Forbes reported that, last year one in four American college students took a course online. The market for online education is booming, and institutions of higher learning are reinventing themselves to accommodate student demand, offering online-only degree programs or opportunities to earn individual credits on the Web.
As the world shrinks and as opportunities are opening, education and the manner by which students want to get it is changing too. Take a look at ten school that are giving education an interesting twist.
10. John C. Campbell Folk School
The John C. Campbell Folk School, in Brasstown, North Carolina, offers creative, learning vacations for adults in a beautiful natural setting. With classes in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing, the Folk School offers more than 800 weeklong and weekend classes year-round. Within the craft discipline alone, the school offers more than 34 class categories from Basketry to Woodworking to students of all skill levels.
Rand McNally Atlas named the Folk School one of the top 30 U.S. destinations for a day’s visit in their Best of the Road listing. The Craft Shop carries the juried work of over 300 fine craftspeople and artists. The History Center features an array of craft items and photographs – including an extensive collection by famed photographer Doris Ulmann – and guides visitors through the school’s fascinating 80-year history. Numerous walking trails meander the 300-acre campus, including the Rivercane Walk, a creekside trail with art honoring the strong Cherokee heritage of the Appalachian area.
The free Friday night concert series features some of the finest regional and national acts performing old-time, bluegrass, folk, gospel and Celtic music. Community dances are usually held every other Saturday evening and offer contra and square dancing to live music.
9. The Evergreen State College
Since its founding in 1971, The Evergreen State College has set itself apart. Instead of A’s, B’s and C’s, professors give individual written evaluations; rather than choosing a department or major, students design their own curriculums.
“Evergreen has always had a reputation,” said Jillian Kinzie, who’s with the Indiana University-based Center for Postsecondary Research, a nonprofit that studies educational effectiveness.
Evergreen manages to get students focused, enthusiastic and completely immersed in their educations by the way they coordinate their programs, she said. Students take just one course per term — as opposed to a handful.
8. United World Colleges
United World Colleges (UWC) is an education movement comprising thirteen international schools and colleges, national committees in over 130 countries and a series of short educational programs. Students are selected from around the globe at a pre-university level, based on merit and regardless of their financial status and ethnic, religious or educational background, to attend one of the schools, colleges or short programmes.
9 UWC colleges teach the International Baccalaureate, with 3 schools in Singapore, the Netherlands and Swaziland which, on top of the IB, also teach a pre-16 syllabus to younger students. The vocational college in Venezuela accepts students at tertiary level and teaches a Higher Diploma in Farm Administration. Each UWC typically comprises between 200 and 300 students from about 90 different countries. UWC is currently considering a proposal to open a new college in Spain.
7. Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts
Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts (CCAA) is a Catholic arts high school located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The specialized arts program allows students to concentrate in one of four arts: Music (vocal, band, strings), Drama, Dance, or Visual Arts. Students receive a certificate recognizing their achievement in the arts along with the regular graduation diploma. With the progress made over the years and with the continued enthusiasm and dedication of all, CCAA will not only continue to be an arts school, but a school that embodies the spirit of their motto: “Arts for the Glory of God” (Artes Dei Gloria).
Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts has earned a spot among the top 40 schools in the country as chosen by Macleans and Today’s Parent Magazine after their call for nominations last February. CCAA was selected as a runner up in the “Classrooms of Creativity” category.
6. Philippine High School for the Arts
The school is nestled in the mountains. Students live in the school dormitory during the school year. The Philippine High School for the Arts is a public high school for gifted and talented adolescents. It combines the secondary education level program with a special curriculum that recognizes and develops highly talented and exceptionally gifted artists for the preservation, enhancement and promotion of Filipino Cultural Heritage.
PHSA aims to develop the potentials of young artists, its faculty and staff as cultural workers that are capable in achieving programs that are focused on the development and enhancement of the Filipino people’s artistic and cultural traditions as well as the commitment to serve the majority of Filipinos. The school also provides its students the opportunity to develop their social skills alongside of pure academic and artistic trainings.
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