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Dynamic Half Block

January 8-18, 2018

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.

2018 Offerings

Coffee Chats with the Career Center

Planning to be on campus over Half Block? Join the Career Center for a series of afternoon workshops focused specifically on building career-related skills. Each workshop takes place at 3:30pm at the Career Center.

This series is geared especially towards students who want to maximize their Winter Break by taking a class in the morning and working on career readiness in the afternoon.

Coffee Chats this Half Block:

  • Tuesday, January 9: Explore your interests and options using Jobzology with Andrea Culp
  • Wednesday, January 10: Resumes and Cover Letters with Andrea Culp
  • Thursday, January 11: Interviewing Skills with Gretchen Wardell
  • Friday, January 12: Searching for Jobs and Internships with Gretchen Wardell
  • Monday, January 15: Networking and Using Tiger Link with Michael McNamee
  • Tuesday, January 16: Mock Interviews with Michael McNamee and CC Alumni
  • Wednesday, January 17: Exploring Grad School with Gretchen Wardell

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Course List

Registration for Dynamic Half Block closes December 21st, 2017! Log into Student Life on Summit to register.

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Advertising Agency Immersion 


Instructors: Millie Olson and Camille Blakely
Class Description: A week-long dive into the wildly creative, hyper-competitive world of an advertising agency. Learn about possible career paths from working professionals, and experience the roller-coaster ride of a new business pitch, working in teams against a brief from a nationally-known brand. You’ll be briefed by a senior strategist at a Fortune 500 company on a brand challenge focused on millennials. Working in teams, you’ll develop solutions with the input of professionals in all departments (creative, media, digital, public relations, account management). At the end of the week, you’ll present your ideas directly to the company’s brand strategy team via large-screen videoconference.
Class Dates: January 8-12, 2018
Class Size Limit: none
Skills you will learn: collaboration; pitching ideas; innovation

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The Big Idea Half Block


Instructors: Dez Stone Menendez, Jake Eichengreen
Class Description: This workshop will be 100% focused on innovation and startup teams participating in the Big Idea program at Colorado College and will cover every element required to successfully compete in the Colorado College Big Idea, where $50,000 is in play for your startup idea. Topics include: Core Value Proposition and alignment with your target population/market; Burning Match pitch; Executive Summary; Pitch Deck; and startup model. You and your team will receive in-depth feedback and refinement of your Big Idea. As such, it’s the best way to tune up for the rest of the process, and perfectly placed in the calendar of the Big Idea process; while not required for teams to compete, the Big Idea Half Block will surely help. And besides getting ready for the competition, the workshop will provide an intermediate/advanced primer on the innovation and startup process. Registered Big Idea teams will be given preference. Others may participate on a space available basis.
Class Dates: January 8-18, 2018
Class Size Limit: none

Skills you will learn: innovation; anticipating objections; creating a startup model

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Building Your Freelance Writing Business: The Missing Manual for Successful Entrepreneurial Writing


Instructor: Anne Braatas '76
Class Description: This half block course is a nine-day workshop on moving your creativity into the billable realm – on making a creative project bring in revenue (and keep bringing in revenue). This course is the “missing manual” for entrepreneurial writing success. A writing life is possible, and it has an economic structure and daily practice that you don’t have to invent!

In this course, you will nail the business basics of entrepreneurship and create a toolkit of business staples: forms, apps, a personal media kit, web site, branded invoice, and logo, as well as a social media and outreach strategy…all ready to deploy when your projects call. You will learn how to make and sustain relationships with freelance clients, how to structure and manage your time, and how to line up mentors. Most importantly, you will learn how to get hired by clients again and again.
Class Dates: January 8-18, 2018
Class Size Limit: none

Skills you will learn: entrepreneurship; communications strategies; time management

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Comedy in Culture in New York City *

