Integrative Experience (IE)

The Integrative Experience is a hallmark component of a student’s Guilford education. It consists of a series of inquiry-based courses and experiences that provide space for curiosity, exploration, and reflection. The program offers a unique opportunity for students to merge academic and personal inquiry into an individual or cooperative project through collaboration with fellow students, faculty and staff, and/or members of broader local or global communities. As a result of the reflective and integrative experience, we hope that students will develop an ongoing, self-motivated pursuit of knowledge.

The culminating project for the Integrative Experience, called the Contribution, represents a tangible conclusion to the exploration, reflection, and integration processes students have been engaged with during their time at Guilford. Whether students undertake a project that relates to their academic pursuits, their vocational aspirations, or their co-curricular interests, the Contribution is intended to provide the opportunity to showcase their intellectual curiosities, knowledge, and skills as an integral part of their education.  

Integrative Experience begins by building community through collaborative, project-based experiences in the First Year Seminar. Students identify areas and topics they are interested in learning more about, thereby encouraging students to branch out into new areas of exploration. The Junior Seminar offers a place for students to identify and reflect on their curiosities and integrate their learning across disciplines. With the support of their advising team, students choose Explore courses that will inform their Contribution, which is completed in the Senior Seminar course.

Through the Integrative Experience, students will

  • Develop an awareness of who they are as a learner and in the academic community of Guilford.
  • Engage in continuous reflection on their academic growth as it relates to their curiosity and future goals.
  • Produce a project (the Contribution) that integrates their learning, insights, values, and questions. 
  • Develop skills in collaborating with others to achieve group and individual goals.
  • Develop skills for communicating their work in small groups and with larger audiences. 

The Integrative Experience consists of the following courses and experiences.

  • IE 101: First Year Seminar. A four-credit course taken during a student’s first semester at Guilford.
  • IE 301: Junior Seminar. A two-credit course typically completed in a student’s junior year.  This requirement may be filled by HON 301 or an approved course in a program/major (One to Four credits). 
  • Explore courses: At least two courses of personal interest (a total of six-eight credits) supporting the student’s path to their Contribution.
  • Each student identifies these courses in consultation with their advising team and Junior Seminar instructor.
  • IE 401: Senior Seminar. A four-credit course taken when the student typically has senior standing in which they complete their Contribution. This requirement may be filled by an approved course in a program/major.