Founded in 1874, Colorado College is a private, four-year, co- educational, liberal arts and sciences college. It is located on a 90-acre campus in downtown Colorado Springs (metro population 452,415), on the front range of the Rocky Mountains, 70 miles south of Denver.
Total enrollment for 1996-97 is 1,962 (915 men, 1,047 women). Classes are "capped" at 25 students (32 if two professors) and average class size is 15 students. Few strict lecture courses exist; almost every class is a seminar.
The most notable feature of The Colorado College is its pioneering of "the Block Plan," in which the academic year is divided into eight 3-1/2 week sessions, equivalent to four semester hours each. Students take only one course per block and professors teach only one course per block. Implemented in 1970, the Block Plan allows for intensive study with no interruptions from other academic obligations, extended laboratory and on-location field work, and independent study. Freed from having to spend an hour or two each night switching mental gears from chemistry to calculus, then to metaphysics, the philosophical basis of communism, and advanced readings in economics, the Block Plan allows students to focus and absorb a single subject in great detail.
The student-faculty ratio is 11.3 to 1. All classes are taught by professors, not teaching assistants or graduate instructors. There are currently 160 full-time, 48 part-time professors. Another 50 visit annually to teach one special topics course. Among the faculty, 97% hold the highest degree in their field.