Bennington’s academic structure requires that students take increasing responsibility for their own education, their own work, and their own lives. The self-direction of the planning process, the connection to the world through the winter internship term, and the ongoing attention of faculty advisors combine to provide students with internal sources of order that shape a Bennington education. Your imagination, your intellect, your discoveries are cultivated and increasingly govern your educational life at Bennington.
The Plan Process is the structure Bennington students use to design and evaluate their education. In a series of essays and meetings with the faculty throughout their years at Bennington, students learn to articulate what they want to study and how they intend to study it. They identify the classes they wish to take, as well as how those classes relate to each other and the rest of their Bennington experience: Field Work Term, tutorials, projects beyond the classroom, and anything else they undertake.
Drop in at any meal at the dining halls and you'll notice a common refrain as students begin gathering their things to leave: "I'm going to do some work." They refer to their studies as "my work," just as any scientist, writer, or artist would—because this is what they are becoming. When you visit campus, ask the students you meet what they're working on and what their current fascinations are. These are the kind of things you can expect to find in a student's Plan.
Here's the Plan Process at a glance.