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Thinking Creatively About Summer Opportunities at CC

Faculty members at Colorado College are experts at teaching focused, immersive courses in 3.5 weeks. Colorado is a beautiful place to learn and live in the summer and provides a plethora of opportunities for outdoor adventure. The college’s strategic initiative to, “build a nationally recognized summer program for a new generation of learners,” supports CC’s broader mission of providing the finest liberal arts education in the country.

What’s Happening: A Summer Strategic Plan Project Team convened in Block 1 to develop recommendations that will make Colorado College’s summer program a model of effective use of summer months at a liberal arts institution and will move forward goals of ensuring student access, retention, persistence, and thriving.

“It’s exciting to work with faculty and staff that look at the summer as a time to develop new courses and test new programs that draw connections between academic work and summer opportunities,” says Jim Burke, director of Summer Session and chair of the project team. “Refreshing the strategic plan for summer programs provides an opportunity for me and my colleagues working over the summer months to think creatively about how we more intentionally address students’ needs at the end of the academic year.”

Burke says the report’s recommendation put CC in a position to build a nationally recognized summer program that offers in-demand courses, provides new course schedules that accommodate students working summer jobs and internships, and develops linkages between academic-year and summer programs to support year-round learning and engagement.

“A priority for me will be to ensure the summer months provide space for students or faculty to pursue new academic opportunities, whether conducting research with faculty, taking an elective course outside their major, test-driving a new course, or bolstering an existing course with field work that allows students to enjoy the beautiful summer months in Colorado,” says Burke. “Summer is a dynamic time to be on campus and I look forward to developing more opportunities for our students.” Read the full report.

Additionally, stemming from one of the Block Project team’s recommendations, a new committee will soon be formed to facilitate collaboration and engagement among all departments and academic units offering summer programs at CC. The Campuswide Committee on Summer Programming will serve as an ongoing advisory group to guide the development of a plan to fulfil the recommendations made by the Block Project team. The plan will build on and refine the central elements of these recommendations and develop a more operational plan to coordinate summer programming, avoid redundant efforts, and raise institutional priorities that should be addressed in the summer months.

Summer at CC includes the Bridge and Global Scholars programs, Summer Collaborative Research (SCoRe), off-campus study abroad, on-campus classes, the pre-college program, sports camps, and the Summer Music Festival.

Also extending the reach of the Block Plan is the nine-day Half Block. In January 2018, CC hosted its most successful Half Block yet, with 835 students enrolled in 20 non-credit and 27 for-credit courses.