Colorado College - Review

I attended Colorado College for 2 years before moving on. I was a high achieving high school student – straight As and an 800 on one of the SATs. Freshman year at CC I got As and Bs. At the beginning of my sophomore year, in large part because I had bit off more than I could chew, I suddenly got two Cs and I became very depressed. I tried to continue but lacked the necessary motivation to keep up with the rigorous block schedule. After starting each class for the rest of the year, I ended up dropping or failing all of them.

Of course, the culpability for this disastrous experience lies with me. However, amazingly, this complete collapse did not raise any flags or alarms among the teachers or administration. In fact, the College didn’t do anything to help me. For eight months, no teacher or administrator even noticed that I had stopped being a functioning student.

Like at all colleges, there are some systems in place at CC to help students deal with personal or academic crises. But for the students who don’t walk through those doors, you could be bleeding on the sidewalk and everyone would step over you on their way to meet their busy schedules and commitments. It seems that, in a small community, ostensibly composed of caring mentors who are managing the education of 18-22 year olds, someone should have noticed. Disappointingly, no one said, “Your academic performance has suddenly dropped,” or “We’re concerned about you,” or “Your teachers say you’re skipping class or dropping out with no explanation - what’s going on?” or “You don’t seem like you’re doing well… how can we help? Are you alright?” I suspect this means that, at both the administrative and staff levels, the College is not putting any effort into monitoring student progress, helping to guide students, or making lasting personal connections – except when initiated by the students themselves.

CC may be no different than other colleges and universities. Maybe they are all on auto-pilot and only pay attention to students when they have to. Most likely, wherever you go, you will have to demand the attention that you are paying for. CC certainly came to appear to me blatantly as a business, not an educational institution. I became disgusted and disillusioned with it as a whole, and unenrolled.

OP wrote: “rigorous block schedule”. What makes the block schedule at CC–one course at a time–so rigorous ?

Thanks in advance !

P.S. My impression is that OP just needed a break from school due to depression rather than by being overwhelmed by the block schedule.

Interesting that this was posted in the Virginia Tech section. OP: Is that your current school ? If so, are you happy there ?

This year Colorado College started a new advising program called The Hub, which in addition to a faculty advisor, assigns a staff member to each student from the start of their CC journey until graduation. Perhaps CC realized the need for a more thorough and holistic approach to advising? At orientation, they spent a great deal of time about advising, mental health, etc., both to the students and to the parents, so I do know it is absolutely on their radar.

Because of the block program, it’s not unheard of that kids don’t complete a block – for instance, if someone is sick at the beginning of the block and misses several classes, it is likely that they will not be able to complete the block and need to drop and perhaps take an adjunct instead to at least earn some credit for that block. So, a missed block or two might not be a huge red flag – but agreed that reaching out to a student with a steady downward trajectory should absolutely be done, and it makes me sad this was not done for you. I wonder if they recognized this issue and that’s the reason why they added this new, non-faculty component to advising and made it more of an advising team for students – with the staff member following the student for their entire CC career – instead of just an advisor for academics (this one can be switched once a major is declared, I think).
If you have not already done so, it would be wise to reach out to Colorado College and tell them your story. I am not sure if it’s commonplace for colleges to receive feedback on why a student transfers (at Colorado College, which is so uniquely structured, I have to imagine they assume a bad fit unless they hear otherwise). But in your instance, this kind of feedback could help future students, and therefore I hope you take the time to reach out and share your experience with CC. Sounds like they already are taking the steps to ensure students don’t slip through the cracks. I am sorry for your experience and hope that you’re thriving in your new environment.

My experience with CC was extraordinary concern on student well being, attendance and performance. Far more than than any college I’ve known. That does not mean that they catch everyone.

I’m sorry about your experiences and your personal journey with depression , and hope that things have stabilized for you.