Colorado College is a small liberal arts school located in Colorado Springs. Founded in 1874, it has a population of just over 2,100 students. The urban setting allows students to fully take advantage of opportunities for internships and employment. The location also offers outdoor adventures, where students can hike, bike or climb Pikes Peak. Many who attend the school love nature. One of the most popular clubs organizes excursions for backpacking, cross-country skiing and kayaking.
Colorado College offers more than 80 majors, minors and special programs on campus. They cover an extensive range of topics, including Southwest studies, feminist and gender studies, Asian studies, environmental science and American cultural studies. The most popular majors are: economics; biology; sociology; international economics; and political science and government.
The school has a different setup for curriculum than most colleges. The ‘block plan’ is organized so students can study one subject at a time for three and a half week blocks. The school maintains this allows for more lab time, research and study time in the field, more intensive learning and less distractions. Professors also only teach one block at a time. The student to faculty ratio is 10 to 1 and 75% of classes have less than 20 students. Consequently, there is plenty of individualized attention. While courses have a start time, they do not have an end time so that professors can take the time to finish each lesson.
Every month, students have a four-and-a-half day ‘block break,’ before starting the next course. Overall, students take eight classes each year. Another difference from other traditional schools: faculty members are encouraged to form relationships with students outside the classroom. They have a program called Breaking Bread, where faculty members invite students into their homes for dinner. More than 200 of these events are held every year.
There are tons of opportunities outside the classroom, including annual events like Winter Ball, a formal dance, and CC Llamapalooza, a music festival. Colorado College also places an importance on community service. All freshmen are required to take a four-day service trip, and there is a soup kitchen for locals every Sunday. The school does have a small Greek presence, with about 10% of men and women in fraternities and sororities on campus. There are also many performing arts events because of the newly-built Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center. Colorado College does have several teams competing in the NCAA Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Because freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are required to live on campus, the college always has many social activities to take part in. Students looking for a non-traditional school that still offers challenging academics should look into Colorado College’s programs.