Turning Learning On Its Head: From 'Circus Arts' To 'South Park,' Quirky Courses Shake Up The N.J. College Experience

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While freshman Tyese Beauharnais holds out a hoop, one of her classmates springs off a trampoline, gracefully dives through its center and flips onto a mat below.

Nearby, other classmates spin plates on sticks, practice elaborate magic tricks and master balancing poses. Meanwhile, their professor is busy teaching another student a complex tandem juggling act.

Beauharnais, a nursing major, admits she gets a lot of skeptical looks when she explains to her friends and family that she runs off to join the circus two days a week as part of her college course work.

"They think I’m crazy. But I get four credits for it," said Beauharnais, 18, of East Rutherford.

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