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Academic Knox: The Short Version

Academic Knox

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.