Academic Knox: The Short Version
Remember, this guide is a reference tool to help you understand the curriculum and develop the most effective educational plan for you! Pressed for time now? Here is a preview of the advice provided in each chapter.
1. Choosing Your Courses
- Build on existing interests.
- Explore new interests.
- Think ahead (just a little bit) to the next few terms.
- Vary your courses based on the kind of work required.
- Consider your plans for language study.
2. Care and Feeding of Advisor
- Get to know your advisor.
- Make preliminary decisions and identify your key questions before meeting with your advisor.
- Keep your advisor up-to-date on your experiences and progress.
- Use the openness of your relationship to your advisor to bring up any non-academic issues which you feel are playing a negative role in your academic experiences.
- When you take courses in a potential major field, think about those instructors as potential major advisors.
3. Your Educational Plan
- You need to complete a written Educational Plan by the end of your sophomore year.
- Your plan should focus on your junior and senior years, but be informed by a summary and reflection of your experiences during your first and second years-both inside and outside the classroom.
- The Educational Plan embodies one of Knox's primary educational goals-to help you to become independent, informed, and 'free to flourish' both in your remaining years here and beyond.
4. The Curriculum: Foundations
- The Foundations goal begins with your taking the First-Year Preceptorial.
- To fully meet the Foundations goal, you need to take at least one course from each of the four major areas of the liberal arts: sciences, arts, humanities, and social sciences. Your major and second field of study will themselves involve with at least some of those four areas.
- Some Foundations goals may be met experientially.
- Think about Foundations not only as exposure to different fields of study but as ways to pursue some of the fundamental questions we face as human beings.
5. The Curriculum: Specialization
- You need to have an academic major as your primary area of specialization.
- You'll also need a second field of study, which might be a second major or a minor (or two).
- You don't need to begin your studies at Knox with a firm idea of a major, but the question should guide your course choices in some way from the very beginning-even if it means exploring departments as potential majors!
- Think about your combination of major(s) and minor(s) in a variety of ways, including both career aspirations and personal enjoyment.
6. The Curriculum: Key Competencies
- A sound education includes the skills requisite for success in the new century.
- At Knox, those skills include writing, oral presentation, quantitative literacy, information literacy and informed use of technology, knowledge of a second language, and understanding human diversity.
- FP and your major will provide two of the 3 required writing-enhanced ("W") courses. You'll still need one more.
- Information literacy and technology skills, as well as oral presentation skills, are acquired by satisfying the requirements for your major.
- Every Knox student must pass at least one course in a second language at the 103-level or above.
- Quantitative skills involve both establishing your math "proficiency" and "literacy."
- The best way to satisfy the Understanding Diversity requirement is by passing a designated "DV" course.
7. The Curriculum: Experiential Learning
- Experiential Learning is one way that Knox ensures that you learn by "doing."
- The Experiential Learning goal asks you to approach an out-of-classroom project intentionally, that is, by thinking in advance of how the experience will contribute to your career or personal development, and reflecting on the experience when it's over.
- You'll need a sponsor in order to meet this goal-generally, either a faculty member or staff member from the Center for Career and Pre-Professional Development.
8. Independent Study
- Consider doing an independent project (either research or your own creative, artistic work) at some point during your junior or senior years. Working independently is a great test of your own abilities and for many students among their most satisfying Knox experiences.
- You can register for an independent study for .5 or 1 credit.
- Check your Knox Catalog for information on special programs that enhance student original academic projects: the Honors Program, McNair Program, Ford Fellows Program, and Richter Scholars Program.
9. Off-Campus Study
- Think about including off-campus study in your four-year experience. You may also propose that your off-campus study count for meeting your experiential learning goal.
- Most students who study off-campus go for 1-3 terms in their junior year, but there are exceptions.
- Knox approaches off-campus study like all aspects of the educational experience-it should be intentional so it enhances the four-year educational experience. And it should not delay graduation.
- The Center for Global Studies as well as campus advisors for each off-campus program are the best sources of information.
- Periodically, special courses are offered which combine on-campus study with short-term off-campus learning.
10. Community Service
- There is a strong tradition of community service throughout Knox's history.
- A wide range of experiences is available through which you can reach out to the Galesburg community.
- Many volunteer experiences are available through clubs and organizations on campus. Inquire at the Center for Community Service.