Mark Montgomery, college admissions expert and educational consultant, talks from the campus of Bates College about its 4-4-1 schedule, an opportunity for students to expand their academic horizons, and often a chance to see another part of the world.
Part of a series on Bates College.
So one of the other interesting things about Bates is its 4-4-1 schedule. So they have this interesting term in spring that is when you can take one class. Usually you take four classes in the fall, four classes in the winter/spring semester, and then you have this separate term that allows you to take only one course. You must take, as a student here, you must take two of those spring terms. You can take up to three but that’s the max.
The cool thing about this is, number one, it allows you to explore something in-depth and with some singular purpose during that time. And you’re also able to, maybe, take something that you never — that’s not part of your major, that’s maybe something new and different that you’ve never tried before. So it’s an excellent opportunity to expand your academic horizons and do so in a way that is both, at once, intensive because you’re just doing that one class, but it’s also a little bit more relaxed because you don’t have the demands of all the other classes that you’re taking at the same time.
Another thing that’s kind of cool about this spring term is that many of them are offered abroad. So Bates professors will organize a course in another part of the world and take the entire class there. So for example, our tour guide was talking about, there’s a new course that’s being offered in the Galapagos Islands and they did some community work there, they were doing measurements of beach erosion and green sea turtles and things like that. But they were also really getting — they had a homestay, and living with a Spanish-speaking family, a real variety of things that were happening on that spring term.
So again, the interesting, innovative calendar here affords some interesting academic opportunities that you might not find in other schools of the same type.