If you think ice is nice and were hoping to be on campus this Half Block but hadn’t signed up for a class yet, then fear no more, because among the college’s new Half Block offering is The Ice Skating package, a class covering riveting topics such as the Anatomy of the Zamboni and Painting Logos.

The new Ice Skating Package class is part of the College’s push to create a dynamic Half Block Program, with more offerings and greater variety than before.

The new offerings are designed to “offer additional types of skill building, creativity, leadership opportunities,” said Megan Nicklaus, Career Center Director.

The new classes are diverse, with subjects ranging from mental health first aid to personal branding for today’s workplace. However, an addendum to this tantalizing array of new classes: they are non-credit offerings.

“We’re calling them opportunities because they’re not-for-credit,” Nicklaus said.

The new offerings were a team effort, drawing collaboration from all across campus.

“Residence Life is involved — they’re presenting the leadership component,” said Nicklaus. “You’ve got Outdoor Education involved — they have several workshops going on. You have faculty who are involved, and then you have the Career Center, who is playing a part in this as well.”

Additionally, administrators working on the new Half Block offerings utilized student opinions to create opportunities that would interest them, leading to some of the new courses. The test prep courses, which cover the GMAT, GRE, LSAT, and MCAT were all added in response to student interest.

“As students ask for things that seem to complement that liberal arts education, we try to seek out what are those opportunities that we can provide that will help support that,” says Nicklaus.

These new courses also vary in the time commitments they require. Some courses meet only either the first or second week of Half Block, while others have adopted the more conventional nine-day course length.

Some of these new courses are also scheduled in such a way that they can be taken in conjunction. Students interested in going into the medical field after college could take the MCAT test prep course during the day, and the Career Choices in the Health Professions in the evenings.

There is also hope for even further expansion of Half Block.

“This is the beginning stages of the Half Block. We wanted to try and do something to start that process and not wait for an entire year,” said Nicklaus, “[President Jill Tiefenthaler] is putting together a committee, or has a committee, that will continue to look at this moving forward.”

“This is a starting point; this is not a finished product,” Nicklaus added. “This is really just a start to say, you know, let’s try something new, let’s try to provide additional opportunities during this unique two weeks.”

Charles Simon, Staff Writer

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