What is Johnston?

The Johnston Center for Integrative Studies is an undergraduate program at the University of Redlands, housed in the College of Arts and Sciences. Inspired by intentional communities, Johnston brings together bright, creative, independent, and active students with a genuine interest in academic and civic pursuits. It is a place where diversity and inclusion are cherished, collaboration is practiced, and ideas are debated. Today some 200 talented and passionate Redlands students live and learn together in Johnston. Bekins Hall and Holt Hall are what is known as "Johnston Complex," which is open to any University of Redlands student to live in. The Complex includes two residence halls, faculty offices, a co-op coffee house, classrooms, and community spaces: kitchens, music room, screening rooms, meditation room, and an art room.

A Little History

The Johnston educational experiment started as a college in 1969 and is based in the notion that students should have ownership of their education. At the Johnston Center, we honor the individual path and the collective process. That means students, faculty, and staff learn from each other, and we learn best when we learn together. To hear our students' point-of-view on their Johnston educations, watch a video here. And to learn more about Johnston's 50+ years of alternative education, check-out Snapshot/50: The Johnston Community 1969-2019 available in our bookstore.

If you have a unique vision for your education and believe in collaborative learning, Johnston might be the place for you.

What kind of degree is it?

The degree from the Johnston Center is a degree from the University of Redlands. When the student writes their Sophomore Graduation Contract during the beginning of their second year, the student and their academic advisor will determine if the degree will be a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. This document, the Sophomore Graduation Contract, is essentially a map or a plan that brings together classes from multiple departments, experiential learning, and cross-cultural experiences to fulfill an educational vision.  

This document includes:

  • Vision for your education in the context of an intentional living-learning community
  • An Emphasis (instead of "major") that integrates your most pressing academic questions with existing classes from multiple departments and multiple modes of learning
  • Liberal Arts Breadth to ensure your ability to see problems and questions from a variety of viewpoints
  • Cross-Cultural Component that helps you to extend your cultural perspective and integrate multiple aspects of your education

During the student's senior year, they will revise their Sophomore Graduation Contract and transform it into their Graduation Contract that describes what the student studied, learned, any plans for the future, and how their time in the Johnston community and the wider university impacted their education.

If you could create any degree in the world, what would you title it?

Below are a few sample Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science University of Redlands/Johnston degrees:

Cultural Studies: Gender, History, and Media (Maggie Ruopp)

How to Treat People: Diverse Perspectives of Health & Medicine (Gilbert Chavez)

Cross-Cultural Ethics & Social Justice (Samantha Armacost)

Food in Society (Sarah Bass)

Integrated Marketing and Sustainability (Malik Coburn-- Sophomore Contract)

Integrated Marketing and Sustainability (Malik Coburn)

Performing Arts and Expressive Therapies (Sam Corso)

Political Thought and Practice (Adam Gottlieb)

The Neuroscience of Oneirology (Simon Titone)

The Art of Storytelling (Christine Munroe)

Fashion in Business, Media, and Culture (Keyona Richey)

Helping Change the Way We Think, through Therapy and Writing (Zac Zilz--Sophomore Contract)

Creative Expression through Psychology and Humanities (Zac Zilz)

Applied Humanities: Living a Meaningful Life (Keziah Baltz-- Sophomore Contract)