- Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2016

HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) - For the last 50 years, Hastings College students and professors have taken three weeks off from the regular classes to explore other things through internships or by leaving the country.

The Hastings Tribune (https://bit.ly/1SByPsd ) reports that the college began the J-Term program 50 years ago at the encouragement of a consultant who said that it would set the institution apart from other liberal arts colleges.

Students are required to take the J-Term is required for three years.

The college executive vice president for academic affairs, Gary Johnson, said the program is popular among students and professors and that it is one of the more formative events during students’ college years.

Students are encouraged to take four years of J-Term classes, which typically are outside their majors of study, but some pursue approved internships.

Some students take J-Term classes in other countries where they can study culture, food, language, photography, architecture, science and history.

Johnson said that for some professors, the term is an opportunity to teach something that they are passionate about, but wouldn’t normally get the chance to teach.

Librarian and computer tools teacher Billie Cotterman taught “The Battle for the West: The Greco-Persian Wars” this year as part of the program.

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Information from: Hastings Tribune, https://www.hastingstribune.com

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