Green Mountain College is excited to roll out a new academic calendar that emphasizes engaged and applied learning starting Fall 2018. The new calendar is designed to allow for a wide variety of innovative course offerings, involving components such as field studies and travel opportunities.
Shortly after undergraduates arrive on campus for the start of the 2018-19 academic year, they will dive into one single course during this new 3 1/2 -week Block, allowing for an in-depth focus on their chosen topic. Course offerings for returning students range from “Education & Schooling in Feature Film,” to “Psychology of the Living Dead,” and “Walking: Thoreau’s Wild Ethics.” Together, students and faculty will explore these and other topics through lecture, class discussions, field trips, multimedia presentations, and experiential activities. After participating in these courses, students will have created their own media portrayal of education, developed a plan to deal with the psychological ramifications of disasters, and hiked through the woods while contemplating the link between people’s experiences and their ethical considerations, respectively.
First-year students will spend the block in a special seminar course designed to introduce them to their new living and learning community. Known as SLATE Seminar (Sustainable Liberal Arts for Transformative Education), this 3 ½-week experience serves as an introduction to our award-winning sustainability curriculum while also engaging students in a community of like-minded peers. This engagement extends from the classroom to the residence halls as students will be living with the other students within their SLATE theme while also experiencing high faculty interaction, activities such as field trips, museum visits, and community service. These community-building activities begin in this first course and continue throughout the duration of their entire first year at Green Mountain College.
After completing their fall block course, students then participate in a more traditional 12-week session. The 12-week session is a chance for students to take courses in their major as well as explore the multiple components of social, economic and environmental sustainability. This new academic calendar is mirrored in the spring semester. Students come back from winter break to a traditional 12-week session and then end the year with another 3 ½ week block course. All students will be able to choose from the wide variety of courses offered. Options for the 2019 spring block include a travel course to Mexico entitled “Marine Conservation in the Sea of Cortez” or an environmental writing workshop in “Field Journaling.”
“By allowing students to focus on one course at a time, we can create powerful learning opportunities, such as partnerships with community organizations, that let students see the immediate impacts of what they are learning,” said Jennifer Guinn Sellers, Green Mountain College Dean of Faculty. “The entire Green Mountain College faculty are committed to being leaders in the field of sustainability education. This new calendar one more way we can enhance the learning of our students and provide more opportunities for them to get first-hand experience solving the problems of today.”