People ask me sometimes what rabbinic school was like. My short answer is "amazing -- really hard -- and one of the best things I've ever done." But maybe a longer answer would be interesting to those who read this blog.
Disclaimer: this may not be characteristic of everyone's experience; I was a rabbinic student, so I can't speak to the experience of students in ALEPH's other programs; and of course the program continues to evolve, so students today may have some different experiences than I had. That said...
The ALEPH rabbinic ordination program is low-residency, which means that students and faculty live all over the world and come together a few times a year for intensive "residency" periods. In between those in-person gatherings, we learned together in other ways. (When I first started the program, half of my classes were held via conference call; by the time I finished, we were using videoconferencing instead.) Years before coming to rabbinic school I got an MFA in writing and literature at Bennington, and that's a low-residency program too, as many creative writing MFA programs are. It was great preparation for the ALEPH learning experience.
A minimum of sixty graduate-level classes is required in order to be a candidate for rabbinic smicha, and when I was a student, ALEPH offered about 60% of those classes. For the other classes I needed, I pursued learning at other institutions; entered into small-group learning with ALEPH-approved teachers (I have fond memories of translating and interpreting the Me'or Eynayim with two friends and with Rabbi Bob Freedman); and also often engaged in structured one-on-one tutorial learning with a local rabbi friend (once that learning had been approved by my Director of Studies -- which generally required a syllabus and at least one major paper.) Most semesters, I took two ALEPH classes and two classes elsewhere, or three ALEPH classes and one elsewhere. But the majority of my learning was done in an ALEPH context.
It's also worth mentioning that the 60-course minimum is just that -- a minimum. Often the va'ad imposes additional requirements tailored to the learning trajectory of the student. (Which makes sense; we all come to this with strong suits and weak suits, and they aren't all the same.) Our dean, Rabbi Marcia Prager, likes to say that the va'ad isn't merely graduating students -- they're developing colleagues.