currently one in four students receives financial aid.

Robert College is balanced

Robert College balances supervision and freedom, safety and experience, risks and opportunities, and the work of demanding academics with healthy living. Our dedication to student focus and community connection/engagement guides and informs our conversations and our work.  

Robert College leads with a “can do” attitude and approaches decision-making from the “yes” perspective.

Robert College is accountable

The Robert College community accepts the responsibility of providing the resources necessary to ensure that Robert College remains a world-class institution offering a world-class educational experience for each student.  

Robert College considers alternative revenue streams and enhances development activities to reduce its reliance on tuition income and the endowment.  

Robert College balances the long-term needs of the school with meeting the needs of the present.

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