Course Selection Guide
A Dynamic Curriculum for The 21st Century
Guilford draws on Quaker and liberal arts traditions to prepare students for a lifetime of learning, work, and constructive action dedicated to the betterment of the world. Toward that end, our curriculum provides
- student-centered instruction that nurtures each individual amid an intentionally diverse community;
- a values-rich education that explores the ethical dimensions of knowledge and promotes honesty, compassion, integrity, courage and respect for the individual;
- a challenging academic program that fosters critical and creative thinking through the development of essential skills: analysis, inquiry, communication, consensus building, problem solving and leadership;
- a global perspective that values people of other cultures and the natural environment in which we all live; and
- access to work and service opportunities that forge a connection between thought and action.
In addition, throughout their four years at Guilford, students will develop skill competencies in the following specific areas:
- oral communication
- information technology
- quantitative reasoning
The platform for these competencies will occur generally in the foundations courses and then will continue in sequence throughout the student’s course of studies. Thus, writing instruction, for example, begins in two required Foundations courses and continues in a major-specific writing and research course and in IDS 401.
The set of general education requirements designed to facilitate these goals consists of five tiers:
These six required skills and perspective courses provide solid grounding in Guilford’s five academic principles (outlined above); they also provide a platform for subsequent work in each of the college’s areas of study. These six foundations courses are
FIRST YEAR EXPERIENCE (FYE 101): This seminar introduces the Guilford curriculum and engages students in significant interactive and values-based inquiry known as Principled Problem Solving. With a focus on speaking and listening as well as experiential learning, each FYE course explores a different interdisciplinary content area. The instructor for the course will serve as the student’s academic adviser until he or she declares a major.
FIRST YEAR EXPERIENCE LAB (FYE 102): The FYE Lab aids in the academic and social transition to college life. Topics include time management, campus community, and Quaker testimonies. Students also experience discussions of common readings and other co-curricular learning opportunities.
COLLEGE READING AND WRITING: MANY VOICES: This course provides a main site for identifying and working on the reading and writing skills which students need as members of the Guilford community. With the understanding that writing may be in part viewed as a skill, it also must be viewed as an expression of the creative spirit celebrating the power of language. Embracing the value that multicultural issues and perspectives have in our society, the theme of the course is “Many Voices.”
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES: This course focuses on teaching students about historical change and how individuals and groups both initiate change and respond to, for example, social, economic and political forces. This course serves as a link with College Reading and Writing in a two-semester writing sequence; it focuses on critical writing and offers a research component including responsible use of the Internet.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE: An innovative, one-semester course provides an intensive, interactive experience in learning a foreign language and culture that prepares students to continue to be lifelong learners of languages and cultures. (This requirement can be waived through a placement exam.)
QUANTITATIVE LITERACY: All incoming students with a math SAT below 650 will take a basic mathematics test. Students scoring below the minimum level have an option to (1) take and pass the test at a later date, (2) make a passing grade on any four-credit mathematics course or (3) take and pass a specially designed two-credit Quantitative Literacy course.
Students will take four specially designated breadth courses, one in each of the college’s areas of study outside the major:
- Business and policy studies
- Natural science and mathematics
- Social science
Additionally, each student will complete three critical perspectives courses as part of their course work. These three courses may double-count with the breadth courses, the Historical Perspectives course, the major and concentration courses, or the capstone course. The three categories are:
- INTERCULTURAL, which involves either a course focusing on Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East.
- SOCIAL JUSTICE/ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY, which focuses on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, war and peace or the environment.
- DIVERSITY IN THE U.S.: CULTURE AND IDENTITY, which explores subcultures within the United States.
III. Depth Experience
Each student will complete a major involving at least 25% (minimum of eight courses) of his or her courses at Guilford. The major may be either disciplinary or interdisciplinary.
In addition to the major course work, each student will take a focused collection of a minimum of four courses which either provide a second mini-depth area or pursue study related to the major. Minors may be either disciplinary or interdisciplinary.
Each student, during his or her final two semesters at Guilford, will take an Interdisciplinary (IDS) 401 course. The course will allow students to draw upon the knowledge and skills gained from previous college work and explore issues which cross traditional disciplinary lines.
The faculty member who teaches your first-year experience course will also be your academic adviser. Your adviser is more than someone who helps you select courses. Your adviser is there if you have questions about future career goals, study abroad and service learning opportunities. And your adviser can be a good listener if you need someone to talk with about the transition to Guilford.
During Guilford’s fall orientation, you will meet with your adviser in a small group to get familiar with the academic challenges facing you. You will also have the opportunity for individual appointments, allowing you to finalize your schedule and ask questions. In the meantime, as you complete the course registration materials, the first-year center staff can assist you with questions you may have.
At the end of your first semester, your adviser will check in with you about your plans for a major and a minor. When you declare your major, your first-year academic adviser will assist you in finding an appropriate faculty member in that department to become your new adviser. You may change your major or adviser at any time after the first semester, but you should declare a major by the end of your sophomore year.
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Credit
Advanced standing may be earned through the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board or the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) for a total of 32 credits for those examinations that correspond to courses in the Guilford curriculum. The required course First Year Experience 101 cannot be waived by examination. The appropriate department chairperson must approve placement and credit decisions in the student’s major. The appropriate division and/or program director must approve credit decisions for General Education requirements. General Education waivers through advanced placement should be requested in the first semester at Guilford College.
Placement requires Advanced Placement scores of three or better, or CLEP scores of 50 or better; credit requires Advanced Placement scores of four or better, or general CLEP scores of 55 or better. Subject CLEP scores must be at least 50 for placement and at least 55 for credit. General examination scores may apply only to courses taken to satisfy the general college or distribution requirement. Students may obtain credit for other courses only by taking subject area examinations.
Guilford College also recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) for admission purposes. Guilford also recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) for admission purposes. IB credit will be awarded to students who have achieved scores of 4 through 7 on the Higher Level tests.
In order to receive academic credit for Advanced Placement, CLEP, or International Baccalaureate courses, the Registrar must receive official scores from the College Board, CLEP, and the International Baccalaureate. You must arrange for your scores to be sent directly to the Registrar so they can be recorded on your transcript. A faxed or photocopied version is not acceptable.
The Honors Program
Students admitted to the honors program are strongly encouraged to take one honors course in either the fall or spring semester. Designated courses will be identified as honors in the “Course Listings: Fall 2011” and in the “Fall 2011 Class Schedule.” 100- and 200-level courses are appropriate for first-year and sophomore level work, while 300- and 400-level courses indicate higher expectations. If you are not an honors student, you may still be able to enroll in some honors courses with the permission of the instructor. Please check the footnotes under the individual courses in the Fall 2010 Class Schedule.
Students can check the spring 2012 semester offering of Honors classes by checking the “Course Schedule” on the college Web site. Look under Spring 2012 Semester and select for “Honors” under the bottom “Search Criteria.” Please note that Honors courses for Spring 2012 are still being planned.
If you have questions, you may e-mail them to Don Smith, director of the Honors Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org.