A variety of Cornell professors (and President Brand) have written essays reflecting on One Course At A Time. In the best spirit of our approach to teaching and learning, we invite you to pick a guide (or several) and go deeper to learn what makes Cornell courses so special.

  • Assistant Professor Brian Johns


    Consider One Course At A Time analyzed in terms of efficiency from the perspective of a student (from the mind of an Engineering professor.) Many of the same tools and techniques engineers use to identify areas for process improvement also can apply to the educational schedule.  Read more

  • Professor Shannon Reed

    English and Creative Writing

    Looked at horizontally—from day one to day 18—the block plan course doesn’t seem like a lot of time. But looked at vertically—from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.—each day on the block plan offers incredible flexibility and thus opportunity.  Read more

  • Professor Emily Walsh


    Even the most difficult concepts become clearer when you can stare at the rock, touch it, sketch it, follow it through the woods, hammer it, and examine it at length with a hand lens. As long as the field trips are in the syllabus at the start of class, I can schedule field trips of any length, ranging from half a day to several weeks.  Read more

  • Professor Derin Sherman

    Physics & Engineering

    I believe that the purpose of college is to give students the experiences they need to succeed in the real world. Cornell College’s academic calendar is ideally suited to this task because it allows students to engage in more real-life experiences than they could under the semester system.  Read more

  • Professor Santhi Hejeebu

    Economics & Business

    One Course, plus Cornell’s small class sizes, translates to a high-commitment, high-accountability learning environment. There’s simply no better preparation for the world of work.  Read more

  • Professor Katy Stewart


    Through the deep immersion of One Course At A Time study, my students take ownership of their topic through hands-on history making. They complete independent archival research off campus, conduct oral history interviews, or learn on-the-job training through internships at major local historical organizations.  Read more

  • Professor Devan Baty


    Language students are most engaged when their learning is placed into a broader context. We bring that context to the classroom with culturally rich materials such as music, film, art, food, and literature.  Read more

  • Professor Melinda Green


    The learning and memory literature shows experiential learning leads to long-lasting memory traces. I feel privileged to teach on a schedule that allows me the flexibility to include many of these types of learning experiences.  Read more

  • Professor David Yamanishi


    The advantages of One Course At A Time are so many and so compelling that I can’t imagine teaching on a semester or quarter plan again. The block plan lets professors fit the class schedule to the needs of the class, rather than fit the needs of the class to the schedule.  Read more

  • Professor Scott Olinger


    One of the things my colleagues and I appreciate most about One Course At A Time is the unprecedented access it allows to guest artists. And when we can’t bring the artists here, One Course At A Time allows us to go to them.  Read more

  • Professor Ann Cannon

    Math & Statistics

    At Cornell I have the students’ full attention. My class is their focus for 18 days. They do the homework, they come to class prepared, and they listen.  Read more

  • Professor Craig Teague


    Flexibility abounds with One Course At A Time. In chemistry, we take advantage of this flexibility on daily, course-level, and curriculum-level timescales.  Read more

  • Professor Emeritus Richard Peterson


    One Course At A Time was not the compression of courses into a shorter period. Instead, it was taking what we had always done and figuring out how it might successfully be done in a shorter, more concentrated period of time.  Read more

  • Jonathan Brand

    President of Cornell College

    Engagement, a necessary component for real learning, is possible under a semester system, but is harder to achieve, given the number of different courses a student may take simultaneously. At Cornell College, students can attain this level of engagement in every single course.  Read more