Instructors: Heidi Lewis and Scott Krzych
Class Description: In April 2014, the now defunct @ColbertReport account (run by Comedy Central) tweeted, “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.” The tweet stemmed from a segment of The Colbert Report during which the host, comedian Stephen Colbert, critiqued Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder for refusing to change the name of his NFL team, despite outrage from indigenous communities, instead opting to develop The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation “to address the challenges that plague the Native American community.” In response to the tweet, Asian American activist Suey Park devised #CancelColbert to “critique white liberals who use forms of racial humor to mock more blatant forms of racism.” In support of Park, Dr. Brittney Cooper claims, “We never get to tell the harmed group what the proper response to racial injury should be for them.” Conversely, the staff at the Indian Country Today Media Network argued that Park’s tweets “drowned out the Native voice.” This, however, is just one example of the debates that ensue regarding the implications of comedy, especially when it is entrenched in discourses about race, gender, sexuality, and other social, cultural, and political markers. 

This course, then, will provide a space for students to participate in conversations that are concerned with comedy, including stand-up, situation comedies, film, and other forms, as a contentious and contradictory space with resistive, generative, and problematic qualities. This half block will take place in New York City, and will provide an opportunity for students to engage critically with comedy, which will entail visits to stand-up comedy clubs, comedy industry seminars, discussions with comedy scholars and professionals, and other opportunities.
Class Dates: January 7-19, 2018
Class Size Limit: 12 students
* Associated fees: Besides airfare, this trip is all-inclusive; meals, lodging, and all activities are free.

Skills you will learn: networking with comedy and media professionals; critical thought

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Computer Language as a Language


Instructor: Dan Ellsworth
Class 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.
Class Dates: January 8-18, 2018
Class Size Limit: none

Skills you will learn: basic computer coding and programming

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Creative Projects Masterclass


Instructors: Andrew Pyper and Steve Hayward
Class Description: Whether it be a novel, a screenplay, a new and daring documentary, an art installation, a pod cast, an unheard of digital application, there’s nothing more crucial to your career than being able to develop and tell your story effectively. This dynamic half-block class addresses itself to the nuts-and-bolts questions students have about how to develop and pitch ideas, no matter what they are. Over the course of nine days, this fast-paced class will show you how to take your creative concept from the ground up so that you can avoid common pitfalls and create something that will cast a spell over the marketplace.
Class Dates: January 8-18, 2018
Class Size Limit: none

Skills you will learn: storytelling; communicating ideas and potential; pitching ideas

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Design Like a Pro with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign


Instructor: Meghan Rubenstein
Class Description: Whether you are new to Adobe programs or have some prior experience, this class will develop your graphic design and photo editing skills using Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Daily projects will help you master the most common tools and encourage you to experiment with digital media. Over the course of the week, you will also produce a booklet or portfolio of personal significance suitable for print or online distribution.
Class Dates: January 8-12, 2018
Class Size Limit: 14 students

Skills you will learn: graphic design; photo editing; illustration

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Digital Tools for the Liberal Arts


Instructor: Jennifer Golightly
Class Description: Contemplating a thesis that has a digital component? Interested in experimenting with tools for research in the digital humanities or the humanistic social sciences? This course, a hands-on workshop, will provide you with exposure to a variety of different cloud-based platforms for the digital liberal arts. We'll look at tools for data modeling, linguistic/corpus analysis, text encoding, data visualization, and social network analysis.
Class Dates: January 8-12, 2018
Class Size Limit: none

Skills you will learn: data visualization; modeling; simplifying complex ideas

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Global Debt: A common factor driving uncommon times


Instructors: Mark Connors P'18
Class Description: This course is a study in how Trump, technology, and your job prospects have been shaped by the rise in sovereign debt globally. In this age of Big Data, when the speed and volume of information transference have grown geometrically, bridging the gap between theory and practice across the profession spectrum (using both soft and hard skills) is a cultural imperative. Data management skills have migrated from a competitive advantage, to a core requirement for many entry-level jobs. Therefore, in this half block, you will explore the cross-disciplinary topic of global debt with source data you secure through basic data management tools via MS Excel. Your goals will be to demystify the complexities of global markets; to learn practical data management tools that you will use to create a market study; and to leave class with both an analytical framework and database management templates to be used in future academic, business or personal endeavors. You will conclude the half block by creating a PowerPoint presentation proving your thesis with source data presented in both tabular and graphic form.
Class Dates: January 8-18, 2018
Class Size Limit: none
Skills you will learn: data management; quantitative analysis; proving and defending a thesis

