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Connecticut College: Academics



Our academic programs are designed to shape informed citizens with a global perspective.

Academic structure

A student usually enrolls in four courses a semester. After your first semester, if you have a grade point average over 3.00 then you will be able to take up to five classes in one semester. If you have a grade point average lower than 3.00 and you still want to over point then you would have to petition the Committee on Academic Standing. You can get petitions in the registrar's office in the first floor of Fanning Hall.

Your Faculty Adviser (FA) will assist you with choosing your courses, discuss your overall academic plans, and answer any general academic questions. Until you declare a major, he or she will continue to be your FA. Upon declaring a major, you can choose a new adviser from the department of your major. And if you choose to declare a minor, you will need to choose an adviser for that, too.

You should discuss any concerns about English as a second language and about writing and reading problems with your FA. You probably speak a foreign language fluently, so you may be exempt from the foreign language requirement, but you need to apply during your freshman year for such an exemption. If you have taken a 13th year program like the British A-Levels or the international Baccalaureate, inform the Registrar. You may get credit for the advanced work done in high school. You may wish to enroll in higher level courses that usually require you to take an introductory course beforehand, and you may be allowed to do so if you can prove that in high school you did advanced work in the pertaining area of concern.

Faculty-student relationships

Connecticut College offers plentiful opportunities for formal and informal relationships and is a place where the faculty cares about the students. It is a small enough school for you to get to know the faculty, staff, and administration quite well and work with them on a personal basis. Classes are usually small, and professors are willing to meet with you during office hours to discuss class material and assignments. If you need to meet with your professors at any other time, it is advisable (and polite!) to make appointments beforehand, but most professors have an open door policy and are pleased to help you whenever they are in their offices.

You can work on a personal basis with a faculty member by engaging in an independent study or by doing research with a professor. Often, faculty members invite students to lunch or dinner, and they enjoy being asked to lunch or dinner by their student.

Foreign Languages

Connecticut College is a great place for learning new languages. Foreign language classes are offered in French, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Arabic. The dining hall in the multicultural/language house, Knowlton, is open every weekday for lunch. Students who take language classes or those who simply want some practice should take advantage of this great opportunity. Language professors often join their students in this casual environment where learning is carried beyond the classroom.

Classroom Procedures

During the first week of classes, the instructor will hand out a syllabus, which will outline the course objectives, required textbooks, chapters to be covered, due dates for assignments, attendance policy, and the grading policy. Changes may be made to the syllabus during the semester, but only after the professor has informed the whole class about this decision. The syllabus will include the instructor's office location and the office hours, mailbox, e-mail, and telephone numbers. Please note, however, that unless the faculty indicate that they do not mind being called at home, you should call them only at their office.

Teaching methods

Professors may use lecture, class discussion, or both. Most classes meet on a regular schedule once, twice, or three times a week, except for language and dance classes and classes with laboratory sections. Classes that meet only once a week are called seminars and require students to do much reading and writing outside of class.

Attendance

Your course instructor will inform you of the attendance policy at the beginning of the course. Regular attendance is expected of all students unless suffering from illness or in case of an emergency. Some portion of the class grade may be based on attendance. Missing more than a set number of classes could result in a lowering of your final course grade.

Class participation

Many professors encourage class participation and often expect it. In some courses it is a part of the overall grade. If you feel hindered to participate because of your English proficiency, we strongly advise you to discuss this issue with the instructor and the International Student Adviser.

The Honor Code

The Honor Code is an integral part of Connecticut College. Academically, it involves requirements for taking examinations and for using and citing outside sources for papers and other writing. Whenever you use someone else's language or ideas, you must give credit to the original source. The staff of the Roth Writing Center will explain how to cite quoted or paraphrased material, how to create a bibliography, and how to meet other documentation requirements. Academic dishonesty is a serious infraction of the Honor Code. The Honor System requires you to produce work that is entirely your own, unless you have the permission to use outside sources or collaborate with other students. You may not exchange information about an exam that other students have not taken yet. If you need a bilingual dictionary, or should you require extra time for a scheduled exam because of language difficulties, make sure you discuss this beforehand with the course instructor. The Honor Code allows students to take self-scheduled, unproctored final exams, and Connecticut College students take great pride in this and are glad to be treated as mature and responsible adults. Everyone takes the Honor Code very seriously, and sticks to the "lips-sealed policy" during finals. Breaking the "lips-sealed" policy is a serious infraction of the Honor Code.

Tutoring

The academics at Connecticut College are challenging, but there is certainly help available should you need it. The Roth Writing Center provides one-to-one peer tutoring to help writers of all abilities during all stages of the writing process. In addition to its regular services, the Writing Center also coordinates study skills workshops periodically throughout the year on time management, study skills, note taking, writing effective exams, test anxiety, research papers, and other strategies for effective learning. Individualized tutoring is available for students that need additional help in a variety of subject areas, including languages, natural sciences and mathematics.

Examinations

The number and types of examinations differ from one course to another. The instructor will tell you how many examinations to expect in the course, the kind of examination you will be taking, and the material each exam will cover. If you are unfamiliar with any of the types of exams requested by the course you are taking, or if you are not entirely fluent in English, it is advisable that you know as much as you can about the exam requirements. You should also let your instructor know of any special needs before the exam. Some classes do not have a final exam but require instead the completion of one or more long papers. Exams taken in class typically have a time limit and consist of short-answer, multiple-choice, or true-false type questions. In the case of take-home exams you will have to complete them at a time and in a place of your choice outside of class. Make sure you understand what the instructor's exact requirements for taking the exam are and when it is due.