School of the Alternative is a socially integrated experience with intimate classes, communal living, and emphasis on shared labor. We will all live, learn, teach, and work together for three weeks this May, in the magical mountains of Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Our 3 week session will be held: May 9th-29th

OUR faculty deadline has passed

Scholarship deadline: February 23rd
Student deadline: March 1st
(then rolling)*

Students can apply to come for 1, 2, or 3 weeks, and faculty can apply to come for 1 or 2 weeks. We will learn, work, and live together on the same campus originally used by Black Mountain College, doing work service in the mornings (cooking meals, setting up classrooms, cleaning, working in the garden, maintaining our archive), and taking or teaching classes all afternoon.

Currently, all faculty, staff, and administrative positions are volunteer. At SotA, our current budget (funded through tuition from paying students) covers the cost of food, lodging, transportation (gas to and from airports to pick folks up), and operational expenses (storage unit, PO box, email, and website expenses). We have recently acquired pending 501c3 status, and our main fundraising goals this year are staff and faculty stipends, class supplies, and additional scholarships.

*We recommend getting your student application in by the initial deadline for the best chance of joining us this spring!

We aim to be accessible to anyone who wants access. We want to share our programming with all–regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, income level, educational experience, background, or ability. We value reciprocal education, wherein dialogue between peers, students, teachers, and community members creates space for all to learn. We are thrilled that you are interested in joining us this year!


There are no pre requisites, and no requirements other than you be 18+. Please send applications as attachments if emailing, and not in the body of the email. Please use a separate sheet paper when filling out, that way you won’t have to squeeze your answers into a small space! Send applications to PO BOX 711, Black Mountain, NC, 28711 or email to heidi@schoolofthealternative.com

Join us for 1, 2, or 3 weeks as a student! Cost is $400/week, and includes lodging, food, etc.!

Join us for 1, 2, or 3 weeks as a student! We offer both partial and full scholarships based on need. Thank you and we can't wait to see your apps!