The Green Oaks Term is truly an "off-campus" program. Students do not commute to Knox or Galesburg, and are more like students in a study abroad program, with nearly all their time spent at Green Oaks for the ten-week duration of the program.
In addition to academic requirements, students are responsible for structuring and carrying out the necessary tasks of daily living, and service projects to benefit the Green Oaks facility are a must. Program students must adjust to living simply and cooperatively in a small community closely attuned to nature, foregoing many accustomed comforts.
But life at Green Oaks isn't all work. Students have some free time to spend as they wish. Green Oaks offers a variety of opportunities -- library browsing, shop projects, boating, fishing, bird watching, hiking, and the like. Students are welcome to invite friends from campus and can even enjoy an overnight campout with friends. Camping gear from the program is available for student use. The last night of the program traditionally features a picnic and barn dance with live old-time music, to which members of the Knox community and their families are invited.
Although the Green Oaks Term consists of normal "school work" including classes, papers, assignments, and presentations, much of the learning also takes place through trips, hiking in the woods, group activities, informal discussions, campfires, music sessions, guest performances, service projects, and other experiences.
"The way we are learning is what I had imagined college to be like. We sit in the common area together reading, but we don't get much reading done because someone will read something interesting and we will all discuss it for awhile and then go back to reading. In every conversation we are learning. Everything we do and everything we learn are interconnected and enforce each other," said one student who had participated in Green Oaks Term. "Here I have been able to act on some of my dreams and realize that has given me more confidence in myself. Sometimes I almost feel guilty that I'm having a wonderful experience that others will never have. "
Finals and term projects can be more than tests and papers, as Knox College faculty make engaging assignments and exams -- including design your own superhero -- to evaluate student academic achievements.
A Knox College graduate and vice president of development at the Greater Peoria Business Alliance, Jim Lynch is among the young leaders recognized by InterBusiness Issues magazine.
History Professor Danielle Fatkin shares artifacts from her archaeological dig in Jordan and provides a lab environment for students to develop skills in analyzing ancient pottery.