|| Colorado College has developed a program for
first-year students which exemplifies the college’s character and goals.
Different as we are at Colorado College, we share one thing: the activity
of learning. In all disciplines we confront compelling, complex questions,
and we do it in the setting of a residential college distinguished by the
small and intensely-paced classes typical of the Block Plan. Both the nature
of the questions we address and the setting for learning promote critical
examination and active discussion. Both put conversation at the center of
our common enterprise.
The program includes 1) a set of courses taken in the first two blocks by all first-year students, 2) student mentors working with each course, and 3) initiatives designed to increase the opportunities for interchange outside class. The program encourages conversation in and among courses. It also introduces first-year students right away to fast-paced, rigorous classes which stimulate their curiosity, call on them to use important skills, and invite them to talk with each other. It seeks, finally, to reduce the distance between the academic and the social realms with small, two-block classes and by engaging with upper-division student mentors.
The First Course consists of either a single, two-block course or two linked, one-block courses in Blocks I and II (and for Winter-Starts in Blocks V and VI) of the academic year. First Courses include substantial practice in writing, critical reading, research supported by workshops in the library, and course-appropriate use of the writing center, library instruction, lab techniques, field work, and information technology resources.