Office of Student Development
2 E. South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
First-Year Preceptorial is the first step in a journey of intellectual discovery.
We often speak of education as a journey. After all, you will be travelling to Knox for your education, physically relocating and reorienting yourself to begin the next stage in your intellectual development. But your education will look like a journey in many other ways too. You will be full of anticipation before you begin. Over the years, you will embark on activities you have planned but will benefit just as much, or even more, from unexpected twists and turns. Eventually, this journey will come to a conclusion, at least, a provisional conclusion, as you prepare for your next journey in life. And, in all likelihood, you will look back on your college years and decide that getting there was not "half the fun," as they say. The fun was in the intellectual encounters, engagements, dialogues, and experiences you had during the journey.
First-Year Preceptorial (or FP, as everyone calls it) is designed to invite these encounters, initiate these dialogues, and develop the habits of inquiry, communication, and judgment vital for success at Knox and beyond. And forget about majors or disciplines; we don't travel as history majors or chemistry majors. FP classes are taught by professors from all academic programs with a variety of areas of interest and expertise. FP takes on "big questions": what is human nature? what is love? how do we communicate? how do we live sustainably on this planet? what does it mean to act and to lead?
FP explores these questions from multiple and diverse perspectives. You will be asked to read and think critically, cultivate oral and written communication skills, be open to the unexpected and unpredictable, and practice academic integrity in your work. FP will be your first step on this journey, but its focus will be on skills and talents you will need throughout your time here.
All first-year students take FP in the Fall term. There is not, however, a single FP; there are many different courses from which to choose. You will submit your FP course preferences when you choose your Fall course preferences.
During Preceptorial, you'll learn what it means to be part of an intellectual community that practices academic integrity. Veritas (or truth) -- the College's motto -- is the foundation for life and learning at Knox as embodied by our Honor Code. Academic integrity is the broader sense of intellectual truthfulness: carefully considering all sides of an issue, giving credit where credit is due, and being an active participant in scholarly discussion.
In Preceptorial, you will learn that integrity includes knowing how to analyze and discuss competing explanations and contradictory beliefs, how to question or affirm a viewpoint, when to be persuaded by a new idea, and how to interact in good faith with those whose opinions differ from your own. By cultivating these skills in yourself, you contribute to our collective goal to create a community of the highest scholarship.
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