About the EXPERIMENTAL COLLEGE – fun, affordable Seattle classes

  • The Seattle Experimental College is an independent educational program offering fun, affordable non-credit classes in topics including drawing and painting, writing, acting, filmmaking, and dozens of other subjects.
  • There are Experimental Colleges in cities all over the U.S. The Experimental College in Seattle is an affiliate of our program (Rekindle School), and we handle all of their enrollments. So if you’re looking for Experimental College classes, you’ve reached the right place.
  • Most E.C. classes meet on the University of Washington campus. Others meet in Phinney Neighborhood Center, Greenwood Senior Center, and other community centers around the city. 
  • To start exploring our open classes, click here or scroll down.

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Note: There have been several Experimental Colleges around the United States, and two in Seattle. Seattle’s first E.C., years ago, was a program of the ASUW.  (Many of our instructors taught through their program, when it was around.) 

The original Experimental College co-sponsored our classes for many years. When they closed down and were dissolved as a business entity, the new Seattle Experimental College became our co-sponsor.

To see classes open for enrollment, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

“Is it better if I sign up for your classes through the Experimental College website, or through Rekindle School?” 

It makes no difference, actually. Our program handles all of the registrations for the EC’s classes. If you see a class you’d like to enroll in, the links on the EC’s website will send you back to our website to sign up.

“Wasn’t there another Experimental College in Seattle, years ago?”

There was an EC at one point in Seattle which was run by the student government at the U.W.  The new EC was created after the previous EC was dissolved as a business entity. 

“Is the new EC affiliated with the University of Washington?”

The new Seattle E.C. does hold some of classes on the U.W. campus (Seattle branch), and some in other locations.  But they are not a part of the U.W. or affiliated with them. 



The Experimental College Movement

The Experimental College movement began decades ago. Some attribute its origins to Alexander Meiklejohn, who set up an Experimental College of sorts at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, way back in the 1930s and wrote a book popularizing the term.  But the idea really caught on a few decades later, in the 1960s, in California, Washington, and several other locations around the United States.

Since then, Experimental Colleges have come and gone. There have been several Experimental College around the country, in Seattle and other cities. Some were affiliated with universities, including San Francisco State College (which later became San Francisco State University), Tufts University. Others, like the New Seattle Experimental College, were and are completely independent.

What the various E.C. programs have in common is that most are collections of classes taught by working professionals or others who have come to have deep knowledge of a subject, who are using the school as a venue for sharing information with others.