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Highlight: Colorado College

COLORADO COLLEGE, Colorado Springs, CO

Quote from a recent Colorado College graduate: "I really, deeply appreciated the freedom to have a say in my academic experience. Because of the block plan I was able to study disciplines from astronomy to the mathematics behind music and pretty much everything in between, while still having time to complete my major and a thesis. Through my thesis and the venture grant program I was able to tailor my education to address the things I found most intriguing in ways that I thought were fulfilling. I know that this type of freedom is a rare and unique opportunity and truly embodies the recently disposed of Colorado College motto 'A unique, intellectual adventure.' In the beginning, I contemplated transferring but as a recent graduate I can say confidently that the education I got at Colorado College was unlike any I would have gotten elsewhere." Jon H, Class of 2012

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Colorado College is a small liberal arts college located in beautiful Colorado Springs with exceptional views of Pikes Peak. The Garden of the Gods is nearby. With an unusual approach to classes, students have the opportunity for hands-on, experiential learning including field trips, service projects, and deep conversations on topics from Shakespeare to Astronomy. All students live on campus for the first 3 years. The academic year always begins on Labor Day.

Known for its "BLOCK" system, students have been learning in this singular subject fashion since the 1960's. For 3 ½ weeks, students take one subject that meets for 3 hours Monday through Friday mornings. Classes have an average of 16 students with professors leading in-depth discovery and discussion. Afternoons are left open for labs, study and extracurricular activities, which include plays, ice hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. At the end of the 3 ½ weeks, students take a final and then have 4 days off to go hiking, camping, mountain biking, home, or they can choose to hang out on campus until the next BLOCK begins. A longer Winter Break offers an opportunity to take half BLOCKS and to study abroad. Even during the summer months, 3 BLOCK periods are available to catch up, get ahead, travel for credit, or simply have the time off. 

Professors teach no more than 5 blocks in one year (there are 8 in an academic year). Students bid for classes and plan their entire next year of coursework in March. While the idea of studying one class at a time may seem ideal, the coursework is rigorous and not for the "faint of heart." Remember when students leave class at noon on Monday, they have to return the next morning prepared for quizzes, discussions on reading, papers ready, etc. There is a lot of cooperative, group work that goes on, and students are supportive of one another. A premium focus is placed on advising and upperclassmen mentors.

Professors and students enjoy the BLOCK system because it allows them to be creative in their teaching and learning. Field trips, and study abroad, can be incorporated into the time they have together since there is no conflict of having to miss another class while off-campus. CC has a cabin in the mountains that sleeps 25 for overnight retreats and field trips.

Colorado College and its students are more liberal than the surrounding community of Colorado Springs, but the two get along. For example, the Colorado College hockey rink seats 8000 and is usually sold out. And since the population at CC is closer to 2000, the Colorado Springs community fills the rest of the seats. Additionally the city of Colorado Springs has a population of 650,000, so internships and other opportunities are available to students as they would be in any city.

Application to Colorado College includes an Interview either on campus or with an alumnus in your area. Transfer students are accepted. A new graduation requirement for this year (2012): 2 units (2 blocks) of college-level foreign language while at CC. 

SAT range: CR-610-710; Math 610-700

ACT range: 28-32

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2040