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    Dynamic Half Block

    Dynamic Half Block web header

    Stay tuned for 2021 Courses!

    Registrations for non-credit Half Block will open October 2021 and will close in December. Stay posted. 

    The non-credit offerings of Dynamic Half Block provide a unique opportunity for students to explore interests and gain professional knowledge and skills. Participation in many of these offerings will increase your competencies, making you more competitive for internships, graduate/professional schools, and full-time jobs. Build your resume, complement your transcript.

    *Note: Many courses are designed with complementary schedules. Students are encouraged to take more than one course so long as the schedules do not interfere with one another.

    2020 Half Block Classes

    Experience Yoga: Techniques of Self Care (course full, waitlist available)
    Dates: January 6-10, 2:00pm-4:30pm
    Class Limit: 20 students
    Description: Are you stressed about school? Are you anxious about your future? 

    This integrated yoga practice will help you develop coping skills to manage everyday stress and anxiety through breathing, meditation and yoga poses. We will begin by noticing what the body, mind and heart are doing, thinking and feeling. By the end of the week, you will know how to relax and take good care of your mental, emotional and physical health.

    No prior yoga experience is necessary.

    CC and Beyond: Moving Forward with Purpose (spots available)
    Dates: January 6-16, 9:00am – 12:00pm (with a couple possible afternoon sessions)
    Class Limit: 16 students
    Description: Don’t know what you want to do with your life? Great. Neither does our facilitator (but he’s “successful” by many accounts). While it’s OK to have no idea, we can still get a head start on designing a future aligned with your values. In this course, Michael will use principles of innovation and a series of bespoke exercises to help you move forward with purpose. You’ll move a little bit closer to "what you want to do" by developing clear actions to gain understanding of your passions. You’ll interrogate limiting beliefs and assumptions about post-grad life and, finally, you’ll build skills and tools to constantly iterate who you are and what you want to do as you continue on your path, both during and after your time at CC.

    Finance and Markets (spots available)
    Dates: January 6-16, 9:00am – 12:00pm
    Class Limit: 30 students
    Description: A successful interview for a career in finance will require the demonstration of a solid comprehension of markets and the issues in finance today.  How does one acquire, maintain, and display this skill set? 

    This half block is constructed to introduce the basics of corporate finance and public markets.  Finance is about valuation, that is placing a value on assets, and it’s about allocating resources.  It’s also about incentivizing productive activities.  It’s about seeking to enhance the value of enterprises, establishing strategies to fund them, and considering how a proper return is provided to owners.  This course uses language and analysis that encompasses securities and markets, as well as the different types of capital and how it is raised.

    The course is also about developing analysis skills so that the details about how these things actually work can be approached.  Students will learn important foundation topics of finance, including basic accounting, the time value of money, stock and bond valuation, rates of return, asset pricing, and what capital costs.  A goal of this course is to apply that knowledge to create greater and ongoing awareness of and context around financial issues and, using case studies and current events, it will have a pragmatic and practitioner’s bias.

    Students need to read The Wall Street Journal, bringing it to class every day, and should also have laptops available for some basic Excel exercises to model financial concepts.  The course is taught by Rick Kilbride ’78, a Wall Street veteran and member of the finance faculty at the University of New Hampshire.

    Utilizing Social Media for Brand Storytelling (course full, waitlist available)
    Dates: January 6-10, 9:00am-12:00pm
    Class Limit: 10
    Description: For digital storytelling today, a strong social media presence is vital. In this half block class, you’ll learn about creating and cultivating a brand identity, and then how groups, organizations, and institutions leverage social media to support that brand identity storytelling. With multiple CC experts in tow, you’ll explore creative and fun ways to use social media, video, and content strategy to tell your own story, with real world opportunities for application and exploration. 

    Promotional Video Intensive (course full, waitlist available)
    Dates: January 13-16, 9:00am-12:00pm
    Class Limit: 6 students
    Description: Learn how to produce a small-budget promotional video that furthers an organization’s mission while engaging the right audience. With emphasis on the pre-production process, this four-day intensive will cover the basics of effective storytelling and the considerations necessary to plan a successful shoot. The intensive will culminate with a video shoot for the local nonprofit Peak Education and students will get production experience with basic camera and sound equipment. Material will be geared toward students with beginning/intermediate filmmaking experience.

