5 Eccentric Colleges You Didn’t Know Existed
The US educational system has set guidelines for colleges and universities all over the nation to abide to.
What if there are colleges that operate in an “unconventional”, “Eccentric” way?
These colleges are suppose to adhere to a set of guidelines of the “conventional” collegiate level curriculum and administration rules and methods.
How about a college where grades don”t exist? Or the college that doesn’t require a high school diploma? How about the college where meditation is required?
Let’s find out five eccentric Colleges in U.S you may have never knew existed. (you or a family member may even want to attend one of these colleges)
1. Antioch College
photo courtesy of: Antioch University | LinkedIn
Antioch College is based in Yellow Springs, Ohio a liberal arts college amazingly is able to run the campus on their own solar power. (see images below solar farm)
Antioch Campus Powered by Their 3,300 Solar Panel Farm
Antioch College Solar Statistics:
- 3,300 Solar Panels installed on Antioch’s south campus
- 30% total energy consumption covered by solar
- $400,000 savings over 25 years for the school
- 120 homes could be powered by the energy produced by their solar farm
Apart from the fact that the school is ran by their own solar energy….
Cafeteria Food Grown From Their Own Farm
The college is also proud to produce and serve cafeteria food grown by the students themselves in the school orchard.
“producing 28% of our local food on campus”
Antioch College also advocates for natural, organic food. Their kitchen does not contain deep fryers, making fat the least element in their food. The kitchen also only use locally and organically-grown produce as well humanely raised and produced meat products.
the Farm provides students paid employment as well as hand-on learning about local, sustainable agriculture
The progressive and promising methods of Antioch College have experienced a down low back in 2008 during the economical downturn, but they were able to reopen in 2001, admitting only 100 students per academic year.
Let us now look into their programs. As part of their curriculum.
Antioch College requires students to accomplish the Co-op program or out of campus program.
With their education mantra “learning is doing,” the institution urges students to work full-time paying jobs for them to experience learning first hand and not only within the four walls of the classroom.
2. St. John's College
photo courtesy of St. Johns College
Although this US college might appear average at first look, you are going to discover that it is not like any other US colleges.
No Majors or Grades Offered & Greek Required
First, no majors are being offered in the college. Second, all students are required to learn Ancient Greek language.
This unconventional college has two campuses located in Santa Fe and Annapolis, Maryland. Each campuses house over 500 students.
Their curriculum requires every student to take math and language which includes two years of Ancient Greek and two years learning French, and seminar courses in music and sciences during their entire four years.
The class size is small and instructors are regarded as facilitators of learning, enabling them to go in-depth and hands on per student.
St. John’s College Facts:
- Grades are NOT part of the culture
- Single academic program
- Students can switch back and forth between the Santa Fe and Annapolis locations
- No religious affiliation even though the name implies this
- One curriculum (centered on Western civilization)
- Tutors are what faculty members are called and not the title “professor”
- Wooden table in each classroom where discussions take place between tutors and students regardless of subject
- No more than 19 students in each class
3. Bard College at Simon Rock
photos courtesy of:
The Bard College at Simon’s Rock, also known as Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts is a one of the most prestigious liberal arts college in the world with a compassionate exemption.
A high school diploma is NOT required to attend. The Average age of their entering student’s are only 16 years-old.
Ranked by Smithsonian Magazine. #1 Small Town in Amercia”
Ranked by Smithsonian Magazine. #1 Small Town in Amercia”
High School Diploma Not Required
A high school diploma is NOT necessary to get admitted in their programs
images courtesy of simons-rock.edu
Students Statistics from Simon’s Rock College:
- The average age of an entering student is just 16 years-old
- Full time students 400
- Average class size 11
- Number of states students come from 37
- Number of countries students come from 15
Bard College Simon’s Rock Student Facts:
- 90% Students live on campus
- 85% Receive financial aid
- 60% Female students
- 40% Males students
- 40% Students of color
- 14% International students
Their curriculum is designed to provide intensive training among students. This way, students who have not completed their high school can catch up.
The college is considered to be the only accredited four year college in the US to offer a bachelor degree’s to students who were not able to acquire a high school diploma.
Also, did you know that Woody Allen’s son attended Simon’s Rock at the age of 11? Which only shows that the college knows no age limit on the capacity of the human mind.
4. Maharishi University of Management
image courtesy: en.wikipedia.org
No, it is not a management school even if it says in its name. Located in Fairfield, Iowa, the very unconventional Maharishi University’s core value in education is in its Consciousness-based learning designed program.
Students of Maharishi are allowed to major in various range of courses such as Literature, Business, and among others. However, students are allowed to take only one course per month.
Learn at Your Own Pace
The university allows student to learn and achieve academic goals on their own pace and is not a fan of tons of assignments and getting students swamped with coursework.
Transcendental Meditation Required 40 Minutes Day
It lessens stress on students and allows them to maximize their learning capabilities and make more room for Transcendental meditation which is required in students as well the faculty.
The university claims that practicing transcendental meditation improves academic performance and fosters holistic development among students.
Transcendental meditation boosts learning ability and creativity, improves brain functioning, and reduces stress
- Required course
- Brought to the West by Yogi Maharishi Mahesh
- Practiced twice each day for 20 minutes
- Allows your mind to settle
- You get academic credit for the course “Development of Consciousness”
First U.S. College to Offer Organic/Vegetarian Menu
- Home-style pizza
- Indian food
- Mexican food
- Chinese stir fry
- Offer several more options
- Bake fresh pastries & bread using organic flour
- Use organic produce locally when possible
- Yogurt, milk, ice cream comes from a local organic dairy farm
5. Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service
photo courtesy of: www.yelp.com
What do you expect from a school with the words “funeral services” in it? The school indeed speaks for itself.
College For Funeral Services
Being the most unusual on the list, Gupton-Jones caters to students who are mainly into the art and science of professional funeral services.
Students are required to take general subjects such as history, math and general sciences, while students can take majors such as Psychology of Funeral Service and Principles of Embalming.
Gupton-Jones have connections with leading funeral services in the country where in they can easily refer students when they take their internship and finally decide to work after receiving an Associate of Science Degree.
On June 8, 1920, the Gupton-Jones School of Embalming was founded by L. A. Gupton in Nashville
Gupton-Jones College Tuition:
Associate of Science in Funeral Service Program $14,800 (with GE already completed) $22,200 without GE