College of the Atlantic

For this month’s spotlight, we’re going to get specific. I’m talking which-shade-of-nail-polish-best-matches-the-imbalance-of-your-chakras-today specific. I’m writing about a wonderful college that is so unique and so distinctive that there really isn’t anything else like it in the United States. The College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine caters to students with one specific thing on their minds: Human Ecology.

Okay, so maybe a school that offers a degree with one main focus sounds a little confining to the average student out there. Actually, it’s the exact opposite. By definition, Human Ecology at Atlantic covers a plethora of subjects and can simply be explained as the study of our species’ relationship to the planet. You can see how that encompasses pretty much, well, anything you want it to. Because of this, students at the college are actually responsible for designing their own degree and their own course schedule, which can range from art and literature to environmental, marine, or international studies. And if you’re really ambitious, a little bit of everything all rolled into one. It’s all about what you want to learn at College of the Atlantic.

The college is also focused on personal attention and personal discovery. There’s no separation among academic departments because the faculty who built the college didn’t want to encourage intellectual boundaries. Only a few hundred students are enrolled at one time, so the classes are very small (average is 12 per class). And, the focus is always about engaging the students with project-based, hands-on courses. Fittingly, the college’s motto is “Life changing. World Changing.”

We could go on and on about the unique qualities of the school, like how 65% of its students study abroad or how 30% of the faculty members are conversant in at least one language in addition to English, but we won’t. Instead, check out the school’s website for more information, and start planning your own individual, completely unique and specific degree.

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