Critical Bases

The courses for Critical Bases provide a range of the conceptual and skills foundations that are either necessary for, or beneficial to, a Guilford College student’s subsequent coursework and beyond. This general education curriculum roots the standard breadth courses (arts/humanities, social/behavioral science, natural science/mathematics) firmly in Guilford’s Quaker values, to motivate student interests in issues while at and beyond Guilford.

The three discrete Base C requirements satisfy the accreditation requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC). Note on double-counting of courses: double-counting permitted with the exception of any course with a (*). Starred courses may not double-count to fulfill a second requirement.

Base Requirements
Base A
Skills to engage and communicate knowledge English 101*
English 102*
Historical Perspectives
Modern Language 101*
Modern Language 102
 
Base Requirements
Base B
Ways of understanding knowledge Embodied and Creative Engagement
Evaluating Systems and Environments
Numeric/Symbolic Engagement
Sociocultural Engagement (2 courses)
 
 
Base Requirements
Base C
Ways of creating knowledge Social/Behavioral Science
Arts/Humanities
Natural Science/Mathematics
 

BASE A: SKILLS TO ENGAGE AND COMMUNICATE KNOWLEDGE - FIVE COURSES

ENGL 101. Writing Seminar
ENGL 102. College Reading and Writing: Many Voices 3.HP. Historical Perspectives
ML 101. Modern Language (Communicating 1)
ML 102. Modern Language (Communicating 2)

Students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to complete as many courses within this category as possible within their first two years at Guilford College.

ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 (First-Year Writing Sequence)

ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 make up the First-Year Writing sequence. Both courses are designed to strengthen students’ understanding and capability in rhetorical knowledge; critical reading, writing, and thinking; writing/research processes; and knowledge of conventions. ENGL 101 (Writing Seminar) introduces students to writing for specific audiences and purposes in genres that value the students’ experiences and observations, reading actively, developing writing over time as part of an ongoing process of revision, moving nimbly between different writing purposes and audiences, and strengthening their organization and writerly voices. ENGL 102 (College Reading and Writing) builds on the skills from ENGL 101 by inviting students to move beyond their own experiences to listen to the voices of authors from diverse backgrounds; examine the contexts in which these authors share their voices; and create texts in genres that value the use of multiple, credible sources.
The First-Year Writing Sequence consists of two courses--ENGL 101 and ENGL 102. Depending on each student’s background and the results of the Writing Placement Process, students may complete this sequence with one of the following paths:

  • Path 1: ENGL 101 in the 12-week session of the first semester, followed by ENGL 102 in the 12-week session of the second semester.
  • Path 2: An invitation from the Writing Program Placement Process allows students to start with ENGL 102 in the 12- week session of the first semester.

The Writing Program Placement Process will be completed during the Initiate course to determine which configuration best matches each student’s writing strengths. This process includes an evaluation of the writing produced in the Initiate course and the responses to a questionnaire about their writing, reading, and critical thinking. Note: Students with scores of four or five on an English AP exam are exempt from ENGL 101 and will be given credit for ENGL 102. Historical Perspectives (see below) completes the foundational writing sequence allowing students to transition into further writing instruction in their majors and academic disciplines.

Minimum grade to satisfy these requirements is a C- in ENGL 101 and a D- in ENGL 102.

HP. Historical Perspectives

The final course in the foundational writing sequence, HP introduces students to academic writing and research through sustained work in the discipline of History, developing process-oriented reading and writing skills through work with primary and secondary sources, reflection and collaboration, and conducting academic research and writing for academic audiences. HP helps students continue to develop the first-year writing outcomes (rhetorical knowledge; critical reading, writing and thinking; process; knowledge of conventions) through the study of historical change and continuity and how individuals and groups respond to social, economic, political, and other forces. Courses meeting this requirement are offered by a variety of departments across the college.

Historical Perspectives courses are indicated with the letters “HP” at the beginning of the course title. Courses without this designation will not satisfy this requirement.

Note: Students who enter with appropriate credit for a post-ENGL 102 level composition course may take either a history course or a designated Historical Perspectives course to complete the Historical Perspectives requirement.

Minimum grade to satisfy this requirement: D-.

ML 101 and ML 102. Modern Language

The Modern Language requirement is a two-course or equivalent sequence that prepares students to be lifelong learners of languages and cultures. Modern language courses are taken in order (the language 101 course, followed by language 102 or the approved study away or immersive experience) and focus on learning through developing novice-level skills in comprehending and producing speech and writing in a non-English natural language, and familiarity with some of the communities for whom that is a first or primary language. A student may also satisfy this requirement through one of the following means, all subject to final approval by the Department of Modern Language Studies:

  • Pass two semesters of a modern, spoken or signed language at another accredited university. The chosen language must have cultural components. ASL can satisfy the language requirement.
  • Place into language 201 (German & Spanish), 203 (French) or higher on one of Guilford’s language placement tests.

Placement scores from exams at other universities do not meet this requirement.

  • Score four or higher on an AP modern language exam.
  • Complete secondary school in a non-Anglophone country and in a language other than English. Completion of primary education in another language is not sufficient.

