|From the very first day you arrive at Proctor, you will begin a journey of exploration. Wilderness Orientation
is a 5-day backpacking adventure for all new students. In groups of 8,
we hike, cook, swim and camp under the stars in New Hampshire's White
Mountains. Students experience challenge, learn the importance of
teamwork and live the ethos of Proctor while making new friends.|
Part of that ethos is the community's commitment to experiential
education. At any given moment, approximately 40 students are studying
at off-campus programs in Spain, France, the desert Southwest, in Costa
Rica and sailing the North Atlantic. Proctor first offered Mountain
Classroom in 1973, demonstrating that the best college preparation
applies academic knowledge to real life experience. Ten students and
two instructors embark on an expedition to the American West, with
stops at national parks and forests, Native American reservations,
canyon lands, desert environments, museums, libraries and other
educational sites. Students study environmental issues, Native American
culture, desert ecology, literature, writing styles, and history of the
American West. Students learn and challenge themselves as they hike,
camp, travel down rivers and rock climb.
Proctor's Overseas Programs in Segovia, Spain and Pont l'Abbe,
France were initiated in 1975, and designed so that each trimester
students earn a full year of credit in foreign language. Living with
host families, in which the target language is spoken at all times, and
studying language and culture from Proctor teachers in our own
classrooms, students experience total immersion for ten weeks. Rounding
out the schedule are local group activities and excursions. At least
twice a term, groups make longer forays to get to know some of the
regions in more distant corners of these two very diverse countries.
Pack Your Bags
The Road to Experiential Education
Launched in 1994, Ocean Classroom is a sailing adventure for twenty students, four teaching faculty, and a full professional crew aboard one of three 130-foot schooners. Embarking from the Gulf of Maine in September, students are fully engaged as the working crew of the ship: sailing, studying, and sleeping on four-hour "watches" as the ship makes landfalls at numerous ports along the East Coast, and into the Caribbean. As with Mountain Classroom, academic work is intense, yielding full credits in applied mathematics and navigational skills, marine biology and ecology, literature, and the maritime history of the cities visited.
Our Costa Rica program is a more recent development, founded three years ago in association with the Country Day School in Guanacaste. It is designed specifically for a small number of sophomores to experience one of the most biologically diverse regions on the planet. While all of the classes are taught in English, students take Spanish and have ample opportunities for speaking the language while on excursions and when working in the locally performing community service projects.
Proctor is widely recognized for national leadership in experiential education. To our community, these programs are not separate, but integral to the Proctor experience. Almost all students elect to spend a trimester or two enrolled in off-campus programs: Ocean Classroom, Mountain Classroom, Pont l'Abbe, Segovia and the Costa Rica program. These programs are taught for full academic credit by Proctor faculty and almost every student participates in at least one program during their Proctor experience!