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PPCC Rolling Out Block Courses


Colorado Springs, Colo. – Feb. 20, 2012 - This summer Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC) will embark on a new endeavor: block course work.  Approximately 25 students will begin their educational path together and stay together through a set of predetermined courses, such as Math 045 and English 090, for three consecutive semesters.

Block course work is similar to a learning community, which colleges nationwide are using.  This type of scheduling has been shown to aid in the completion of courses and lead to greater graduation success rates. 

“We are trying to target those students who have a difficult time getting to an associate’s degree. These are the students who only have a 1 percent level of completion,” said Marilyn Frydrych, PPCC math faculty.  The number on reason students stay in school is because of friendships. This is the strength of the block program. Students quickly learn to reply on each other.  They form homework groups and relay to each other what they missed when they can’t make it to class.”

Frydrych’s team obtained statistics from last year to determine how many and which students would best aid from this type of scheduling. Students who meet certain criteria – approximately 325 this past fall – are flagged and Career Planning and Advising then advises them to determine if they are candidates for the block schedules.

If the summer block courses go well, the college hopes to add another 25 students into a new round of block scheduling for the fall 2012 semester. There are also plans for the fall to add 50 students at the college level, half heading for their associate’s of arts degree and half for their associate’s of science degree.


 Pikes Peak Community College, in its 43rd year of operation, is a two-year college offering associate’s degrees and various certifications in career and technical fields. With four campuses, three military education centers in El Paso County and more than 200 programs of study, PPCC serves approximately 22,000 students annually.