Half Block For-Credit Offerings

Immerse Yourself in the Life of the Mind

For-credit academic offerings during the nine-day half-block give students the opportunity to explore courses outside of their major and requirements or to work closely with professors to delve deeper into a subject matter for which they already have foundational coursework. Students can earn 0.5 units of credit towards the 32 required for graduation and tuition for half-block is already included in the spring semester tuition.

Registration in SSB for Half Block will open in Add/Drop along with Fall 2023 schedule changes beginning May 10, 2023, at 12 PM MDT. Half block dates: January 8 – 18, 2024.

Half Block Class Policy

Half-block is a 0.5 unit course offered at the beginning of the spring semester. If a student is enrolled full time in EITHER the fall semester OR the spring semester (while remaining enrolled at least part-time in the other semester), half block does not carry a tuition charge. If, however, a student is part-time in both fall and spring and not enrolled in one semester or the other, half block is charged as a half unit course with the standard tuition for that year.

For financial aid purposes, half-block is part of the spring semester. If a student is not taking 3 other units in the spring, half-block will be added to their enrollment to determine their federal aid eligibility. However, no CC financial aid will be offered for enrollment in half-block.

2024 For-Credit Half-Block Courses

Instructor: Ron Hathaway, Professor Emeritus

Description: An examination of the cellular and organismal biology of parasites, paying close attention to the life cycle of parasites and their importance to humans and natural systems. 0.5 units

Instructor: Sue Allon, Visiting Instructor

Description: The study of the development and implementation of a personal finance and investment program. Includes analysis of budgeting and tax planning, managing liquidity, financing large purchases, protecting assets and income, analyzing investment information, examining alternative investment types, and investing money for retirement. Graded Pass/Fail only. (Not offered 2022-23). 0.5 unit

Instructor: Tim Nguyen, Visiting Assistant Professor

Description: The study of the development and implementation of a personal finance and investment program. Includes analysis of budgeting and tax planning, managing liquidity, financing large purchases, protecting assets and income, analyzing investment information, examining alternative investment types, and investing money for retirement. Graded Pass/Fail only. (Not offered 2022-23). 0.5 unit

Instructor: Eli Fahrenkrug, Assistant Professor

Description: This class is all about scale. We'll use the molecular shape of water to rationalize everything from snow meteorology to the six-fold symmetry of snowflakes. We'll zoom out to consider the metamorphism of snow on the ground as it relates to stress, strain, and avalanches. We'll spend 5 days in the classroom and 4 days digging in the snow.

Instructor: Peggy Daugherty, Associate Professor

Description: This course will review basic mathematical concepts that are important for success in chemistry. The following concepts are among those that will be chosen to be reviewed: fractions, order of calculations, reciprocals, significant figures, exponents and scientific notation, ratios and percentages, the metric and SI systems, conversions of one unit of measure to another, simple stoichiometric calculations, dilutions, graphs and standard curves, and simple statistics. The mathematical topics will be integrated into selected topics from chemistry. Prerequisite: No credit after CH108. 0.5 units

Instructor: Jared Harris, Lecturer

Description: This class will deepen understanding of basic concepts important for success in organic chemistry: Lewis structures, hybridized atomic orbitals, VSEPR theory, resonance structures, and acid-base chemistry. An introduction to drawing and interpreting three-dimensional bond-line representations of organic molecules will also be provided.

Instructor: George Butte, Professor

Description: This class will look at the history and themes of great movie thrillers.  We will start early (1930) and go late (2017), and look at key elements of form and content in our films: from the heist film to the political thriller, the police procedural, Hitchcock, the drama of the final girl, and race and the thriller.  Throughout, our films raise important political and existential questions. Suspense in great movies is always “about” something. We’ll look a little at genre theory, and a lot at film form: why does Lang or Hitchcock or Jordan Peele do this with the camera, with the lighting, with that graphic match? Another question: why do (some) people seek to be frightened and disturbed by these movies?

Instructor: Matt Cooney, Director of the GIS Center

Description: Explores the basics of computer-based information analysis and manipulation. Teaches students fundamentals of basic GIS tasks: mapmaking, spatial analysis, and database creation. Students learn to use software that links these three functions together. Computer-based exercises are used both in class to teach fundamentals, and in labs that assist students to learn and use basic GIS tools.

Instructor: Alistaire Tallent, Associate Professor

Description: Taught in France. Prerequisite: Must be enrolled in French Semester.

