Our Course

Honors students arrive on campus with immense energy and potential, and with a proven readiness to pursue personal and professional growth. All of this energy and potential  requires a network of powerful connections and a flexible framework that can help students not only articulate their most compelling ideas, goals, and ambitions, but help them transform their ideas into action, their goals into accomplishments, and their ambitions into evidence. In the Honors College, we power this transformation in multiple ways, but it all starts with the Honors First-Year Experience Course–Beyond George Street (HONS 100).

BGS is a series of Keynotes and Synthesis Seminars led by the Honors First-Year-Experience team. It is offered exclusively to first-year and transfer Honors students to provide a dynamic, interdisciplinary introduction to the life of a scholar-citizen. Our goal is to empower students to take control of their college careers by equipping them with the  tools and knowledge they need to succeed and leading them toward rich opportunities for academic, campus, and community engagement. Students will discuss topics and experience events of broad intellectual and practical import as they meet outstanding faculty from across  campus and discover the many opportunities and resources available to them at the College of Charleston and beyond. In addition to attending their BGS classes, students will partner with a broad coalition of academic and community leaders to participate in a large-scale community engagement project called Honors Engaged.

Through a series of reflective exercises and specific writing tasks, students will formulate their ideas and strategies regarding potential majors, career paths, and life goals. This work will culminate in a final portfolio of crucial documents and representative work that students will continue to develop throughout their college careers. Offering students the opportunity to bond as a living-learning community through collaborative assignments, small-group discussion, and meaningful community engagement, BGS seeks to be a practical and compelling introduction to life in the Honors College and beyond. What does it mean to get Beyond George Street–that avenue running through the center of campus? It means moving from the classroom to independent research; from  campus out into the community; from home to the international stage; from where and who you are now, to where and who you want to be next week, next month, next year, and in the decade ahead.

Shared FYE Learning Outcomes

In addition to the Learning Outcomes listed at the bottom of this page, BGS shares with the broader-campus FYE program the following outcomes:

Learning Objective 1: Engaging and Exploring Campus Resources

Learning Objective 2: Integrative Learning

  • By the completion of the first-year, students will:
    • Build a portfolio that they will be encouraged to develop  across their years at the College. The portfolio provides a venue for integrative learning by students as they draw connections not only between diverse courses, but between their coursework and their extra-curricular and professional endeavors.
    • Understand the various elements of the Honors curriculum in concert with the learning / living environment as inspiring and enabling interdisciplinary connections as well as connections to non-academic activities including community engagement, professional development, and extracurricular involvement.

Additional Honors First-Year Experience/BGS Learning Outcomes

Learning Objective 3: Engaging

  • By the end of the Honors First-Year Experience, students will:
    • Understand the difference between volunteerism and sustained, informed community outreach.
    • Have the opportunity to participate in a sustained community outreach initiative that entails progressive involvement with the Charleston community.
    • Be able to analyze service contexts in light of core principles related to asset-based community development.

Learning Objective 4: Equipping

  • By the end of the Honors First-Year Experience, students will:
    • Draft a set of professional documents, including a resume and a Linkedin profile.
    • Create a professional, academic, and community engagement action plan that charts out their professional and academic goals over their four years at CofC.
    • Understand how to use CofC resources related to professional development such as the Career Center.

Learning Objective 5: Reflective Empowerment

  •  By the end of the Honors First-Year Experience, students will:
    • Be able to reflect more clearly on their core values—both those they currently possess and those they might seek–leading to enhanced purpose-identification.
    • Be able to align those core values to the professional, personal, and academic goals they make, leading to increased goal-directedness and overall satisfaction with major life choices.
    • Understand the importance of gaining broad cultural proficiency that enables them to approach ideas and issues pertaining to world events, cultural identity, and academic debate from multiple perspectives with an understanding of the full and complex diversity of human experience.

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