Creating a balanced academic experience is central to the general mission of the Castle Rock Institute. We sponsor a semester-long program for college students that combines a range of environmental adventure activities and 300-level courses in the Humanities. This is a unique environmental program that awards college credit in the Humanities.
Study Off Campus
The Castle Rock Institute is an off-campus research center for the Humanities newly affiliated with Brevard College (a liberal arts college in western North Carolina). Each semester it seeks applications from college students and scholars from the United States and abroad to live, and study environmental issues together. Housed in a lodge set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, the Institute aims to enliven the study of the Humanities both through focused interdisciplinary classwork, and through organized group wilderness activities.
The study program at the Institute encourages interdisciplinary thought and experimentation by focusing each semester on a particular issue, idea or theme drawn from the Humanities. This theme serves as the main topic of discussion and area of research for residents at the Institute. It's a great experience to be in class and know that your thoughts about how what you're discussing relates to another class will be appreciated by the other students in class. It's environmental studies at it's best. Real learning, in the best sense of the word awaits Castle Rock Institute students. It's something that runs deep.
Visiting students enroll in four courses taught at Castle Rock by Institute Senior Fellows. Each course meets regularly throughout the semester and awards four hours of college credit. Students also spend several full and half days per week participating in small group activities like rock climbing, backpacking, and paddling. The Institute strives to balance and integrate scholarship and adventure, and believes that doing so can realize significant benefits for both.
Different from the historical approach of most college Humanities programs, the curriculum at the Castle Rock Institute is organized thematically. Instead of sweeping through a series of "great books," all of the courses offered during each semester at the Institute address a single issue, idea or theme drawn from the Humanities. Accordingly, each class explicitly considers how insights offered by the other disciplines can contribute to an overall understanding of the theme at hand.
As a complement to its academic mission, the Castle Rock Institute organizes for its student residents a variety of environmental adventure activities. The Institute takes seriously the idea that there is a fundamental connection between body and mind, between the embodied practice of lived experience and the more abstract, theoretical concerns of the intellect.
(c) Copyright 2006 Castle Rock Institute