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Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 04/ 4/2010

College Tour '10: Colorado College

By Valerie Strauss

Colorado College
From a student

CC’s setting, at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, attracts very outdoorsy students who work hard and play hard.

The Block Schedule is another defining feature about CC. Students take one class at a time for 3 1/2 weeks then have a four-day break. This was originally concerning because of the possibility of not liking a class and being stuck doing nothing but that class for nearly a month.

Most students responded to this concern by saying there were very few classes that they did not enjoy and you just have to tough that class out for 3 1/2 weeks, then don’t have to worry about it again. Overall, I like the idea of being able to only think about one thing at a time. The Block Plan also allows really cool "field trips" with classes.

The kids are really relaxed and love to go out and do things like skiing, mountain biking, backpacking and playing other sports. CC seems like a really cool school with very unique opportunities to do what you love. The only down side is the ... lack of diversity.

Oh, Colorado College also has small classes allowing more discussion-based classes and student-professor relationships.

This is one in a series of reports that parents and students are contributing about their campus tours this spring. If you have visited a school and would like to participate, email me a brief report at You can find out more about College Tour ’10 and how to write about your college visit here.

Go to to see more college posts in the series.

By Valerie Strauss  | April 4, 2010; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  College Tour '10  | Tags:  College Tour '10, Colorado College  
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I wanted to go to CC when I was a girl.
My mother said, "No way - it's kids who like to ski." So I went somewhere else.

I did encounter a couple of transfers from CC in my college career. They had liked to ski but both seemed to have had trouble focusing on coursework.

Maybe the block schedule gets around that problem.

Posted by: RedBird27 | April 4, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm a CC graduate and loved every minute of my four years there. The Block Plan was great -- total focus on one class for a month. For '20th Century Fiction' class, I'd climb a mountain with friends and read novels all day in the sun. For the month of January, it's true that we skiied a lot. For Geology, we went on week-long field trips. The Block Plan allows qualified professors with limited time availability to provide CC with a Block of unparalleled expertise. The student ratio was often 15-1. Three hours every day of quality discussion. The professor teaches one class only. We never had 150-person classes taught in auditoriums by Teacher Assistants (TAs). It was pure quality for four years. Colorado Springs is a great small town. And four great seasons of the Colorado outdoors every year. I highly recommend CC.

Posted by: KentB1 | April 4, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm a CC grad and loved every moment of my time there. I found that I could play a funny game with myself... when I had a class that I LOVED, I would think, "Ahhh... nothing to do but focus on this for the next three and a half weeks." and when I had a class that I didn't love I would think, "I can do ANYTHING for three and a half weeks." Block plan reverse psychology, I guess. I'm not sure if I was a fast reader when I got to CC, but I sure was by the time I left. What an amazing place. I wish I could go back.

Posted by: ktsigler | April 5, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I am a CC grad, who also loved their experience. The block plan allows for complete submersion into a topic and allows for vast field learning. I was an Environmental Studies major, and I travelled all around the Southwest for field study. I also took advantage of venture grants, and I travelled to Belize for research for one of my blocks. I also enjoyed the personal attention and relationships that I had with my professors - most of my classes were around 15-20 people or less (except for 101 classes, which were 25). CC also allows for independent study classes, where you work with a professor on a topic in which you are interested. I am still very active in alumni activities, and I always enjoy meeting new people from CC.

Posted by: treenae | April 5, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I graduated from CC in 1980 having selected it over an Ivy League school. I, too, had four wonderful years there. The block plan was ideal for immersing myself in the great books - Socrates to Sartre. Even though when I got out it was hard to find my first job because I had no "practical skills," over the arc of my career the training in how to think and analyze that I received has served my professional life well and enriched my personal life.

Posted by: brianbfeeney | April 8, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

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