Ingenuity, 10-block year foster flexibility

The newly minted changes to the academic calendar and the core curriculum on the Hilltop emphasize, even more, the flexibility of the block plan. Cornell’s new core curriculum, known as Ingenuity, starts with a student’s very first course, the First-Year Seminar (FYS). Faculty and staff teach the common syllabus that will eventually be a community-builder of shared experiences. 

Henry Morray ’23 uses blocks in his First-Year Seminar to demonstrate the interdependence of our support systems.

The FYS course is only one component of Ingenuity, which includes a First-Year Writing Seminar and a Second-Year Seminar: Citizenship in Practice. Students in the Second-Year Seminar take on an interdisciplinary project through community engagement, service-learning, field trips, off-campus study, simulations, performances, installations, exhibits, research, lab work, or a combination. 

Students will take Exploration courses across the liberal arts; Building Essential Abilities courses focused on writing, foreign languages, quantitative reasoning, and intercultural literacy; and the Ingenuity in Action part of the core curriculum puts theory to practice through experiences in civic engagement, creative expression, global connections, leadership, professional exploration, or research. 

Ingenuity graphicIn addition, students now have the opportunity to adapt their academic year by taking one to two additional flex blocks—up to 10 a year—where they can make up a missed block or add on a block or two to speed ahead. 

Along their Ingenuity journey, students will gather their reflections on the courses and experiences in their Ingenuity Portfolio. In their future careers, Cornell grads will need to make many decisions, small and big. Through the reflective nature of writing, graduates will learn to assess and reassess their experiences in problem-solving, decision-making, and in creative projects so they can look ahead with greater confidence in what they will encounter in their lives after Cornell. 

In this way, Ingenuity manifests the academic flexibility and hands-on preparedness you get studying One Course At A Time