A goal without a plan is just a wish.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943
Due Dates, Multiple:
- Begin work during Synthesis Seminars in Week 8.
- Share completed draft with Honors Advisor during first advising appointment (around Week 10). This may be done via OAKS or email, according to your advisor’s preference.
- Upload final draft (with at least the first 4 semesters completed) to the dropbox in the “Class of 2024” OAKS page (by 10/25/20).
BGS, on the most basic level, aims to advise you on academic and professional opportunities and necessities; to help build your professional toolkit while expanding your expressive capabilities; and to introduce you to the College and broader Charleston communities in such a way that you can begin to appreciate and enjoy those communities in new ways even as you begin to see yourself as an asset within those communities.
If that was all we did in BGS, it would be a fine first-year course with an emphasis on pre-professionalization and general community orientation. But it is much more than that. BGS also asks you–through reflection and strategic projection–to align your professional, personal, and academic goals with a deeply considered sense of the values and competencies that make you who you are, and also those that will help you become who you want to be.
The PACE Navigator, a key element in your portfolio, melds more practical academic planning objectives with this more qualitative and reflective consideration of how your values and competencies align with potential future goals.
In terms of strictly academic matters, the PACE Navigator asks that you chart out your curricular plan over the next four years. Using the form that we provide, you should complete as much of a four-year coursework plan as you feel comfortable and able to complete. Even if you do not know your major, there are “anchor” courses (e.g., General Education requirements and Honors requirements) that you can fill in. This will give you a sense of how different majors line up with the core requirements.
Also, when charting out the academic plan, you might consider when you might study away, do an internship for course credit, or become involved in research (particularly Independent Study and Bachelor’s Essay). Weeks 7-10 are specifically designed to help you begin considering these things.
Remember, this is a planning exercise, not a binding contract. Your PACE Navigator will and should be endlessly revised over the course of your four years here. Your plans will change, and that’s a good thing. The idea is to look ahead and think strategically about choices you make now that might affect and reveal future opportunities.
At the end of the semester, you will be asked to revisit your Navigator, make changes to your plan if necessary, and have a final meeting with your PF to discuss your revised plans and next steps. In the future, the navigator will accompany you to all meetings with your Honors and Major advisors as part of your academic-professional portfolio.
Don’t have any clue what you kinds of things you want to pursue? Well, neither do many of your peers. And that’s precisely why this assignment is so important. We don’t expect you to be able to foretell your future; but we do want to encourage you to start thinking more creatively and intentionally about your future. The more specific your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them.