Simon's Rock College is a small liberal arts college located in the bustling metropolis of Great Barrington, in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The foremost of the many unusual things about Simon's Rock is that most students enroll after completing the tenth grade of high school, rather than after graduating.
The college's founder, Elizabeth Blodgett Hall, had formerly been a private school headmistress. She concluded from her experience, and that of her colleagues, that for many students the latter two years of high school are wasted on repetitious and overly constrained work. Many young women (and men -- but for its first few years in the '60s, Simon's Rock admitted only women), she thought, are ready to pursue college-level academic work some time before the usual system asks it of them.
Because Simon's Rock provides this accelerated program, it also attracts many students who might not consider a "liberal-arts" education if they had to wait two more years. Computer geeks, pre-med stress puppies, and mathies read Plato, Dante, Nietzsche, and Foucault alongside dancers, artists, and literary types. Many students transfer to larger institutions after two years; many stay for four.
I started out at Simon's Rock in '94, intending to focus on math and physics and to transfer to a larger (and more technical) college after two years. I ended up switching majors to social sciences -- and staying on for four years. After graduating, I worked for two years as the college's sysadmin -- finding out very quickly what it's like being a college staff member. (Hint: It's frequently very silly.)