One of Colorado College’s defining features is, of course, the Block Plan. For students especially, the Block Plan comes with the added incentive of block breaks, without which many students would drown in schoolwork. But what happens after college when block breaks are no longer part of life?
Because of a new offering by the Alumni Relations Office for alumni, parents, and friends of Colorado College to travel abroad and take classes even after their college career has ended, block breaks don’t have to disappear after graduation.
This alumni travel program is an attempt to preserve the passion for learning that the CC community demonstrates.
“What we heard [from alums] was that they wanted more educational opportunities, as opposed to social mixers or athletic events,” said Sean Pieri, Vice President for Advancement. “Our graduates are well traveled, so we are trying to select interesting opportunities for these folks.”
On March 30 of 2013, a group of around 35 adults traveled to Cuba.
“Not many Americans have had the opportunity to go to Cuba, and it sold out,” Pieri said. “The group toured Cuba and did some sightseeing. They would also have lectures and discussions about the economy in Cuba. It was all about Cuba.”
This travel program is not unique to Colorado College. What makes Colorado College different, though, is that a faculty expert leads these trips.
“Many top colleges and universities have programs like this,” Pieri said. “[For CC,] every trip is built around the expertise of a faculty; that’s what makes us unique.”
By utilizing the faculty, CC is able to make these trips educational and informative, as well as fun and enjoyable.
CC has offered these types of trips before, so they aren’t entirely new to the community. The goal now is to take the previous trips and structure them more concretely, so that several groups will travel each year.
“We’ve done some trips in the past sporadically,” Pieri said. “However there was really no organized effort. We’d like to get six to eight a trips a year going to unique and fun locations.”
Future trip locations include Antarctica, South Africa, Telluride, and Tuscany. Each trip has a different core focus in order to emphasize different aspects of the location’s geography, history, and culture.
These trips are not easy to afford, but the Alumni Relations Office is trying to make them more accessible and affordable by sending groups to a variety of locations.
“We’re trying to get different price points,” Pieri said.
While there is no financial aid being offered for these trips, certain places will be much more affordable. This way, a greater percentage of the Colorado College community will be able to take full advantage of everything CC offers, both during and after college.