Covering New Ground

Unity College is breaking away from the traditional college classroom experience. We have always been leaders in hands-on, real-world, immersive education, and now we’re taking it a step further with TERRAIN.

What is TERRAIN?

Experience the first two years of college in a whole new way!

TERRAIN is our signature expeditionary education model for first and second-year students created to develop their resumes and start professional networking through primary research, fieldwork, and certifications at Unity College. Rather than a traditional college experience of five unrelated courses per semester, TERRAIN is a single, credit-bearing module per quarter term that provides career-relevant learning in one inclusive course.
TERRAIN is ideal both for students who already know what they want to study, as well as those who still need to explore their career options, without adding more years to complete their degree.

TERRAIN is Integrated Learning

Students learn where they live. And they live what they learn.

Learners benefit most when they can connect and use new ideas and skills in many settings. TERRAIN blends traditional Living Learning Communities with the Expeditionary Learning model to create Expeditionary Communities where cohorts of students share academic experiences and projects in addition to social and recreational opportunities centered around a theme or challenge. In Expeditionary Communities, students will

  • Sit with guest speakers and field experts in the residence hall lounge while exploring ideas they’re curious about.
  • Participate in multi-day excursions in locations across the state and country to put new knowledge into practice.
  • Work with tutors right in the residence halls to strengthen skills and refine products.
  • Develop and practice leadership skills. Whether it’s on the athletic field, in a campus club, or debating a concept across the dining room table, TERRAIN is designed to give students the confidence to develop skills that will carry over into everyday life as well as professional settings.
  • Collaborate with others in the Expeditionary Community to explore issues, tackle challenges, and communicate ideas across academic, professional, and social contexts.

TERRAIN is Professional Preparation

Students are ready for impactful careers.

Our digital portfolio platform allows students to engage in regular self-assessment and receive feedback and coaching from faculty and staff. This helps students set goals, monitor progress, and build confidence as they see real evidence of their accomplishments.

  • Students customize their portfolios to showcase their practical skills (both technical and interpersonal), expertise, credentials, and accomplishments.
  • All aspects of TERRAIN – from the Expeditionary Communities to the short courses – involve community members, outside experts, and off-site experiences.
  • Students have opportunities to participate in practicums in order to learn more about sustainability-related fields and explore potential career options.

TERRAIN is Flexible

Balance time between studies, work, and personal life

A flexible four-quarter academic calendar allows students to engage in a robust residential college experience while having the flexibility for work, family commitments, and career opportunities. A combination of eight-week expeditions, fusion courses, and short courses provide intense and immersive learning experiences that optimize skills and comprehension.

  • To graduate in four years, students pick three of the four terms to study each year.
  • To accelerate degree completion, students can attend all four terms offered each year.


TermStart DateEnd DateBreak(s)
Fall 2020September 14, 2020December 18, 2020November 21 - December 5, 2020
Winter 2021January 4, 2021March 26, 2021March 27 & 28, 2021
Spring 2021March 29, 2021June 18, 2021June 19 & June 20, 2021
Summer 2021June 21, 2021September 10, 2021September 11 & 12, 2021
*Pending NECHE approval

Want to learn more?