    *Students are highly encouraged to also take Utilizing Social Media for Brand Storytelling during the first week of Half Block before this class.

    Finding Your Power: Communicate (spots available)
    Dates: January 13-16   9:15-12:00
    Class Limit: 20 
    Description: Looking to sharpen your communication/auditioning skills? Struggle with contributing to a classroom discussion because of anxiety or difficulty organizing your thoughts and ideas? This public speaking Half-Block is designed to meet your needs with specialized instruction for all levels of experience, one-on-one tutoring, and ample opportunity to put learned strategies into action. Advocating for yourself and presenting ideas in a clear, authentic way are highly sought-after skills in the workplace, but many people are anxious or under-practiced. The best way to feel more confident and deliver engaging presentations is through smart and thorough preparation and practice. From initial planning through delivery, these tips and techniques can help you gain confidence when speaking, sharpen your persuasive skills, or prepare for a professional audition. This workshop can help you become a more compelling speaker and ensure your audience gets the message.

    Journalism Boot Camp (spots available)
    Dates: January 6-16, 9:00am-12:00pm
    Class Limit: 14 students
    Description: Are you thinking about joining the Journalism Minor or interested in the role of journalism in today's society? This dynamic 9-day course provides you with the essential skills you'll need to think like a journalist. In addition to focusing on writing and reporting, best practices, ethical standards and the fundamentals of journalism, students will visit two very different newsrooms outside of the classroom. By the end of this Dynamic Half Block, you should have a grounding in the nuts and bolts of reporting and the techniques used to develop and craft publishable stories.

    The Art of Innovation: An Immersion (spots available)
    Dates: January 6-10, 9:00am-12:00pm
    Class limit: 15 students
    Description: This hands-on course will prepare you to be future innovators by teaching you Design Thinking, the human-centered design methodology pioneered by IDEO and Stanford school founder, David Kelley. You will work on a team with peers from other disciplines so as to experience the importance of “radical collaboration.” Your team will work on a real business challenge and you will be asked to design an innovative solution to their complex problem.

    The Art of Trial Advocacy (spots available)
    Dates: January 6-9, 1:00pm-4:00pm, January 10, 1-5pm (January 9 is optional for students taking the LSAT)
    Class Limit: 20

    Join Senior Judge Mike Mayes in exploring the facts of a real-life trial case, picking your first real jury and making your first argument to that jury. You will learn the nuances of evaluating a trial case, choosing a favorable jury and making a compelling final argument to that jury which will deliberate and render a verdict.

    Non-Profits and Philanthropy: You Really Can Change the World (spots available)
    Dates: January 6-16, 9:00am-12:00pm
    Class limit: 25 students
    Description:  From low-budget, two-person shops to century-old institutions with budgets in the millions, non-profits tackle some of our country’s most pressing challenges and preserve some of the world’s most precious places. This half block course will increase your knowledge of, and skills in, the nonprofit sector. Ultimately, it will provide you the background necessary to start your path to nonprofit leadership. We will discuss philanthropy and giving and the ways you might contribute your time, energy, and skills to promote health, equity, peace – whatever it is you care most about – in your life beyond CC.  The class will overview the complex web of individuals and organizations that make up the non-profit sector and equip you with knowledge of how you, too, can make a difference in this world.

    Brand New You: Personal Branding (spots available, filling fast)
    Dates: January 6-16, 9:00am – 12:00pm
    Class Limit:  20
    Description: In this course, you will create a personal brand profile that will help you define who you are and why you matter in an increasingly competitive and specialized world. You’ll work with Meryl Holland, a personal branding expert, to develop a variety of tools to tell your story. You’ll build a Backstory that will become your LinkedIn Summary and Personal “elevator” Pitch. You’ll create your Personality Profile and Brand Essence, a summary of your unique personal values and experiences. Finally, you’ll translate this work into resume and cover letter content, a LinkedIn profile, networking skills, interview practices and other aspects of personal communication in business to ensure your success in the marketplace of opportunity.