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Journalism Boot Camp


Instructors: Corey Hutchins of The Colorado Independent and Columbia Journalism Review
Class Description: Looking to develop your own project or break into the industry? Curious to know what it takes to launch, thrive, and survive in today's shifting media landscape? Want a leg up on internships or learn how to freelance? This dynamic course provides you with the essential skills you'll need. In addition to focusing on best practices, ethical standards and the fundamentals of journalism, students will develop skills via a series of hands-on practical exercises developed through collaboration with a variety of working journalists. By the end of this class you should have a grounding in the nuts and bolts of reporting and the techniques used to craft investigative features, profiles, and breaking news stories.
Class Dates: January 8-18, 2018
Class Size Limit: none

Skills you will learn: reporting; investigative work; journalism ethics

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Kaplan: GMAT Test Prep *


Instructors: Kaplan Instructors
Class 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 GMAT. 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.
Class Dates: January 8-11; 15-16, 2018
Class Size Limit: 15 students
* Associated fees: This course would cost over $1,200 if taken on your own, and is offered for free through Dynamic Half Block. It has a $100 deposit with $90 refundable upon completion of the course.

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Kaplan: GRE Test Prep *


Instructors:  Kaplan Instructors
Class 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. The half block consists of seven three-hour sessions. 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.
Class Dates: January 8-17, 2018
Class Size Limit: 20 students
* Associated fees: This course would cost over $1,300 if taken on your own, and is offered for free through Dynamic Half Block. It has a $100 deposit with $90 refundable upon completion of the course.

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Kaplan: LSAT Test Prep *


Instructors: Kaplan Instructors
Class 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. Based on your strengths and weaknesses, 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 (75+ exams) and every released LSAT question (7,500+) with detailed explanations to each question and every answer choice.
Class Dates: January 8-18, 2018
Class Size Limit: 15 students
* Associated fees: This course would cost over $1,200 if taken on your own, and is offered for free through Dynamic Half Block. It has a $100 deposit with $90 refundable upon completion of the course.

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Kaplan: MCAT Test Prep *


Instructors: Kaplan Instructors
Class 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. Based on your strengths and weaknesses, Kaplan’s MCAT prep courses offer ways to customize your MCAT prep around your greatest areas of opportunity. 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.
Class Dates: January 8-18, 2018
Class Size Limit: 20 students
* Associated fees: This course would cost over $2,300 if taken on your own, and is offered for free through Dynamic Half Block. It has a $100 deposit with $90 refundable upon completion of the course.

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Management Consulting 101


Instructor: Dr. Kevin Boeh
Class Description: In this half block, students will learn about the management consulting industry and consulting as a career. Topics include an overview of the types of consulting, the key firms and their positioning, and the economics of consulting. We will discuss the tools, services, ideas, and frameworks that firms employ. With careers as a focus, we will discuss professional success factors, including structured problem-solving, analytical capabilities, communications and relationship skills, and various types of specialized knowledge/experience. We will conduct group and individual exercises to learn about and hone case interviewing skills, the primary method of screening potential consultants.

Because of the consultancy hiring timeline, this half block is especially appropriate for sophomores and juniors.
Class Dates: January 8-12, 2018 
Class Size Limit: none

Skills you will learn: consulting interviewing skills; problem-solving; analysis

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Mental Health First Aid


Instructor: Heather Horton
Class Description: The Mental Health First Aid program is an 8-hour interactive session which introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments. Participants will learn potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems, and a 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to assess the situation and intervene appropriately.
Class Dates: January 8-12, 2018
Class Size Limit: none

Skills you will learn: mental health crisis intervention skills

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Moving, Thinking, Meaning: Investigating Mind and Body in Dance and Movement Theatre


Instructor: Rob List
Class Description: One of the major challenges for the performing artist, no matter what style of dance, mime or theater, is actually ‘being in the moment’ when performing. How do we avoid getting ahead of ourselves, acting only from memory, being overly self-conscious or self-critical when we’re moving or acting onstage? As well, why do viewers so often feel obliged to analyze or ‘get’ what is happening onstage? These issues are of fundamental importance no matter what type of dance or movement we’re interested in.

