First Stop...Dillon, Montana...PKR Relives College Days Gone By

This past weekend, PKR and I had a weekend getaway to Sun Valley, Idaho. I had a conference there, so we took off last Thursday night, and stayed in Dillon, Montana, where PKR had attended college at Western Montana College. We met up with one of his friends who lives there, and had dinner. PKR attended WMC in the late 1970's and early 1980's. He ran track and cross country for the school.

I realized the last time I was in Dillon was in 1990, when I was pregnant with The Princess. I couldn't believe it had been that long.

We woke up Friday morning morning to snow....surprise, surprise.

After scraping off the car windows, we drove over to the college campus, which now has a new name, The University of Montana Western.

It not only has a new name, but a new way of teaching students. This college is now an Experience One, or X1 college.

Experience One is a more practical way to learn. Experience One (or X1 for short) is an innovative approach to learning in which students take only one class at a time. Working closely with their professor and classmates, they concentrate on a single subject area then move onto the next course.X1 promotes real-world, hands-on learning.

Montana Western emphasizes the student’s total participation in their education. With X1’s emphasis on learning by doing, each student has an opportunity to experience what professionals encounter working in their field. And the bottom line is that they’ll have a leg up in entering the workforce or graduate school.

Here’s how it works. During a semester, Montana Western students take one class at a time, three hours each day for 18 days. In between they enjoy a four-day break to relax and recharge. Then move on to the next class. Taking four classes or blocks during the semester, students earn the same amount of credit they’d earn under traditional multi-class systems.

That’s where the comparison ends. X1 offers a wide range of benefits: Less talk, more action. With less lecture time, students participate in authentic workforce activities including project planning, research, collaboration and presentation thus learning by doing.

Here is the dorm where PKR lived while at student at the college.

PKR wanted me to take this picture so we could prove it was May when this picture was taken.

PKR said it stirred up many memories staying there, and it was interesting to see the ways Dillon has changed, and the ways it had remained the same.

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