Coming Soon: The Beloit Block


Starting this summer, Beloit College will be offering three-week intensive courses to current students. Each course will run from May 17 to June 6 and will be worth one full unit.

“The Beloit Block program is part of a broader initiative started in Fall 2010 to enhance summer learning opportunities for Beloit College students and showcase Beloit’s distinctive approach to liberal learning to high school students,” Director of Summer Programs Alisa Pykett said.

The block format will allow students to explore a course topic in a way that, according to the website, is often not possible during the regular academic year.

“We give a lot of attention to integrating the curricular and co-curricular on campus and the idea of experiential learning,” Professor of English and Director of the Writing Program Chuck Lewis said. “During the regular semester, there is a space and time dynamic to scheduling courses. During the summer though, that space and time element is eliminated.”

Currently, there are four courses being offered:

Reading, Writing, and Riding a Bike (WRIT 200, ENGL 223, IDST 210):

“It’s a cross-disciplinary reading and writing course that will look at the movement of bicycles in this nation, as well as participating in it… We will take rides every day, usually in the afternoon,” said Lewis. “Since it’s primarily a writing course, students will use the bicycle to explore many different modes of writing, including creative, academic, journalistic, scientific and research.”

Structuring Chaos: Jump Starting Creative Work (TDMS 205):

“Our summer course is a class for artists intrigued with science, philosophy, practice and development of the creative ‘spark.’ We will research, plot, set-up, test and attempt ‘sparks’ all in the same day,” Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts John Kaufmann said. “We’ll also have time to get immediate feedback and jump right back into it. In the evenings we can watch videos of other artists working in inspiring ways.”

Conceiving Evil (PHIL 190):

“This is an interdisciplinary seminar course that looks at a variety of attempts to make sense of evil, starting with The Book of Job and going through recent attempts to respond to twentieth-century evils like the Holocaust,” Professor of Philosophy and Hales Professor of Ethics Phil Shields said. “We will examine literature and philosophy from both theistic and secular contexts with seven or eight visiting faculty to help guide our discussion on specific readings.”

Fair, Green, Organic, and Natural: Social Responsibility and the New Conscious Consumer (POLS 209, IDST 210):

“It’s about topics that many Beloit students really care about—ethical trade, sustainability, organic and nature and the consumer movements that are pushing for this,” Professor and Chair of Political Science Georgia Duerst-Lahti said. “I’m planning at least one overnight field trip and many day trips to particularly good examples of corporations that are greening their operations.”

Although registration fees appear hefty—nearly $3,000 in tuition and just over $800 for a meal plan and housing—many attest that the benefits will outweigh the cost.

“There’s plenty of financial aid, and the intensity and depth of the courses will be worth the money,” Duerst-Lahti said. “Don’t be worried about ‘sticker shock’ as we say. If you’re interested at all, look into it.”

Lewis agreed, “It’s a very special opportunity to do a unit that you won’t be able to do at another time and place.”

For more information on registration and costs, see Questions can be directed to Pykett.



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