This will be a research workshop that examines three basic issues for dancers and all those interested in movement for the stage: how to bring mind and body together in the moment of performance, how movement creates meaning, and how often-unconscious preconceptions about dance influence how we see and make performance.

We’ll begin by creating a simple movement phrase to use as a ‘model’ to explore topics - like symmetry, repetition, balance, beginnings and endings of gesture, breath and coordination - in order to begin discovering not only how movement itself creates meaning, but also how our own presumptions about dance influence what it is we make and see.

We’ll work in rotating partnerships alternating performing and viewing our models, each day developing them further, and all the while working towards bringing mind and body together in each present moment. We’ll use simple and fun drawing exercises to develop a real-time concentration based on perception instead of will-power. At the end of the workshop we’ll present our models and exhibit some results of our drawing exercises for the interested public.
Class Dates: January 8-18, 2018
Class Size Limit: none

Skills you will learn: mindfulness; confidence; self-expression; poise

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Represent Your First Client, Try Your First Case: Pre-Law Half Block


Instructor: Senior District Judge Mike Mayes
Class Description: Join Senior District Judge Mike Mayes in evaluating a case involving criminal and civil law. Discuss relevant issues pertinent to the case, represent the plaintiff or defendant, and make your final argument to the jury. Note that class times have been specially selected to allow Kaplan: LSAT Prep students to attend.
Class Dates: January 8-12, 2018 
Class Size Limit: none

Skills you will learn: oral communication; legal terminology; structuring arguments

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Skiing, the Outdoors, and the Colorado High Country: A deep dive into the historical, social, racial, and environmental issues around outdoor activities *


Instructor: Drew Cavin
Class Description: This is a 5-day course that includes a 2-day/2-night trip to Summit County to ski and visit with various stakeholders in the ski industry. We will cover the history of nature-related tourism and the ski industry in Colorado with Bill Philpot from DU. We will then explore the environmental impacts of the ski industry and the social dynamics of race and class as they relate to “the outdoors” in general, and the ski industry specifically. Students who do not own ski clothing can rent it at the Gear House. The class can cover the cost of ski rentals for students in need and, depending on the number of students, may be able to cover a half-day ski lesson for beginner skiers.
Class Dates: January 8-12, 2018; ski trip to Summit County January 11-12
Class Size Limit: 18 students
* Associated fees: This course has a $50 deposit with $45 refundable upon completion of the course.

Skills you will learn: networking with industry professionals; critical thought; skiing 

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Soundance: Film Audio Blowout!


Instructor: Chris Bittner
Class Description: Learn all about postproduction film audio and apply knowledge to rebuilding the entire soundtrack for the six-minute short film, Loot (2015). We will showcase our work on January 12th in the Cornerstone Screening Room.
Class Dates: January 8-12, 2018
Class Size Limit: none

Skills you will learn: audio production; troubleshooting software and equipment; time management

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The Vocab: Critical approaches to spoken word writing and performing


Instructor: Jessica Helen Lopez
Class Description: Ideal for vets and beginners alike, this course invites you to create original spoken word performance pieces drawn from the cracks and corners of your life. From rhyme to rage, we will identify critical techniques utilized by key artists from the genre’s rich history. A series of creative and collaborative exercises, enhanced by group critiques, lead to one-two culminating public performances. This year's Vocab will be guest taught by former Albuquerque Poet Laureate and Slam Champion Jessica Helen Lopez.
Class Dates: January 8-18, 2018
Class Size Limit: 25 students

Skills you will learn: clear communication; confidence; self-expression; comfort in front of audiences

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Registration for non-credit offerings will open in October and take place on Summit. You can access Summit by logging into CC through Single Sign In. See our Summit Instructions for help. If you have questions about enrollment and course availability, please contact the Career Center.

Several of the non-credit offerings have limited spots and early deadlines, so be sure to read all information, plan ahead, and register early so that you don't miss out!


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