So, maybe you aren’t a student who is looking for the typical college experience. Maybe football games and lecture halls just don’t excite you the way that they do some of your peers. But, I have two words for you that may just get your college excitement wheels spinning. Ready? Cowboy scholar.
That’s right. I said cowboy scholar. And if you are the kind of person who thinks cowboy hats are way cooler than letterman jackets, Deep Springs College in Big Pine, California may be the perfect place for you.
This college is, quite possibly, the most interesting school I’ve ever come across. Deep Springs College is not just a liberal arts college; it is also a cattle ranch and an alfalfa-farm. And the 26 students who attend each year are not just students; they are ranchers and farmers. Founder L.L. Nunn created this school in 1917 and centered its curriculum on three core “pillars” which he deemed important for any young adult’s education: academics, labor, and self-governance.
The daily life of a Deep Springs student is quite different from a normal college student’s experience. It can consist of discussion-based seminars, farm work, baking, poetry readings, stargazing sessions and so much more. The only required courses are public speaking and composition. The school strongly believes in a student’s proficiency in both written and oral communication. It is also required that students work on the ranch every day. All other courses are based around the student’s interest.
Students and professors all live and work on the ranch, and professors take a far more hands-on approach than a normal university professor would. For instance, the school’s website states that, “It is traditional for professors to leave their porch lights on in the evenings, an invitation for students to visit them at home.” Students gain their education through one-on-one interactions, small interactive group sessions, and individual exploration.
The coolest thing about this unique two-year school is that virtually all of the students who graduate end up transferring to highly selective institutions. Over the last ten years, Harvard, University of Chicago, Yale, and Brown have been where most Deep Springs students end up.
There honestly isn’t enough room on this page for me to do this school justice. Now, I do have to warn you, right now the school only admits men. However, Deep Springs has announced on their website that they are currently working hard to become a coeducational facility in the near future. Hooray!
So if you feel that there is a cowboy (or girl) inside of you, just begging to come out, visit Deep Spring’s website and check out more about this awesome college: http://www.deepsprings.edu/home