Download Course Book

Free MiddCORE Course Book Download

Inside last year’s course book you will find a full month long calendar, quotes from alumni, and descriptions of the CORE strengths. Click on the course book above to download.


Summer 2015 Applications are Now Open

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We are happy to announce that our MiddCORE Summer Immersion 2015 Application is now open.  The Summer 2015 MiddCORE Program will be held on the shores of Lake Tahoe from July 11 – August 8.

MiddCORE is for highly motivated college students and recent college graduates who have a desire to build leadership and communication skills while developing an entrepreneurial mindset. Students should be comfortable in collaborative settings and be prepared for forty hours a week of impact-focused, project-based learning.  


Ashoka Fellow and “Serial Founder” Alisa Del Tufo Engages Middlebury Students


Alisa is deep in thought as she listens to student participants come up with new and innovative ways for her to promote her movement, “A Word Is Worth.”

Throughout her career, Alisa Del Tufo has believed deeply in the goal of community empowerment. As she states, “We need to get this idea out there: the people in our communities are actually the most powerful engine for change and we need to find effective and ethical and meaningful ways of bringing their participation into the conversation about change.”

Wow. For me, as a young woman interested in community-based activism, hearing Alisa talk about her work was incredibly cool. It was exciting and empowering. She has spent thirty years tackling issues of domestic violence from both a hands-on and policy-based standpoint. She has identified the areas in which government programs are not sufficient, and she has had the courage, spunk and creativity to develop innovative programs that meet those unaddressed needs. With all her experience in the field of social entrepreneurship, Alisa is an invaluable mentor for Middlebury students. But equally or perhaps more important than Alisa’s knowledge is her compassion, humility and dedication to her work. Her mentoring goes beyond strict skills; she models kindness and a commitment to what she loves. For us, as college students who are unsure where our lives lead, this is a powerful example. With a smile, Alisa said, “I made somewhat of a left turn from studying Tibetan Buddhism to becoming a feminist activist. But it didn’t seem like a left turn to me; it seemed completely in line with really trying to understand what made people tick and what their values were – and it’s those ideas that are important to me.” Continue reading

MiddCORE Alum Alec MacMillen Takes the Stage as TEDx Speaker

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The Project on Creativity and Innovation (PCI) is Middlebury’s “launchpad for new ideas.” Through programs such as MiddCORE, the Center for Social Entrepreneurship, TEDxMiddlebury and a host of others, PCI fosters a dynamic community of actively engaged thinkers and learners. This is an exciting community to be a part of: it is bursting with creative ideas and innovative individuals.

Alec MacMillen ’14 is one such individual. As a MiddCORE alum, a MiddCOREplus intern and the student speaker at this fall’s TEDx conference, Alec has embraced the opportunities Middlebury offers to expand education in new directions.

I had the chance to sit down with Alec this week to hear about his experience as a TEDx speaker and discuss the message he conveyed through his eighteen-minute TED talk, titled “The Extrovert Ideal and the Best Four Years of Your Life.” Continue reading

Embracing the Future of the Liberal Arts: Sarah James and Winson Law


Innovation. Social entrepreneurship. Experiential learning. Collaboration. Leadership. These are the buzzwords that educators and students are throwing around college campuses right now. As small liberal arts schools confront the challenges and opportunities that the 21st century, these are the concepts that are increasingly forming higher education’s response. Middlebury is at the forefront of this movement to explore and launch new educational initiatives, with a myriad of programs falling under the umbrella of the College’s roject on Creativity and Innovation. But sometimes all these ideas and concepts seem abstract and amorphous: how do they actually take shape? How are they put into practice? How are students growing as learners and leaders?

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Enter Sarah James ’16.5 and Winson Law ’16. Sarah and Winson are embodiments of a new, engaged kind of learner. They have embraced the exciting and dynamic exploration occurring in education today. They have plunged into the opportunities Middlebury offers to put the so-called “buzzwords” of education into real and meaningful practice. Continue reading

S’mores and Spooky Stories: A Halloween MiddCORE Reunion

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The night was strangely warm for late October. Gusts of wind shook the last remaining leaves from the skeletal trees. The whole atmosphere seemed unsettled and unpredictable. Out of the darkness, the MiddCORE house glowed like a jack-o’-lantern, and flames danced in the old fireplace. You could not have asked for a better night or a better place for Halloween stories. Continue reading

Catching up with MiddCORE Alumna Elyse Barnard

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Three months after MiddCORE Sierra Nevada wrapped up, we got in touch with alumna Elyse Barnard to hear how her Innovation Challenge is progressing. Elyse is one of handful of MiddCORE students who chose to continue pursuing their Innovation Challenges into the academic year. She has currently obtained a provisional patent for her product, a dental device that protects the mouth from the sharp wires that are part of braces and cause pain and scarring. The process of taking an abstract idea and making it into a tangible reality has been a complex and eye opening one, and there’s still a ways to go. But as Elyse, with her characteristic optimism and enthusiasm, said, “I am learning as I go along, and that is such a valuable process.”

Here, Elyse reflects on her time at Sierra Nevada, updates us on the progress of her Innovation Challenge, and articulates the impact MiddCORE has had on how she thinks about her future. Continue reading

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