Instructor: Srda Popovic, Distinguished Visiting Instructor, and Slobodan Djinovic, Distinguished Visiting Instructor

Description: The course is designed as an interactive workshop for students interested in social change movements and their operational environment in the contemporary digital era. Connecting elements of change theory with practical skills of understanding communications, the digital environment, and building an online campaign that has a real impact on the “offline” world. Picking the case study early in the half-block, students work in small groups to develop media strategies for social movements or change organizations. Students investigate the movement’s vision, values, strategy, and organization. Groups then innovate and develop a toolbox of online campaigning techniques that integrate real-world activism with digital online strategies.

Instructor: Sarah Hinkle, Director of the Speaking Center

Description: Various departments across disciplines, including the sciences and mathematics, are now acknowledging the significance of communications in their fields (Darling & Daniels, 2003). The Speaking Center offers in-person oral communication tutoring sessions and connects students with a network of trained peers who can support their learning in communication. Students and faculty have been requesting additional resources to refine communication in formal and informal settings. This new Half Block course will be designed so students will be able to apply theoretical concepts in the areas of communication, apply pedagogical practices fundamental to teaching/training, and apply peer tutoring & training theoretical concepts and practice. The target audience for this course is prospective peer tutors in the Speaking Center and will include individual work and student pairs engaging in collaborative efforts: practice sessions, test critiques, role-play, and group discussion. Peer Tutoring provides academic support for students by strengthening effective communication skills and employing strategies using communication-specific principles for upcoming oral presentations. Offered Pass/No Credit only

Instructor: Inger Bull, Visiting Instructor

Description: This course will introduce students to different models and theories of comparative culture with the goal of preparing students to enter a foreign culture and navigate cultural differences successfully.  Models and theories include Milton Bennett’s Cultural Sensitivity Model, Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory, and Edward T. Hall’s theories of proxemics, context, and chronic time.  At the end of the course, students will have knowledge of theory and the ability to transfer that knowledge into practice abroad.

Instructor: Steve Getty, QRC Director, and Karen Chui, QRC Assistant Director

Description: The ability to analyze and represent data using multiple platforms is a key skill for students to possess in their analytical “toolbox.” Students and faculty at Colorado College have been requesting an introductory course to the programming and data visualization language R. Especially as R becomes more widely used in an array of disciplines and professions, this Half Block course will be designed to help students either begin or improve their skills coding in R and then analyze and present data visualizations in R. The course will include either individual students or student pairs using datasets of interest to them to analyze, represent, and interpret an aspect of the data set using R.

Instructor: Heather Kelley, Career Center

Description: This course introduces you to the fundamentals of planning and organizing your job/internship search strategies. We will begin with understanding individual talents and reflecting on your own motivated skills, values, and interests. Organizations hire because they have talent needs, you will identify an industry of interest, research, and critically analyze the alignment between your individual talent and the organizational needs of the industry. This course will empower you to explore careers with confidence. Understanding your talent profile will help you identify opportunities you align with and prepare for them by developing compelling personal marketing materials. You will also gain deeper insights into factors that influence career/job choice, such as individual budgeting, location, living standards, and salaries.

Instructor: Adam Light, Assistant Professor

Description: This course is a research project in interdisciplinary materials science designed for first- or second-year students. No prior experience or training is required. After a brief introduction to elements of plasma physics, surface chemistry, and materials properties, students will choose a material and a property they wish to modify. Using the tools available and with the guidance of the instructor, students will design and carry out an experiment to determine whether they can effectively modify the selected property. The curriculum includes goal-setting, project management, and self-assessment, with the aim of helping students build capacity for independent work. Students will gain experience in a low-stakes environment, have ownership of asking and answering scientific questions, and generate potentially fruitful ideas for collaborative research with faculty in the future.

Instructors: Dan Johnson, Professor and Ryan Banagale, Associate Professor

Description: The Mattel Company has a long history of creativity and economic impact, bringing toys from concept through creation and marketing for nearly 80 years. Their brands include Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, and American Girl, demonstrating generation-spanning appeal to children and parents alike. This half-credit course with a quarter-credit internship (.5 + .25 units) will spend nine days on site at Mattel in Los Angeles with two Colorado College faculty, learning from company experts about the toy development process, from ideation through retailing. We will explore how Mattel collects insights about consumer trends, play patterns, and shoppers; how designers and engineers create toys with desirable features based on those patterns; and how sales/marketing teams work with retail customers. Learning will be hands-on, in small teams based on student interest, with curricular support from our multidisciplinary faculty, and informed by recent college graduates who can advise on the career path ahead. As a culmination, faculty will advise students as they complete team-based consulting projects to present to Mattel executives. Prerequisites: declared major and COI.

