Home > Academic Catalog > 2011-13 Academic Catalog > Academic Programs > Progressive Program

Progressive Program

Program Director: Jennifer Baker, M.A.
Division of Humanities, Education, & Arts

Programs offered:

  • B.A. in Self-designed Major

  • B.F.A./B.A./B.S. in any GMC Major

The Progressive Program at Green Mountain is an alternative, innovative, and intensive educational program within the college that allows exceptional and highly motivated students to work closely with faculty and peers to craft personalized programs of study. Every semester, students work with advisors to clarify their educational goals and program of study, regularly produce narrative self-evaluations that reflect on their progress toward these goals, and receive narrative assessments of their performance in all courses from their instructors.

The Progressive Program draws much of its pedagogic inspiration from educational pioneers like John Dewey, who believed that education “is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.” Participants in the program recognize passionately, therefore, that learning is an inherently social process that connects us with our community and environment, that significant learning occurs outside of the classroom as well as within it, and that the individual learner may best fulfill his or her potential when given the power to design the educational journey.

The Progressive Program has many unique requirements. Progressive Students are required to take the four core courses at Green Mountain College, but they are not required to take the general education, or ELA, distributive requirements. Instead, once during their sophomore year and once during their junior year, students undergo an intensive Level Review process. During these Level Review semesters, students produce a portfolio demonstrating competency in twelve areas (including scholarship, writing ability, community engagement, quantitative and scientific reasoning, and historical awareness) and write an essay reflecting on their past educational growth and future learning goals. A Level Review Team of the student’s choosing evaluates the portfolio at a meeting with the student at the end of the semester.

The Progressive Program experience culminates in a substantive Senior Study Project that is worth 12 credits. The project allows students to integrate their coursework, interests, skills and passions into a single, focused project that is shared with the college community. Previous senior projects have included art exhibits, musical and dramatic performances, extensive writing projects, environmental design and planning projects, a forest management plan, and film projects.

Students in the program often take Independent and Group Independent Studies, with a maximum of 42 independent study credits allowed during the student’s career, not including the Senior Study Project.

Students may elect to earn a Self-Designed Major or any of the majors already offered at GMC. Students may elect to receive all grades or earn all Pass/Fail designations, although in all cases they will receive narrative evaluations of all coursework from instructors.

Learning Outcomes for the Progressive Program
The successful student will:

  • Demonstrate holistic, cooperative, and value-driven learning.

  • Be sensitive and engaged members of their community.

  • Demonstrate the ability to cultivate their own educational goals, and work with professors to bring them to fruition.

  • Demonstrate competencies in a variety of areas critical to academic success, such as research, writing, environmental and cultural awareness, critical thinking, and quantitative and scientific reasoning.

Our program assess these outcomes with two portfolio level reviews and a major senior capstone project.

Competencies for Level III Review
Students will demonstrate the following:

  • Writing & Communication Skills

    • Ability to articulate ideas and information clearly in writing.

    • Ability to use and document a variety of sources.

     

  • Progressive Learning Skills: Critical Thinking, Self-Awareness, & Self-Directedness

    • Self knowledge, ability to answer the question, “Who am I?” and reflect it in one’s work.

    • Ability to take responsibility for one’s own learning and initiate one’s own learning activities.

    • Ability to plan, enact, and evaluate learning goals/objectives.

     

  • Community Awareness & integration

    • Critical academic and experiential awareness of the interconnections and interdependencies of humans and the natural world.

    • Ability to work in society beyond campus in preparation for field semesters and professional life.

    • Demonstrated awareness of one’s own and other cultures.

    • Ability to contribute to the GMC community.

     

  • Development of Academic Perspectives & Abilities

    • Ability to understand and integrate a historical perspective into one’s academic work and understanding of the world.

    • Ability to understand and integrate a scientific perspective into one’s academic work and understanding of the world.

    • Ability to understand and integrate quantitative-based reasoning into one’s academic work and understanding of the world.

Competencies for Level VI Review
Students will demonstrate the following:

  • Writing & Communication Skills

    • Ability to articulate ideas clearly in writing.

    • Ability to research and present findings; ability to undertake a creative project of professional caliber; ability to write in a prescribed format.

     

  • Progressive Learning Skills: Critical Thinking, Self-Awareness, & Self-Directedness

    • Preparation relevant to the student’s planned senior study, including acquaintance with theoretical, historical, and philosophical objectives.

    • Ability to approach topics and problems critically and integratively from different perspectives.

    • Ability to organize inquiry independently in preparation for the senior study.

    • Ability to use varied experiences for significant learning.

     

  • Community Awareness & Integration

    • Ability to collaborate with others while developing a sense of leadership within groups.

    • Continued awareness of one’s own and other cultures.

    • Continued critical academic and experiential awareness of the interconnections and interdependencies of human and the natural world.

     

  • Development of Academic Perspectives & Abilities

    • Ability to understand and integrate a historical perspective into one’s academic work and understanding of the world.

    • Ability to understand and integrate a scientific perspective into one’s academic work and understanding of the world.

    • Ability to understand and integrate quantitative-based reasoning into one’s academic work and understanding of the world.


Requirements for a B.A., Self-Designed Major:

  • 120 hours of total coursework

  • 33 hours coursework at the 3000/4000 level

  • Four ELA Core Classes (Images of Nature, Voices of Community, Dimensions of Nature, Delicate Balance)

  • Successful completion of the Level III and Level VI Reviews

    • SDE 200G/201G (3 credits total)

    • SDE 300G/301G (3 credits total)

     

  • Successful completion of the Senior Project

    • SDE 400G/401G (12 credits total)

     


Requirements for a B.A./B.S. in a traditional major within the Progressive Program:

  • 120 hours of total coursework

  • 33 hours coursework at the 3000/4000 level

  • Four ELA Core Classes (Images of Nature, Voices of Community, Dimensions of Nature, Delicate Balance)

  • Successful completion of the Level III and Level VI Reviews

    • SDE 200G/201G (3 credits total)

    • SDE 300G/301G (3 credits total)

  • Successful completion of the Senior Project

    • SDE 400G/401G (12 credits total)

  • Successful completion of all classes required by the elected major


Note: Students who are admitted to the program who have already completed at least 60 credits may not be required to complete SDE 200G/201G.


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