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Academic Program

The liberal arts curriculum at Randolph-Macon College aspires to develop the mind and character of each student by cultivating lifelong love of learning, informed perspectives, self-reflection, and an ability to synthesize ideas. The collegiate requirements, the major, and electives are intended to realize the following goals:

Curriculum Goals

  1. Students should acquire depth of knowledge in a major field and breadth of knowledge in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.
  2. Students should synthesize and integrate knowledge to develop interdisciplinary solutions to open-ended questions.
  3. Students should be able to access, analyze, evaluate, and use information effectively and ethically.
  4. Students should be able to reason critically, historically, scientifically, quantitatively, and logically.
  5. Students should engage in the creative process.
  6. Students should be able to communicate effectively in writing and speaking, across differences of language and culture, using traditional and new media.
  7. Students should appreciate diversity and the ethical and environmental responsibilities of local and global citizenship.
  8. Students should respect the mental and physical well-being of self and others.

The Collegiate Requirements

The collegiate requirements are those courses all students must successfully complete in order to receive a degree from Randolph-Macon College1. The requirements comprise four groups: Effective Communication, Pillars of the Liberal Arts, Cross-Area Requirements, and Wellness.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Effective communication courses provide a foundation in writing and speaking necessary for success in college and beyond. The requirement consists of four courses from three areas.

Written Communication

Critical Reading and Writing (ENGL 185) is a four credit-hour course providing an intensive introduction to skills essential to good writing: critical reading, framing arguments for different audiences, mechanics, style, and research. All students must successfully complete ENGL 185. The course is taken in the student’s first year. A student who does not complete successfully ENGL 185 must repeat ENGL 185 during its next offering.

Communication in Context (CC)

All students must successfully complete one approved course that explores topics and practices that introduce students to the varieties of inquiry, research, and forms of communication characteristic of a field or discipline. 

Foreign Language Communication (FL)

All students must successfully complete two approved consecutive courses in a foreign language, or complete a foreign language through the intermediate level. The intermediate level is normally defined as completion of the 211 – 212 sequence or through a single accelerated course, 215. A student whose native language is not English may satisfy the collegiate requirement by receiving proficiency in a foreign language in consultation with the Registrar’s Office.

PILLARS OF THE LIBERAL ARTS

The Pillars provide exposure to broad areas of knowledge that students will encounter throughout their lives. All students must successfully complete one approved course from each of six areas.

Aesthetic Expression (AE)

These courses explore art forms or texts produced by individuals, groups of people, or cultures; these courses may involve performance and production. Students will learn how formal and thematic qualities create meaning, recognize the interplay of the creative impulse and trained discipline, and attend to the ways aesthetic expression communicates complex human experiences.

Civic Life (CL)

These courses address the social, economic, and political structures that pattern how individuals engage collectively in public life at the community, national, and international levels. Students will learn to identify and analyze structures appropriate to a course’s focus and assess patterns of change and development of those structures. Civic Life courses will require students to reflect on their personal engagement in civic life through classroom and/or experiential learning activities.

Global Experiences (GE)

These courses examine the interconnectedness of human communities and diversity of cultural traditions that have shaped the world in the past and present. Students will learn to observe, describe, and analyze human cultures and societies in their variety.

The Human Condition (HC)

These courses explore what it means to be human, delving into topics such as growth, development, human nature, consciousness, mortality, our lives as individuals and in relationships, belief systems, and ways of knowing. Students will reflect on aspects of the human condition through classroom and/ or experiential learning activities.

Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QS)

These courses focus on solving problems within quantitative or symbolic abstract structures. Students will learn to translate real world problems into the language of these structures, perform and interpret quantitative or symbolic manipulations, employ abstract methods of analysis to develop conclusions, and create and communicate logical arguments based on this analysis.

The Scientific Process (SP)

These courses will examine the role of scientific inquiry, including how the relationships among hypotheses, theories, and predictions provide the context for making observations and drawing conclusions. Students will execute and analyze experiments, including the development of hypotheses, collection and analysis of data, and drawing of conclusions as appropriate to the discipline.

