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About Excelsior College
Excelsior means “ever upward” in Latin. That phrase reflects the aspirations of our students. It also reflects the spirit of innovation that has made Excelsior College a national leader in adult education and distance learning.
Founded as Regents College in 1971, Excelsior helped invent the distance-learning model. We’ve been at the forefront of adult education ever since, continually working to:
Today we serve thousands of students across the United States and abroad, helping adults move upward to higher incomes, more rewarding careers, and more fulfilling lives. See our Fast Facts page to get the data on Excelsior College's positive outcomes, and the benefits reaped by our students.
Excelsior College provides educational opportunity to adult learners with an emphasis on those historically underrepresented in higher education. The College meets students where they are — academically and geographically, offering quality instruction and the assessment of learning.
Excelsior College aspires to be a model university for the 21st century.
Excelsior College contributes to creating and maintaining a diverse, educated society by valuing:
What you know is more important than where or how you learned it. ®
In 1971, the New York State Board of Regents founded Regents College, now known as Excelsior College. Initial development of the college was funded by major grants from the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation. From 1971 until 1998, Regents College operated as a program of the Board of Regents (which also served as its board of trustees) and under the authority of The University of the State of New York, by which degrees and diplomas were awarded during that period.
In April 1998, the Board of Regents granted the college a charter to operate as a private, non-profit, independent institution, and on January 1, 2001, Regents College changed its name to Excelsior College. Today, Excelsior College is governed by an independent board of trustees comprising prominent individuals in the fields of education, business, and the professions from across the United States.
Excelsior at a Glance