Students may earn Jan Plan credit and up to three credit hours toward the 128 hours required for graduation by completing one of dozens of courses offered on campus during January. An online list of Jan Plan courses is finalized in October, when course selection takes place. Among on-campus courses offered:
- African Music—Gain hands-on experience with African cultures through learning complex polyrhythms, playing instruments, singing, and dancing.
- Big Data: Information Use and Misuse—How might big data play a role in your life, now and in the future, for better and for worse?
- Emergency Medical Technician Training—With successful completion, your EMT license may be issued and you can join Colby Emergency Response.
- Introduction to Entrepreneurship—Identify and evaluate new venture opportunities by compiling a business plan and funding summary.
- Kitchen Judaism: Jewish Identity Formation through Cooking—Prepare and enjoy dishes from diverse Jewish cuisines while examining dietary laws and food-related memoirs.
- Special Topics in Health and Medicine: Substance Use and Abuse—Examine sociological factors that affect substance use and abuse.
- Multicultural Literacy—Discuss tools for understanding and respecting diversity of all kinds and for communicating across differences.
- Meteorology—Understand weather systems and forecast weather patterns.
- Narrative Film Production—Learn cinematography, casting, and scripting and produce your own short film.
Sample off-campus Jan Plan courses include:
- Art of Fly-Fishing: Maine and Bishop, Calif.—Learn fly-fishing techniques, read environmental literature, and keep a blog while fishing near Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
- Geology of Bermuda—Examine geological processes and how the island has evolved over the last two million years.
- Globalization, Democracy, and Political Transformation in Bolivia—Understand Bolivia’s history, politics, economy, social relations and global connections.
- Language immersion courses—Acquire or polish language skills in Paris, France; Siena, Italy; or St. Petersburg, Russia
- Plants of the Tropics—Visit Costa Rica to study the physiology, ecology, and conservation of plants in both wild and agricultural settings.
- Resettling Refugees and Immigrants in Portland—Gain firsthand experience of public health and education challenges for Maine’s immigrants.
- The Western Front in WWI – Explore key battle sites in Dijon, France, while studying the bloodiest warfare in history.
Perennially popular Jan Plan courses that don’t earn credit hours but fulfill the January Program requirement include:
- Furniture Making
- Local Food from Production to Plate
- Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction
- Premed Academy
- Sheep to Shawl
Furniture-making and blacksmithing classes are held in state-of-the-art forge and woodworking facilities at the Colby-Hume Center, and admission is competitive.