Randolph-Macon is dedicated to the full development of a student’s skills in written and oral communication. Therefore, all students must successfully complete at least one course that is designated as writing attentive (WA) and at least one course that is designated as speaking attentive (SA). To ensure a breadth of knowledge, a single course cannot be used to satisfy more than one Pillar requirement, nor may a student use more than one course on a major to satisfy the Pillar requirements.

From among the courses used to satisfy the Pillar requirements, all students must successfully complete at least one course designated as arts/humanities (HU), at least one designated as social/behavioral science (SS), and at least one designated as natural science/mathematics (NS).

CROSS-AREA REQUIREMENTS

Randolph-Macon’s curricular goals emphasize the college’s intention to provide students with an education that encourages them to see connections and relationships among various academic disciplines. The Cross-Area requirements reinforce cross-disciplinary connections and the recognition that curricular goals are not unique to a particular discipline or a single pillar. All students must successfully complete at least one course that satisfies each of the following requirements.

Experiential Learning (EL)

These courses may be a part of a student’s major or may be an approved curricular project. Courses that satisfy this requirement include: a semester- or year-long study abroad program, a travel-centered course, a Bassett Internship, an approved field study, an approved directed research project, a student teaching assignment, or an approved service-learning course.

Non-Western Culture (NW)

These courses will enable students to begin developing a critical understanding of the non-western world. The scope of human endeavor encompasses a wide range of responses to a shared set of universal challenges, and the responses of western civilization exist alongside and in interaction with the traditions and institutions of other cultures.

Diversity and Inclusion (DI)

These courses address the characteristics of diverse cultures in the United States. Courses focus on the struggles for full inclusion of underrepresented populations and non-dominant cultures and/or the challenges and benefits of diversity in American institutions.

Capstone Experience (CS)

These courses must widely integrate knowledge and skills from either the student’s overall program or the student’s major program.

A single course cannot be used to satisfy more than two cross-area requirements.

WELLNESS

Each student must satisfactorily complete two courses in physical education at the 100 level. These courses do not affect a student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA); the courses are taken for 0 hours of credit. A student physically or medically unable to participate in activity courses is encouraged to meet the physical education requirement by enrolling in PHED 104.

*

Courses which satisfy the current collegiate requirements may be identified via the "C21" codes in the course descriptions.

1

General education requirements for students who enrolled at Randolph-Macon College prior to Fall 2021 are available in the Academic Catalog of the student's year of enrollment.  Prior catalogs are archived online.  A list of courses approved to satisfy pre-2021 general education requirements may be found on the Registrar's Office website.

Requirements for Academic Major

All students must complete successfully the requirements of a major program of study in order to receive a degree from Randolph-Macon.

A major program consists of at least 30 semester hours, satisfying the requirements of the department or interdisciplinary council under whose direction the program is being pursued. In no case may a major require more than 42 semester hours of course work in one field of study. Students should select their major fields by the end of the sophomore year. A student must receive a grade of C- or higher and attain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher on all work counting toward the major. Any transfer course counting on a major is calculated in the major GPA. Students have the option of completing additional majors. Of the courses of three or more semester hours that a student uses to satisfy the requirements of any one major, no more than half may be courses that the student counts toward another major. Of the courses of three or more semester hours that a student uses to satisfy the requirements of any one major, no more than half may be courses brought in through transfer credit.

Requirements for Academic Minor

Students have the option of completing a minor program in addition to a major program. A minor shall consist of no fewer than 15 semester hours and no more than 20 semester hours in one discipline or in an interdisciplinary program. Courses taken to satisfy collegiate requirements or requirements for major programs may be counted for academic minors where appropriate. A student must receive a grade of C- or higher and attain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher on all work counting on the minor. Any transfer course counting on a minor is calculated in the minor GPA. No major may require a minor program. Of the courses of three or more semester hours that a student uses to satisfy the requirements of any one minor, no more than half may be courses that the student counts toward another minor. Of the courses of three or more semester hours that a student uses to satisfy the requirements of any one minor, no more than half may be courses brought in through transfer credit.

