Level of Academic Challenge | Judson College - Marion


Level of Academic Challenge

Judson offers unique academic experiences that prepare students for further study, successful careers, and purposeful lives.

We’re committed to our students’ success from the time they begin their first year of college. A required course for all Judson freshmen is JUD101, which, in addition to helping students get “plugged in” to the campus community, helps them develop study skills and learning strategies that equip them for success throughout their time in college.

Item 9c. in the Level of Academic Challenge section of the NSSE asks students with what frequency they summarized what they learned in class or from course materials.  Our first-year students’ responses indicated that they are encouraged early in their academic careers to start synthesizing information, to add new information to their body of knowledge in their very first classes.

9c. Summarized what you learned in class or from course materials.

Many items in the Academic Challenge section of the NSSE ask students questions about the frequency they engaged in “educationally purposeful” activities, such as critical thinking, interdisciplinary learning, and successful studying. Judson students’ responses to many of these items indicate that their college encourages them to thoughtfully apply their knowledge gained in class to their work in other classes and to their daily lives.

Courses co-taught by professors from different departments help students to make connections across disciplines, and opportunities for further discussion outside the classroom with professors and classmates help students integrate what they’re learning into their everyday lives.

Hands-on learning projects help students apply their knowledge outside the classroom as well: biology students regularly take class trips to study on the Cahaba River and maintain local Perry Lakes Park, and English students have led oral history projects to record stories of Perry Countians who participated in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Nursing students participate in clinical experiences in surrounding communities, an opportunity that–along with months of study and one-on-one tutoring sessions with faculty members–prepared each of the thirteen Judson nursing students who attempted the national licensing examination for registered nurses in spring 2015 to pass on their first attempt.

Because of the unique educational opportunities they experience, Judson seniors are confident that they can make connections among disciplines and integrate what they’re learning into their growing bodies of knowledge and experiences.

Led by our College’s Mission and Vision, we work to ensure that, in addition to being adept scholars and life-long learners, Judson graduates are effective communicators and critical thinkers. Institutional resources directed toward our 5-Year Quality Enhancement Plans (writing in 2008, and critical thinking in 2013) have emphasized our commitment to effective communication, intellectual curiosity, and fully engaged higher-order learning among Judson students. (Learn more about Judson’s current QEP, “Project Curiosity” here.)