At Gettysburg College there are two hallmarks to the academic curriculum: (1) We ask students to be self-reflective, to write and think in ways that express a growing self-awareness about the progress and impact of their education; and (2) We ask students to make connections in what they are learning; to see relevant implications across courses, to achieve an education that is more than a transcript of self-contained courses.
Of course, we still ask students to select a major, a field about which they feel passionate, and in which they will study in depth. And the entire program begins with the highly recommended option of our first-year seminars, which create small, intense, residential learning communities of active learners around wonderfully interesting topics.
This is a truly exciting curriculum, structured around four key elements:
Multiple Inquiries Gettysburg College students are required to engage in multiple forms of inquiry -- in the humanities, the arts, the social sciences, and natural sciences -- in a self-conscious and intentional way. We expect students to learn a variety of approaches, to apply them aptly, and to understand their value and their limitations.
Integrative Thinking We believe our graduates should know how to integrate what they have learned. It is not enough to have compartmentalized knowledge. Integrative thinking is required to create solutions, to develop new ideas, to exert leadership.
Communication Skills Today we are all drowning in information. An effective education must teach students how to evaluate information, to marshal relevant evidence persuasively, and to communicate effectively -- in person, in writing, and in technologically enhanced ways.
Informed Citizenship We want our graduates not only to be at home in the world, but also to be engaged citizens with a global perspective. Understanding and valuing forms of difference, entering another worldview through language, study in another land -- these are valuable in shaping a sense of engagement in the world.