All incoming students without relevant transfer credits who have taken more than two years of French, German or Spanish and who wish to continue studying that same language must take a placement exam in the appropriate language before enrolling in a modern language course. Students who place out of the modern language requirement are encouraged to continue their studies of language by enrolling in 201, 202/220 or 301, according to placement. Students who score below the minimum (see below) must satisfy the modern language requirement by taking a 201-level course. Such courses are offered in French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

For the modern language requirement to be waived, a student must qualify for a learning disability as defined by the state of North Carolina. If the modern language waiver is granted, the student must substitute a course with an international or intercultural emphasis that has been approved by the Department of Modern Language Studies. Students must contact the coordinator of Accessibility Resource Center to process the waiver. The coordinator of Accessibility Resource Center maintains the list of approved substitute courses. Substitute courses cannot double-count with other general education requirements.

International students whose native language is not English, and who completed secondary school in a non-Anglophone country and in a language other than English will be exempt from the modern language requirement. No credit will be awarded for their native language unless they wish to enroll in an advanced-level course.

Score Suggested Placement
French Placement Exam
0-259 French 101
260-357 French 102
358-391 French 203
392+ French 220
German Placement Exam
0-327 German 101
328-416 German 102
417-547 German 201
548+ German 202
Spanish Placement Exam
0-265 Spanish 101
266-374 Spanish 102
375-439 Spanish 201
440+ Spanish 202

There is no placement exam for Japanese. However, students who have previously studied Japanese are encouraged to speak with Hiroko Hirakawa before enrolling in a course.

Placement Levels in French, German and Spanish

  • A student placing in 101 must complete this course and 102 to satisfy the modern language requirement.
  • A student placing in 102 must complete this course to satisfy the modern language requirement. This course is a prerequisite for 200-level courses, which count towards the language major or minor. 201 & 202/220– A student placing at these levels has satisfied the modern language requirement, but is strongly advised to enroll in the appropriate course to continue studying the language.

Students who wish to challenge their placement need to speak with the chairperson of the Department of Modern Language Studies. Every effort will be made to enroll students in a course appropriate to their needs. Note that students are strongly urged to begin and continue their language study in their first year at Guilford.
Minimum grade to satisfy this requirement: D-.


BASE B: WAYS OF UNDERSTANDING KNOWLEDGE

Embodied and Creative Engagement (one course)
Courses fulfilling this requirement focus on learning through direct, embodied experience and the creation or manipulation of things in the physical world. Designated lab science, creative arts, sport studies, and fieldwork-based courses are among the classes that students can use to satisfy this requirement.

Evaluating Systems and Environments (one course)
Courses fulfilling this requirement focus on learning to notice and analyze environmental, institutional, and/or sociopolitical contexts, systems, and ideologies; to evaluate them in terms of Guilford’s core values; and to assess possible alternatives. While the subject matter of some of these courses may overlap with that of courses fulfilling other requirements (such as the Sociocultural Engagement requirement), the focus of courses in this category is on systemic and/or ideological analysis and evaluation.

Numerical/Symbolic Engagement (one course)
Courses fulfilling this requirement focus on learning to use numbers and other symbols to represent, organize, and analyze information in quantitative, formal, or symbolic systems. Designated Accounting, Computing, Economics, Logic, Mathematics, and Music courses are among the classes that students can use to satisfy this requirement.

Sociocultural Engagement (two courses)
Courses fulfilling this requirement focus on developing intra- and cross-cultural knowledge, including awareness and understanding of the commonalities and diversities within one’s own communities and between those communities and others. Courses that satisfy this requirement focus on cultures in Africa, Asia, Latin America, or the Middle East; or focus on subcultures within the United States whose roles and contributions have been underrepresented and/or undervalued in crucial dimensions of society, including its institutions of higher learning.  Note that students must complete two discrete courses in this category.


Base C: WAYS OF CREATING KNOWLEDGE

Students must take three courses in this category.

Arts/Humanities (one course)
An approved course from Art, English, History, Modern Language Studies, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Theatre Studies. 

Natural Science/Mathematics (one course)
An approved course from Biology, Chemistry, Computing Technology and Information Systems, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Sport Studies (particularly Exercise and Sport Science courses). 

Social Science/Behavioral Science (one course) 
An approved course from Accounting, Business, Economics, Education Studies, Justice and Policy Studies (Criminal Justice and Community and Justice Studies courses), Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology, Sport Studies (particularly Sport Management courses).

Prior Degree Students

The College will consider the Critical Base requirements of Guilford College met for admitted students who have completed an associate in arts (AA), associate in science (AS), baccalaureate or higher degree. The following required limits on this policy are described below:

  • The prior completed degree must be awarded by a regionally accredited college.
  • The student transcript for the prior completed degree documents an overall GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by the college in which the degree was earned, and a grade of “C-” or higher in all equivalent Critical Bases courses.

While this policy covers Critical Base coursework, students must complete all prerequisite and major-specific courses required in an academic program to graduate.

AA and AS students will enter with a junior classification. Baccalaureate or higher degree students will enter with a junior or senior classification based on the number of credits articulated.

If you are a prospective student and you have questions regarding the prior degree policy, please consult Admissions. If you are enrolled at Guilford College, please consult with the Department Chair or Coordinator of your academic program or the Registrar’s Office.