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Cornell College

From Academic Kids

Cornell College is a small Liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Originally called the Iowa Conference Seminary, the school was founded in 1853 by Reverend George Bryant Bowman. Two years later, in 1855, the name was changed to Cornell College, in honor of iron tycoon William Wesley Cornell.

(William Wesley Cornell was a distant relative of Ezra Cornell, who later founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1865.)

From the very beginning, Cornell has accepted women into all degree programs. In 1858, Cornell was the first college west of the Mississippi to grant a baccalaureate degree to a woman. Mary Fellows (http://cornellcollege.edu/tours_maps/history_tour/first_grads.shtml), a member of the first graduating class from Cornell College, received a bachelor's degree in mathematics.

Despite its small size of only 1,000 students and Iowa location, Cornell boasts a very diverse student population and various different organizations representing the college's diversity.

Scholastic excellence has always been a mark of Cornell College. Listed as one of the Colleges of Distinction (http://www.collegesofdistinction.com/) and one of the Princeton Review's Best 357 Colleges (http://www.princetonreview.com/college/research/profiles/generalinfo.asp?listing=1023061&LTID=1), Cornell College has been a national leader in the academics.

Perhaps Cornell's most notable feature is its academic calendar. Cornell students study one course at a time (abbreviated to "OCAAT" or "the block plan"). Since 1978, school years have been divided into nine "blocks" of three-and-a-half weeks each (each followed by a four-day "block break" to round out to four weeks), during which students are enrolled in a single class; what would normally be covered in a full semester's worth of class at a typical university is covered in just seventeen-and-one-half Cornell class days. Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado is another liberal arts institution operating on this type of schedule.

Cornell College's sports team participates in Division III NCAA sports. Their mascot is a Ram.



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