Note: Kami Rowan initially posted this as a comment to the last faculty meeting page, but she asked me to post it as a full message.
Friends, given Dave’s message this evening about the need to take action that is bolder, more visible, more immediate and more sustainable, several faculty have begun to compile a list of steps we believe would meet the challenge put before us. This is not a moment that is unclear to us: instead, we know we must act with courage and conviction to be the college we know we must become. We believe our faculty can lead the college and we wish to begin soliciting new bolder ideas from the experience and passion we bring to our work.
To this end, we wish to begin the next step in our work by sharing the list below. These are even bolder ideas, said in small groups but that we believe must move from the fringe to the center of our work.
1. No Grades
Embracing a staged and flexible sense of success where students have a role in determining and defining their own success
2. Year-around college to promote a three-year degree
Providing accelerated paths for our best-prepared students and additional opportunities for our least-prepared students to succeed. This commitment signals that Guilford College is here year-around for any student willing to do the work. Such a year-around college can structure the schedule, calendar and experiences to support the real-world engagement that begins together (first-year) and ends with a culminating project.
3. Second Major based in real world problem and student passion (“Q”)
Every student’s real-world project is just as important as anything else at Guilford. While students must take 30 credit hours of general education learning and a disciplinary major, we believe a student project reflecting a passion for a real-world problem through design thinking must represent a pillar of this new experience. This project, over three years, should be the equivalent of a second major and be focused on engagement both on- and off-campus. This second major should have a unique label and name, perhaps a student’s “Q”.
4. Every First Year student has an immersive study away or abroad year one.
Every first year student would have an opportunity to have a deep and meaningful experience during some form of immersive study their first semester or year.
5. Everyone in our community supports each other.
From Day One, each student will be supported by a student doing a signature work in the final year at Guilford. This student will be a peer adviser for understanding the user experience for developing one’s Q project in the years ahead. As our first-year student passes through the first two semesters at Guilford, this senior will help provide valuable one-on-one coaching and support, regardless of major or project, given the common user experience training.