Campus reflects on additions to Hege Library

It is not uncommon for colleges and universities to make changes in an effort to increase comfort and resources for students. With the new Guided Discovery Program, Guilford is no exception.

Guilford has implemented Guided Discovery to help drive the first-year experience in efforts to transform the student experience as a part of the Guilford Edge, which is set to officially launch with a new curriculum plan and calendar in fall 2019.

Guided Discovery is located on the main level of Hege Library, and was designed to fit a theme of journey, navigation and discovery.

“The Guided Discovery space is innovative, unconventional even,” said Associate Professor of Art and Associate Academic Dean Kathryn Shields in an email interview. “It is meant to be unlike other working spaces on campus and to inspire creative work and critical play. Our design principles are based on the idea of a base camp that offers a foundation for students to start from, range out, and come back to during their journey.”

Guided Discovery provides mentorship for first-year students to assist with their transition into the Guilford College community. Students are able to work individually with Guilford Guides or first year experience instructors, where guidance is provided in the areas including self-care, setting goals, identifying interests and career exploration.

“The new Guided Discovery area will combine holistic advising for student wellness with academic and career preparation,” Shields said. “This program is meant to support students as they select classes, seek co-curricular opportunities, navigate their college and post-college experiences.

“The Guides will be part of the support team for students that includes faculty, staff, other students, alumni and community partners. Increasingly, students serve as the leaders of their own team, both in and out of school.”

The changes made in Hege Library with Guided Discovery are designed to help current and future students achieve their personal and academic goals. The new renovations represent only a small portion of the changes that are currently underway with the Guilford Edge.

“It’s really important for us to focus on student success,” said Suzanne Bartels, director of Hege Library and learning technologies. “To focus on students growing personally, intellectually, helping them to become fully engaged in directing their future course.”

The goals of the Edge include encouraging collaborative learning and rallying campus spirit. This also includes incorporating ethical leadership into the learning process.

Guided Discovery hopes to work toward these goals with its Guilford Guides.

“Everything that we’re doing is with the Guilford Edge,” Bartels said. “The most important step was to bring in these new partners to help with the Guilford Edge.”

What was once an area of bookshelves, bean bags and small desks has been replaced with new study spaces that allow for greater collaboration.

“I think that the physical space along with the Guilford Guide position will help foster success, especially in our first-year students but then across the board with current development for all students,” said Guilford Guide Curtis Arena.

The implementation of Guided Discovery into the workspace of Hege has already grown on some students, including senior Amelia Wellman.

“I do like the tents,” Wellman said. “I was actually sitting here just now thinking about why I like it so much, and I feel that one of the reasons why I like it is because it almost gives the illusion of pillow forts from when you were a child.”

While this is still the beginning, Guided Discovery and Guilford Guides are expected to push the Edge forward by serving as a bridge connecting students to resources.