    Public Policymaking in the Era of 2020 Trump (spots available)
    Dates: January 6-16, 9:00am – 12:00pm
    Class Limit: 14
    Description: After winning the electoral college but losing the popular vote, President Trump has pursued aggressive policy positions without a hint of compromising or building coalitions with his political opponents.  After three years in office, is Trump a transformative leader who has achieved momentous policy objectives while revolutionizing the methods by which public policy is made in the U.S. and the world?  Or are Trump’s claims of historic victories nothing more than delusions of grandeur?  This course will use the Trump context to study public policy methods and outcomes, and to analyze landmark policy achievements.  The class will then focus on Trump’s public policy methods and achievements in order to answer the question of whether Trump should be considered a transformative policy maker.  The course will conclude by examining whether and how innovation should improve public policy outcomes in light of the Era of 2020 Trump.

    Adobe in Focus (course full, waitlist available)
    Dates: January 6-9 and Jan 13-16, 9:00am-12:00pm
    Class Limit: 16
    Description: The growing list of Adobe Creative Cloud software is now standard across many professions. In this eight-day course, we will cover four essentials: Photoshop (image), Illustrator (graphic), Premiere (video), and Audition (audio). Participants will learn the basics of each and then build a final project using work created along the way. This half-block course will be most valuable for those at the beginning or intermediate Adobe CC skill level.

    Teaching Science – an immersion experience for children attending La Veta Elementary (spots available)
    January 6-16, 9:00am-4:00pm  
    Class limit: 10 students
    Description: Would you like to be part a team immersed in a rural Colorado community and grounded in service-learning theory, with the goal of helping a rural school develop a plan for improving science instruction for elementary kids? This Dynamic Half Block will take place initially at Colorado College, then relocate on January 12th to La Veta, Colorado, near the beautiful Haujatolla Mountains (Spanish Peaks).  During the first week, we will investigate the behind the scenes of teaching — the pedagogy, classroom management, and curriculum preparation — needed to help elementary students learn science.  Then, we will travel to La Veta and offer a four-day science immersion experience for the students, teachers (and most likely some parents!). Our ultimate goal is to create an excitement around science, promoting the idea that science is not just fun, but a critical and necessary component of elementary education. This Half Block will involve spending time with younger students and learning on the fly, so an openness to adjusting plans, willingness to make mistakes, and meeting new people is necessary. Students should have an extensive background in the physical, biological or Earth sciences. Students participating in this Half Block will receive a $800 stipend. Housing, food, and transportation are covered as well. Students must apply in person. Email Dr. Taber ( to schedule an interview.

    Podcasting CrashCourse! (course full, waitlist available)
    January 6-16, 9:00am-12:00am
    Class Limit: 16
    Course Description: 
    Are you the one to create the next “Serial” or “This American Life”? Do you have an idea for a podcast but aren’t quite sure how to get it together and off the ground? This nine-day intensive class takes you from basic concept, through production skills and recording techniques, and ultimately to marketing and distribution strategies that will get your idea and voice out there.

    The Big Idea Half Block  (spots available)
    Dates: January 6-17, 1:00pm-4:00pm
    Class limit: 25 students; team registration required
    Pre-Requisites: registered for The Big Idea competition, rough drafts of team materials for The Big Idea
    Description: The Big Idea is a start-up pitch competition in which four teams selected for the finals will receive $7,500 in seed funding, and the opportunity to pitch to local investors. The Big Idea Half Block class provides the opportunity for student teams to refine and practice their pitches for The Big Idea and receive extensive mentorship from course instructors. This Half Block opportunity comprises a deep dive into workshopping pitches, as well as instruction in preparing all of the materials required for teams to compete in The Big Idea semi-finals. As the workshop is 100% focused on supporting startup teams as they prepare to participate in The Big Idea competition, registration in The Big Idea is required to enroll. Please note that rough drafts of all team materials are required to participate in the Half Block class. Required team materials are detailed here. To be fully prepared for the Half Block class, Innovation at CC strongly encourages students to participate in the Changemaker Workshop Series offered Fall 2019. Each workshop will cover one of the elements of the four required team materials. For students who are unable to attend the Changemaker Workshop Series, videos of the series will be posted to Innovation at CC’s website by November 2019. While the Changemaker Workshop Series and The Big Idea Half Block are not requirements for participating in The Big Idea, they are strongly encouraged. Please note that eligibility requirements and format of The Big Idea have been updated for 2020.

    Computer Language as a Language (spots available)
    Dates: January 6-16, 9:00am-12:00pm 
    Class limit: 20 students
    Description: Typically, computer programming classes approach programming from a mathematical problem-solving approach, which fits with the reasoning strategies most frequently used in computer science. In this experimental non-credit course, we will approach computer programming as a communication problem and work from analogies with natural language to explore/learn programming skills. No previous programming experience is expected, and humanities and social science majors are especially encouraged to register.

