How Does Christ College Work?
How will Christ College studies fit with my major?
Christ College students come from all majors and colleges at Valparaiso University. Most CC courses fulfill your general education requirements. Others may count toward your major or minor, and thus do not add time to completing your degree. Careful planning and academic advising help students achieve their academic goals and lay foundations for their futures.
Will I take only honors courses? / How much time does CC take?
You’ll take 25 percent to 30 percent of your coursework in Christ College, and most of the rest of your coursework in your major and minor. CC requires a minimum 30 to 38 credits to complete Christ College commencement honors. About half of that work is completed in your first year, leaving ample time during your sophomore, junior, and senior years to concentrate on your major and minor, international study, internships, undergraduate research, and other activities to enrich your education.
How much time does a student put into CC coursework as a freshman? As an upperclassman?
A good rule of thumb is that there should be two hours of study time for every hour in class—very similar to that for any other course. So the eight-credit Freshman Program should involve about 16 hours a week of study, and upper division courses of three or four credits would mean six or eight hours per week. These commitments will vary throughout the semester.
How much writing is there in the Freshman Program?
Students in the 8-credit Freshman Program write about 10 small (1-3 page) papers in the fall semester. In the spring semester they write three or four papers of 3 to 4 pages each, plus a research paper of about 15 to 20 pages. Other CC courses and seminars differ in their requirements, but something around 12 to 18 pages would be the average for most courses (with 4-credit courses being somewhat higher). However, individual courses with special agendas may vary from this average. Students receive advance course descriptions that include such information.
How will my AP or transfer credit be applied?
AP, college transfer, and other credit always counts toward graduation. Depending on the subject area and your degree program, such credit may also fulfill specific requirements or permit you to take a more advanced course sooner. Your honors advisor will help you see how your credits will work for you.
How about international study and Christ College?
Nearly forty percent of Christ College students spend a semester at one of Valparaiso’s international study programs, or in urban study semesters in Washington, D.C., or Chicago. CC specifically encourages students to do so by offering three credits toward the fulfillment of CC Scholar or Associate designations for any off-campus experience. CC also supports shorter-term travel seminars and service opportunities in Britain, Europe, East Asia, and Central America, often as part of a CC seminar.
What opportunities do CC students have on campus that they wouldn’t have otherwise?
First-year Christ College students participate in the Drama Workshop and Freshman Production, leading to the presentation of a full-length play with music near the end of the fall semester. In the spring freshmen students engage in “Oxford-style” public debates on controversial public policy questions. CC students have special opportunities to present their research and creative work at regular CC Scholarship Symposiums. CC funds student participation in the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and other prestigious conferences. CC supports special international travel seminars and other opportunities for study abroad, for example: Schweitzer Healthcare Travel Fellowships fund CC pre-medical arts and nursing students for service travel to Nicaragua and Costa Rica each spring.
What role does religion play in Christ College?
Does the name Christ College imply that all texts are theologically based? Christ College, like Valparaiso University, is based in the principles of Christian higher education and draws from the Lutheran tradition of “scholarship, freedom, and faith.” But, Christ College is not a seminary or theological school, and it has no requirements of belief or doctrine. Rather, it is a liberal arts college, in which the thoughtful treatment of religious texts and ideas goes along with the equally careful examination and discussion of literary, philosophical, and political texts written by people from many diverse perspectives, including those of other religious traditions. Many students find that their faith is challenged, enlivened, and deepened in an atmosphere where such matters are addressed with freedom and respect.
Can I leave Christ College without penalty?
What happens to my credits if I go to the regular track? A student may leave Christ College at any time with no penalty and no lost credits. All CC credits taken in the first two years will count toward general education requirements of the University, so that no credits are lost. Some upper division seminars or courses may count toward general education or toward major requirements as well as toward graduation.