The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

CPPS invites stuent and faculty involvement

The Center for Principled Problem Solving (CPPS) is a very new program on Guilford campus. So new that many aren’t aware of its existence or what purpose it serves. The title isn’t helpful. It’s vague, but deliberately so.So what is the center for? What problems does it solve? The answer: you decide.

“We’re in the process of trying to establish the center’s purpose and identity,” said Mark Justad, director of CPPS. “Instead of telling people what we are and getting them to come to us, we’re getting people to come to us and tell us what we are.”

Established in August 2007, the center has become more active this semester. The primary goal of the program is to get more people involved. So far, CPPS has established five pilot programs, a scholar’s program, and a faculty fellowship.

“The logic behind the program is putting our core values to work in the world. The situations in which our core values are applied are wide open,” Justad said.

The pilot programs were proposed last semester by students and faculty. Programs range from community issues such as tutoring at Grimsley High School, national issues including tackling misconceptions of black men in our society, and campus issues like establishing an ethical purchasing and procurement policy.

The scholars program will offer several benefits to 10 Guilford students including $2000-$3000 and a summer internship. It is a product of both CPPS and Leadership for Social Change cooperating together.

“One of our real hopes for our scholars is that we’ll have students from different majors and vocational interests as well as a mix of traditional and CCE students; as broad a range of folks as we can find,” Justad said.

The fellowship will be awarded to one faculty member that CPPS feels will bring the most to the table.

One of the few established ideas about the center is that it is interdisciplinary. By encouraging cooperation across academic lines, CPPS hopes to become the most effective program it can be. CPPS encourages a variety of students and faculty to apply their varied skills and contribute.

“In some ways, the interdisciplinary approach helps keep us honest and prevents us from thinking that any one discipline or person can provide an all the answers to a problem,” Justad said. “Plus it’s a lot of fun to let people speak from their passions. It makes for exciting conversation that is not always comfortable but is fun. I think that is what education should always be: a battle. The discovery of knowledge is an exciting thing.”

CPPS hopes to become a strong program that people learn to associate with Guilford.

After three semesters, the program’s pilot stage will end. What happens between now and then will decide whether it will be discontinued or established permanently. What problems or opportunities students and faculty see in that time, and what they choose to do about them, play a large role in deciding the program’s future.

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