    Kaplan: GMAT (spots available)
    Dates: January 6-9; 13-14, 1:00-4:00pm
    Class limit: 15 students
    Description: You’ll find four types of sections on the GMAT: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Verbal, and Quantitative. Kaplan offers ways to customize your GMAT prep around what is on the test. This Half Block consists of six three-hour sessions to prepare you for every aspect of the GMAT. Registered students receive 9 full-length computer adaptive GMAT practice tests and over 5,000 practice questions which drive personalized recommendations based on your performance. With 18 hours of live instruction and 30 hours of elective online instruction, this in-person experience would cost over $1,500 if taken on your own. It is offered for free through Dynamic Half Block.

    Students are eligible to take the KAPLAN GMAT Half Block offering once during their Colorado College Experience. Seniors will have priority followed by Juniors. Sophomores and First Year Students are not eligible.

    Kaplan: GRE (spots available)
    Dates: January 6-9; 13-15, 9:00am-12:00pm
    Class limit: 20 students
    Description: You’ll find three types of sections on the GRE as you begin your test prep: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Kaplan offers ways to customize your GRE prep around the sections where you need to focus most. This Half Block consists of seven three-hour sessions to prepare you for every aspect of the GRE. Registered students receive twelve months of free access to Kaplan’s online test resources, which include 180+ hours of content, 7 full-length computer tests, and over 5,000 practice items. With 21 hours of live instruction and 35 hours of elective online instruction, this in-person experience would cost over $1,300 if taken on your own. It is offered for free through Dynamic Half Block.

    Students are eligible to take the KAPLAN GRE Half Block offering once during their Colorado College Experience. Seniors and Juniors who are applying to graduate school in 2020 will receive priority, followed by Seniors applying a year or more post- graduation and then Juniors. Sophomores and First Year Students are not eligible. 

    Kaplan: LSAT (course full, waitlist available)
    Dates: January 6-16, 8:30am-12:30pm; 1/9 1:30-5:30pm
    Class limit: 15 students
    Description: As you begin your LSAT prep, you’ll find three types of multiple-choice questions on the exam: Reading Comprehension questions, Analytical Reasoning questions, and Logical Reasoning questions. Kaplan offers ways to customize your LSAT preparation around the sections where you need to focus most.

    The course will comprise of a ten-session Half Block focusing on strategies for each test section. The course includes a diagnostic exam proctored by a Kaplan instructor, a midpoint test, a final exam, and a strategy review to prepare for exam day. Registered students receive twelve months of free access to Kaplan’s online test resources, which include a complete PrepTest library (80+ exams) and every released LSAT question (7,500+) with detailed explanations to each question and every answer choice. This course would cost over $1,400 if taken on your own, and is offered for free through Dynamic Half Block.

    Students are eligible to take the KAPLAN LSAT Half Block offering once during their Colorado College Experience. Seniors and Juniors who are applying to law school in 2020 will receive priority, followed by Seniors applying a year or more post- graduation and then Juniors.  Sophomores and First Year Students are not eligible.

    Kaplan: MCAT (spots available)
    Dates: January 6-16, 9:00am-12:00pm; 1/6, 1/9, 1/16 1:30-4:30pm
    Class limit: 20 students
    Description: Build the stamina and skills necessary to tackle the MCAT. The MCAT has 4 sections: Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS); Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; and Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior. Kaplan offers ways to customize your MCAT preparation around the sections where you need to focus most.

    The course will offer a Half Block comprised of twelve sessions, including a diagnostic exam, instruction on how to best tackle the four test sections, and strategies to prepare for the sit-down exam. Registered students receive twelve months of free access to Kaplan’s online test resources, which include 14 full-length exams and over 10,000 MCAT practice items. With 36 hours of live instruction, this course would cost over $2,500 if taken on your own. It is offered for free through Dynamic Half Block.

    Students are eligible to take the KAPLAN MCAT Half Block offering once during their Colorado College Experience. A student must be registered or planning to take the MCAT in the spring or summer of 2020. Seniors and Juniors who are applying to medical school in 2020 will receive priority, followed by Seniors applying a year or more post- graduation and then Juniors.  Sophomores and First Year Students are not eligible.