Cornell College (Iowa) President Jonathan Brand is available to speak about block plan schedules at any time.
As one of only a few colleges in the country teaching on a block plan, Iowa’s Cornell College is acting as a resource for other schools as they struggle to adapt to unpredictable scenarios during a pandemic.
Brand has been president of Cornell College since July 2011. He holds a law degree from Cornell University, a master's degree in French literature from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor's degree in history and French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“Colleges need to find a way to maintain a community and a quality experience online, and return as quickly as possible to in-person classes and activities, all with minimal disruption,” Brand said. “The block plan allows that. It shines in times of health and prosperity, and it turns out the flexibility allows us to respond powerfully in a crisis too.”
Several colleges across the country have contacted leaders at Cornell College to provide expertise on block scheduling as schools cope with the disruptions of the pandemic. One Course At A Time–where students take one course at a time for 3 ½ weeks–is an established schedule at Cornell.
“While many schools across the country are testing schedules with similarities to our block system, it’s not our first time around the block,” Brand said. “We’ve been doing what most would consider a new thing, investing our time, treasure, and talents for 42 years and we’re virtually unique in the higher ed space.”