Degrees Offered

Randolph-Macon College confers three undergraduate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Science, and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Common Requirements for Degree

All candidates for a degree must (1) complete successfully at least 110 semester hours and at least two courses in physical education at the 100 level, (2) complete successfully a minimum of 34 courses, each of at least three semester hours credit, (3) attain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher on all work undertaken at the college, and (4) satisfy all collegiate requirements.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree

To receive the Bachelor of Arts degree, a student must satisfy all requirements for a major that is designated as fulfilling the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree

To receive the Bachelor of Science degree, a student must satisfy all requirements for a major that is designated as fulfilling the requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree

To receive the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, a student must complete successfully the nursing major and 25 semester hours (8 courses) outside of the nursing major as follows:

BIOL 251Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIOL 252Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
BIOL 311Microbiology4
MATH 111Introduction to Statistics3
or MATH 113 Introduction to Statistics
NUIP 115Nursing Profession & Health Systems3
NUIP 315Pathophysiology-Pharmacology I3
NUIP 325Pathophysiology-Pharmacology II3
NUIP 375Population Health Immersion1-3
Total Hours25-27

All students must complete successfully the requirements for a major program of study in order to receive a degree from Randolph-Macon. Students who complete more than one major and satisfy the requirements for a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science are only awarded one degree. Such students may elect either the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science. Students completing the requirements for the nursing major may only elect the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Degree Conferral

Randolph-Macon College holds one graduation ceremony each year at the end of the spring semester. The college also confers degrees during the first faculty meeting of the fall term, to accommodate those students who complete requirements by the end of summer, and during the first faculty meeting of the spring term, to accommodate those students who complete requirements by the end of January term. Students who have an approved degree application for spring or summer completion may take part in the graduation ceremony.

Academic Year

Each academic year consists of three terms, two of 14 weeks divided by one of four weeks. As a supplement, there are one or more summer sessions.

Fall Term

The fall term commences about the first week in September and concludes before the Christmas recess. Thirteen weeks are devoted to classes, with one week allowed for final examinations. Each student usually registers for four or five courses during this term.

January Term

This four-week term is held in January each year. Enrollment in the January term is optional. Students who enroll in the January term may enroll in no more than seven semester hours of academic credit during the January term and no less than three semester hours.

Spring Term

The spring term commences about the first week in February and concludes in late May. Thirteen weeks are devoted to classes, with one week allowed for final examinations. Each student usually registers for four or five courses during this term.

Summer Session

The college offers one or more summer sessions in which Randolph-Macon students may enroll. Students in good standing at other colleges and universities may enroll; so may individuals who are not enrolled at a college or university but possess a high school diploma or its equivalent. Admission to a Randolph-Macon College summer session does not imply admission to the college. However, courses successfully completed during a summer session would be applicable to a Randolph-Macon degree program should a student subsequently be admitted to the college.

Academic Advising and Counseling

The advising and counseling needs of students often involve a combination of academic, personal, and career concerns. All faculty and staff at the college share to some extent in the endeavor of helping students to address long-range decisions and immediate crises. Recognizing that there is a variety of concerns, the college has a number of advising programs designed to deal with particular areas.

Each student, on entering Randolph-Macon, is assigned to a faculty member who is designated as the student’s academic advisor. Transfer students are assigned advisors in their area of academic interest when possible. These faculty members provide counsel and assistance on general academic questions. They are specifically concerned with students’ selection of courses and their completion of degree requirements. These advisors discuss with the students their courses of study, prospective majors, and progress toward graduation. A student wishing to change his or her faculty advisor may do so by submitting a change of advisor form through MyMaconWeb. Students beginning pursuit of major programs usually identify faculty advisors in their major programs.

