(From Inside Higher Ed) Guilford College in North Carolina is launching major changes to its academic calendar and curriculum in an effort to forestall its enrollment decline. Guilford’s new calendar creates an interdisciplinary, three-week course for first-year students, followed by 12- and then three-week sessions in the spring. The revamped curriculum allows students to engage in a Collaborative Quest, wherein students design a sequence of courses with the assistance of advisers to help them explore their interests. The Collaborative Quest demands students consider their passions and career goals in ways that the prior curriculum didn’t — possibilities include research with faculty members, internships for credit and travel with expert professors. In this way, Guilford’s new curriculum model suggests a trend among small colleges toward real-world learning and creative engagement as a baseline for excellence in higher education.
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