Your Educational Plan
Coming to Knox is like gaining a colleague-actually, several colleagues over time-as you work with your advisor(s) and other faculty members. Each faculty member you meet will have good ideas about what makes the best education for you-inside and outside your major. But all faculty are committed to the idea that you should shape your own educational plan. Over time, you should develop an educational plan that reflects both the faculty's collective wisdom about the best education (that's what's represented by the broad categories Foundations, Specialization, Key Competencies, and Experiential Learning) together with your own talents, interests and aspirations.
Our goal is for you to be able to function independently and competently. But making the best choices requires information, your experience, and your reflection-not just good advice. In the four year process of developing this independence, we've set an important benchmark for the end of the sophomore year: completing your educational plan.
The Educational Plan is an opportunity for you to evaluate your experiences so far and to chart a course for your final two years of study. Your plan, of course, may change, but having a plan in place at the end of your sophomore year will give you an anchor for your thinking about subsequent experiences in and out of class, your career, or your personal commitments. Your Educational Plan must be approved by your advisor by the end of your sophomore year.
There's no set format for the structure and content of a Plan. Use your own imagination and construct a plan that reflects YOU and what you think is important as you begin the second half of your college education.
Reflection to date
- What were your expectations about academic study, a major, a career, upon starting at Knox?
- How have your courses to date helped you explore potential areas for a major and/or career, or encounter new areas of interest?
- What has your life on campus been like? How do you regard your residence hall experience?
- What organizations have you joined and what events have you participated in? Have you participated in any community service projects? Have these been a burden or have they added to the quality of your experience at Knox so far?
- What talents and skills have you discovered (or confirmed) through your academic work and campus experiences? Are there talents and skills you now realize you don't have, but need? What kinds of courses work best for you?
- Are you the same person you were two years ago? Is that good or bad? How have you changed?
- What are your academic plans for the next two years? What will be your major? What will serve as an additional field of concentration (e.g., a second major, one or two minors)?
- How have you met Knox's educational goals, or how do you plan to satisfy the remaining goals before graduation:
Oral presentation skills
- What are your plans for the experiential learning component of your education? Do you want to build on your major through an experiential learning project, or will your project be in a substantially different area?
- What about off-campus study? Are you considering incorporating off-campus study into your educational plans? Why or why not?
Life after Knox College
- As of today, where would you like all this to lead? What are your plans immediately after Knox? Where would you like to be 10 years after graduation? Will your own success improve the lives of others? If so, how?
- What are the most significant factors that are shaping your plans for the future? Are you comfortable with those factors playing that role?
You might want to keep a journal and make an entry when you register for courses to describe how you are thinking: What do you intend to accomplish during this term? You can make a second entry at the end of the term: How do you think it went? Using a journal to keep a record of your experiences, thoughts, and plans and to consult with your EDR will make writing your Educational Plan much easier.
Your Educational Plan must have an advisor "approval" (well, it's your plan, of course, but they need to ensure that you have thought broadly along the lines of the suggested questions above). Most sophomores should plan to complete their plan and obtain their non-major advisor's approval; some may declare a major early enough to be able to submit their plan to their new, major advisor.