Academic advisors are also available for general counseling, and they provide an experienced faculty member whom students at Randolph-Macon College get to know very early in their experience here. Many students establish positive and valuable relationships with their advisors that are maintained throughout their college careers and beyond. Often a conversation with a trusted advisor can clarify many issues. Faculty advisors are also notified regularly regarding the academic progress of each of their advisees. Consultation with the faculty advisor should precede any registration or course change.

Additional counseling services provided by the college are located in the Chaplain’s Office and Counseling Services.

McGraw-Page Library

The McGraw-Page Library provides resources and space for research, study, and collaboration. All of the services described below are available on-demand or by appointment and are free of charge to all students.

The first floor is a busy service center that houses interlibrary loan, circulation, printing, and reserves. Librarians are available to provide support on any element of a research project, from honing a research question to finding high quality sources and organizing them into a literature review.

Also on the first floor are two book collections: popular reading (POP) selections, and Children’s Literature containing Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz award-winning books collected to support students majoring in elementary education. The Abernathy Room provides 24/7 study space complete with a printer, vending machines, and restrooms.

A variety of seating options are available on both the first and second floors to facilitate individual study and group projects, including reservable study rooms, booth-style seating, collaboration and media viewing technology, and large tables.

Instructional Design & Technology supports a Makerspace located on the first floor that includes a 3D printer, virtual reality equipment, laser cutter, Legos, and more. It also loans equipment and offers support for students incorporating technology into their academic assignments. Instructional design support is available for faculty.

The second floor contains the library’s collection of over 130,000 print books and the entire floor is designated as a quiet study area. The Oliver Classroom is used for regularly scheduled classes, while the J. Rives Childs Room is used for library instruction and staff meetings during the day and is available evenings and weekends as a student study space. Special Collections and Archives is also located on the second floor, housing unique collections such as Virginia Methodism, Casanova, and Henry Miller, in addition to the College Archives

The entire building has wireless Internet access and extensive online resources, including more than 200,000 online journals, 500,000 e-books, over 110,000 streaming media items, and 204 research databases. A limited number of desktop computers are available, and laptops are available for short- and long-term loans. Both desktops and laptops provide access to the software needed to complete most academic projects.

Academic Support Services

Through the Higgins Academic Center, Randolph-Macon College demonstrates a commitment to academic excellence by providing academic support for all students. All of the services described below are free of charge to all students.

Tutoring is available in most subjects and can be received on an appointment basis. Students can book an appointment or find the current tutor schedule on the HAC homepage.  Tutoring is offered both in-person and virtually.

Academic Coaching is available upon request and recommended for students on Academic Probation (AP). Depending on the student’s needs, they are connected with a HAC director, Captain, or Peer Academic Coach (PAC). Academic Coaches work with individual students throughout a semester or year. During individual sessions, Academic Coaches may assist students with social, emotional, and/or academic concerns. When appropriate, Academic Coaches will refer students to other campus resources.

Academic Writing and Speaking provides peer writing and speaking support and offers practice spaces and one-on-one or group consultations and feedback for writing and oral communication assignments. The trained peer tutors can provide student workshops at the request of faculty, and the director is available to work with faculty one-on-one or as a group to support writing in the curriculum.

Disability Services - Randolph-Macon College is committed to equal opportunity for all academically-qualified students and does not discriminate on the basis of disability. Accommodations are available to support students with disabilities in taking full advantage of the college’s educational, residential, social, and cultural opportunities. The Office of Disability Services (DS) is responsible for the coordination of these accommodations, and the office staff determines eligibility for services and reasonable academic accommodations. Students are strongly encouraged to contact DS prior to the beginning of the term if they wish to disclose a disability/disabilities, and discuss appropriate accommodations. Medical and/or other relevant documentation may be required. The most up-to-date information concerning policies and procedures relating to support for students with disabilities may be obtained by contacting the Office of Disability Services.

Macon Academic Progress (MAP) is an intervention program administered in conjunction with the Provost’s Office designed for students in their first year at the College. While all first-year students are supported by their Captains, their advisors, and the above academic resources, those students who continue to struggle academically after the first semester are offered additional support in the form of coursework, peer coaching, and mentorship.