Instructor: Chris Schacht, Director, Writing Center

Description: This course has two purposes: (1) to delve into the complex processes involved in writing and talking about writing, and (2) to prepare students to work as writing consultants in the Colorado College Writing Center. Key course themes include the theory and practice of writing, the theory and practice of tutoring, critical thinking, self-awareness, and team-building. Students will have the opportunity to discuss and apply theories to specific tutoring situations, role play, solve problems in groups, and practice tutoring. Interested students must apply in the fall for participation in the class. The course is held annually during half block. 0.5 unit; Pass/Fail only; COI required.

Instructor: Dan Miska, Senior Lecturer

Description: A laboratory-based human cadaver dissection course designed to help students gain an advanced understanding of selected joints of the human body and to develop the skills of human cadaver dissection.

Instructor: Jessy Randall, Archivist, Curator of Special Collections, and Steve Lawson, Access Services Librarian

Description: Examines the development of technologies of the written word, from clay tablets and sheepskin scrolls to the manuscript codex, early printed books, modern printing, and digital text. Questions the way reading, writing, and preserving texts intersect with identity, memory, and history, making extensive use of primary materials in the library's Special Collections and incorporating a hands-on experience at The Press at Colorado College.

Instructor: Amanda Minervini, Assistant Professor

Description: A half-block course involving both cultural and practical knowledge of regional cooking in contemporary Italy with special attention to the cuisine resulting from the new encounters of traditional regional cooking (itself the result of historical cultural exchanges) with contemporary migrant cultures. (This course has an extra fee to pay for kitchen rental and food).

Instructor: Ken Scriboni, Visiting Professor

Description: A half-block course involving both cultural and practical knowledge of regional cooking in contemporary Italy with special attention to the cuisine resulting from the new encounters of traditional regional cooking (itself the result of historical cultural exchanges) with contemporary migrant cultures. (This course has an extra fee to pay for kitchen rental and food).

Instructor: Ricky Sweum, Visiting Instructor

Description: Study today’s music business; learn practical steps for building multiple revenue streams within the music industry. Investigate the current job market as a live and studio performing musician, composer and arranger, songwriter, teacher, producer, recording engineer, manager, and more. Topics on brand-building, building an audience, marketing, social media, and press kits will be covered. Develop an understanding of music copyrights, royalties, and sync licensing. Explore aspects of the recording industry, from the inception of a song idea, all the way through recording, production, and distribution, using digital, physical, and cryptocurrency media.

Instructor: Tom Edwards, Visiting Instructor

Description: Engineering product design. An interactive project-based course that provides an introduction to engineering fundamentals. Students will prototype and manufacture an integrated mechanical and electrical product. Includes instruction in fundamentals of mechanical and electrical engineering necessary for product design. Students will finish the course with a good idea of what a career in engineering is really like. In addition, the class will provide an overview of many fields in engineering, and discuss how to apply to an internship or first job in engineering. The class is open to all Colorado College students regardless of their major.

Instructor: Naomi Wood, Associate Professor

Description: This half-block course will introduce students to some of the musical traditions of twentieth and twenty-first-century Brazil as well as basic communication in the Portuguese language. Students will explore traditions such as forró, samba, bossa nova, MPB, sertaneja, batucada, funk, among others. Course may be taught in Portuguese depending on enrollment and prior language experience of students.

Instructor: Gail Murphy-Geiss, Professor

Description: A course designed to put sociology into practice for a community, organization, or movement. A praxis course is distinguished by genuine collaboration with community partners and by a process of reflection that incorporates lessons learned in the classroom and the application of theoretical understandings to work for social change. Must be arranged at least one block in advance. May be taken for up to 1 unit on any schedule, including as a block course(s), as a year- or semester- long course taken as adjuncts, as a half block with or without additional adjunct blocks or as only adjuncts.

Instructor: Santiago Guerra, Associate Professor

Description: This course introduces students to the theory and practice of oral history and qualitative interview methodologies. Students will learn how to develop an oral history and/or qualitative interview-based research project, and how to incorporate oral evidence as data into research and writing.

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Contact the corresponding academic department of the program you're interested in.


Please contact the Career Center at careercenter@coloradocollege.edu or (719) 389-6893.

Report an issue - Last updated: 11/08/2023