Curriculum & Courses


LeapYear is an opportunity for a unique learning journey outside the traditional classroom walls. It is a rich academic experience designed to prepare you for success in whatever educational path you choose. 

Our curriculum supports and deepens the experiential learning of travel and cultural immersion through readings and written reflections. It is designed to create learning opportunities and offer assignments for you to build skills, cultivate self, and uncover the next steps of your unique life path. The LeapYear curriculum allows you to “become more you.”  

LeapYear is not a typical classroom learning experience; the curriculum is delivered through experiential learning opportunities, immersive cultural experiences, and personal reflections. Learn more about our contemplative education philosophy. 


College Curriculum, Coursework, and Credits 

LeapYear students are enrolled as full-time undergraduate students at Naropa University. Throughout the course of the year, students earn thirty college credits. Student may continue their undergraduate education at Naropa, having completed the first-year core curriculum, or transfer their credits as electives to their institution of choice. 

LeapYear may also be used as an alternative for high school completion. High school completion may be arranged through Naropa’s long-standing relationship with a Boulder High School or independently through the student’s home high school.  

LeapYear’s Courses for College Credit 

First Semester (15 credits) 

South Asia Track: 

Introduction to Contemplative Practice & Conscious Community (3 credits) 
Cultural Immersion: South Asia (6 credits) 
Wisdom Traditions of South Asia (6 credits)  

Central America Track: 

Introduction to Contemplative Practice & Conscious Community (3 credits) 
Cultural Immersion: South Asia (6 credits) 
Spanish Language Immersion (6 credits) 

Second Semester (15 credits) 

The Whole Human Being (6 credits) 
The World as Classroom (5 credits) 
Being the Change (4 credits) 

Rite of Passage

Nearly every culture on the planet shows evidence of a ceremonial marking of the passage from youth to adulthood, undertaken consciously and witnessed by the community. Without such acknowledgement from adults, how do young people know they have in fact crossed over into a new life-stage? And what happens to young people who grow physically into adulthood, but are never initiated, never honored in their new roles?
During the final retreat, students will undergo a rite-of-passage, intending to find and face their deepest inner truths, their strengths and weaknesses, and to ask the critical questions: “Who am I to be in the world? What do I have to offer as an adult?” They come with their concerns, their challenges, their gifts, and their dreams.
Curriculum which support this movement into adulthood and include:
  • Integrity as the foundation of the curriculum
  • Personal life map
  • Understanding the world of work - acquisition of practical skills (or applied skills)
  • Cross-cultural exploration
  • Cultivation of the body
  • Cultivation of the mind
  • Developing emotional literacy
  • Social skill acquisition + communication


"One of the terrors of being human, and one of the joys, is that for all our limitations and confusions we have been given power. The life that terrifies me and the life that I adore are one life." 
-David James Duncan