Guilford Edge ambiguity confuses students, campus


Last winter, Guilford College announced that it would be changing its course schedule from 16 credits over 15 weeks, twice a year, to a 3-12 schedule. This means that upon arrival in the fall, students would take one intensive three-week class, and after fall break, they would take three classes for twelve weeks.

This pattern would be repeated in the spring semester, but in inverse order, starting with 12 weeks of regular classes, ending with three weeks of one intensive class.

Don’t worry, I am also very confused.

Students and faculty alike seem to have been caught off guard by this new overhaul to our traditional schedule. Many students, like myself, are worried about graduating on time or are considering transferring.

The general attitude of the administration is that they will figure it out as things go. This leaves most students I’ve spoken to feeling extremely anxious.

I know that my own program is intensive. I am an education and English double major whose entire college career is dependent upon careful timing and planning. Some of the classes I am required to take are only offered one semester, with some offered only every other spring.

This careful schedule will only be finished when in the fall of my senior year, I will student teach for 16 weeks as part of a 12-credit internship accompanied by a four-credit seminar at night. When I have asked (and trust me, I’ve asked everyone), how this will work with the new schedule, I have been promised that a solution will eventually be reached, but nothing has yet to materialize.

My own predicament is just one of many situations that has been overlooked by the administration. Grand and sweeping changes have been made in the hopes of improving our retention rate and general notoriety for years to come.

But we are students now. Every one of us has concerns about the new schedule and has received little comfort from those who are supposed to have answers.

Another frustrating part of the new schedule change is the lack of information provided to us by the administration. I have heard so many different accounts of what exactly this new schedule is, I feel like I will not truly know what is going to happen until it happens. So many new changes have been instituted as a part of the mysterious and elusive Guilford Edge. No one has yet to explain to me exactly what the Guilford Edge is, other than a new schedule and a reshuffling of campus facilities.

I understand that the administration hopes to provide a much-needed update to Guilford College and all of its facilities. However, there is concern that these changes will not improve the standing of Guilford College, and will ostracize us from the academic mainstream.

Personally, I am confused as to how a new schedule will improve the academic experience at all. How is learning improved when it takes place over three weeks as opposed to 16? What is gained by discontinuing minor programs? How does any of this give graduating students an edge over their peers?

I love Guilford College. It is the most beautiful, welcoming and accepting place I have ever been. In the fall of my first year, I was sure that nothing would ever make me apprehensive about staying here. However, my priority has always been my education and graduating on time.

I am now forced to decide to either abandon the place I love as a preventive measure or stay here and hope that things work out in my favor. I know that in my own case, any kind of clear explanation of what next fall will look like would go a long way, and frankly, I think the administration owes us at least that.

Guilford Edge Opinion
Illustration By: Andrew Walker/The Guilfordian