Curricular Program Design

The Centennial College’s curriculum was designed around new philosophies toward learning; the idea that education can be more effective if students are given freedom to choose to study topics that they are interested in. The college essentially offered elective course material without students having to sift through many extra subjects. Frequently students would pick a topic of interest, and then the professorial staff involved would design a semester-long course based around this choice, frequently involving large projects that the student would work on, and make progress reports on to the staff periodically.

Additionally, almost all classes offered in this fashion were done so under a pass/fail grading system, effectively eliminating the students’ pressure to learn and regurgitate information on exams, and putting a larger emphasis on self-development. Naturally, exceptions were available, usually if the teacher requested a student’s work be graded on the usual four-point scale due to exceptional work.

This curriculum design allowed for openings for guest instructors and material as well. For example, later in the program’s existence (in the school year of 1977-1978), there was an in-dormitory rotation of guest instructors who lived in Love - Heppner, including a guitarist who instructed interested students in classical guitar, a professional painter, a mural artist, and a mime, pantomime, mask performance and juggling instructor.