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Collection: Cornell College

Cornell College, a selective liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa, attracts a colorful community of diverse, empathetic neighbors-students, faculty, staff, and alumni-who care about each other.

Cornell's block plan is one reason it is included in “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges.” Professors, and their students who come from 45 states and 13 countries, focus on one class per 18-day block before their next course starts. It's the innovative-some might say ingenious-foundation of every Cornellian's education. Flexible, experiential. Cornell has been living, learning, and teaching on the block plan, One Course At A Time, since 1978 when it left the traditional semester plan behind.

Everything from its curriculum to its facilities is built to maximize the benefits of the block plan. Cornell's block offers flexible and experiential learning unlike-and superior to-semester plans. Research, internships, service opportunities, and block-long courses that take the students and professors off-campus and even out of the country are made possible due to the block's flexibility. These experiential learning opportunities are referred to as Ingenuity in Action-a component at the center of Cornell's core curriculum and to each student's journey.

Cornell extended its calendar to a 10-block year starting fall 2020 so students have 8 standard blocks per year, plus 2 additional flex blocks. No matter what disruptions interfere with a student's academic year, the block plan provides the college with enough flexibility that it offers a 4-year graduation guarantee.

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