OCAAT in depth
Craig Allin, professor of politics, voted for the shift to OCAAT in 1978. He was recently interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio about his 30+ years of experience teaching on the block plan. Iowa Public Radio followed suit with interviews of theatre professor Jim Van Valen and student Taylor Koch.
In the Spring 2012 issue of the Cornell Report, six faculty members reflect on their experiences teaching One Course At A Time.
One Course At A Time
In 1978, Cornell College adopted a block plan calendar, known as One Course At A Time, that enabled three distinctive academic benefits to blossom: focus, flexibility, and passion.
When students and professors focus deeply on one subject at a time, learning happens in particularly exciting and effective ways. Whether you’re studying ancient Greek culture or experimenting in the biology lab, a clear focus and sustained attention will help you to reach a deeper level of knowledge and understanding.
Just as students take one course at a time, Cornell faculty teach just one course at a time. Your professors dedicate themselves fully to you and your classmates, mentoring students in exceptionally powerful faculty-student relationships and intense learning communities. The OCAAT block calendar also means faculty have the flexibility to take art students to museums and galleries in Chicago, to take a class to Dallas to learn first-hand about professional sports management, or to take students anywhere in the world for an entire block to study religion in Ethiopia, geology in New Zealand, or psychology in Japan.
Studying at Cornell on the block plan means you’ll immerse yourself in a single course each three-and-a-half-week block, then engage in a new subject after a four-day block break. Concentrating on a single class, you’re free to indulge your passion in areas such as creative writing, studio art, or laboratory science. You'll also have the opportunity to pursue internships, independent study, foreign language study abroad, and extended trips for athletics or the arts without affecting other coursework.
Focus, flexibility, and passion. With OCAAT, the opportunities are extraordinary—and almost limitless.