Freshman fall I was enrolled in the American Studies Cluster that focused on history, film, and photography of the Great Depression. This decision has not only been my best academic decision at Colby but also opened my eyes to an academic path I had not initially intended to go down. I loved the cluster for many reasons. Firstly, it fostered the type of classroom intimacy that I had envisioned Colby College could provide me with (coming from a huge public high school in New York City). The small size (six students), in addition to the fact that our three professors sat in and participated in every class session, encouraged and established a very comfortable discussion-based setting. In addition to this, the cluster provided me with the attention and guidance I really needed to transition, academically, from high school to college. I would advise any freshman to sign up for a cluster!

– Leah Tichansky


In terms of why I chose the cluster, I wanted a complete change of picture from rigid high school in France and the idea of a class revolving around a theme of our choice (and not one imposed by a syllabus) really appealed to me – especially given that the 1950s to 1970s is one of my favorite periods in history. I think what truly won me over ultimately was the very small size of the class and the fact that professors attended each other’s classes. The personal connection that I was able to get with professors right off the bat in college has really changed my perspective on class and how a professor-student relationship can contribute to all aspects of life (back home, I rant on and on about how it’s possible to take professors out to lunch and actually be friends with them). A cluster was definitely the perfect way for me to start college!