Here, you'll find infmration on academic advising, technology and library services, the honors program and study abroad opportunities, both year-long and semester programs.
The advising program at Sweet Briar encourages students to make informed decisions about their own academic progress. Coordinated by the Director of Academic Advising, the program provides assistance for students as they develop their educational objectives and inte- grate their academic and co-curricular experiences.
Prior to her arrival, each student is matched with a first-year academic advisor on the basis of shared interests. Throughout her career at the College each student will add campus specialists and even selected alumnae to an advising team, which she will manage. Upon declaration of a major, her principal academic advisor will become a faculty member from that program. Supplementary advising of first-year students and sophomores is normally the responsibility of the Director of Academic Advising. Supplementary advising of juniors and seniors is normally the responsibility of the Dean of the College.
In the process of helping students make their own choices, academic advisors interpret College requirements, assist with course selec- tions, monitor advisees’ academic progress, and make referrals to campus resources.
The responsibility for advising students about graduate programs and career plans is shared among the Dean of the College, the Director of Academic Advising, members of the faculty, and the Career Services staff.
First-Year Academic Advising
Sweet Briar students actively participate in planning their own education. For this reason, the College’s advising program maintains a strong focus on self-assessment and decision-making. A first-year student receives information about her pre-major academic advisor and the advising process when she arrives on campus for Orientation. During Orientation, a student will meet with her advisor to begin planning her program.
As the process unfolds, each student creates a network of key individuals (her advising team) who will help her to make informed decisions about her academic work, pre-professional experiences, and co-curricular activities.
The College is dedicated to preparing students to be active, responsible members of a world that is rapidly changing through technology. Access to a well-equipped computer and computer literacy are necessary for course work and research, as well as for using the Internet, the web and e-mail.
The role of technology at Sweet Briar is not only to teach specific software and systems, but also to prepare students to function com- petently in a complex world of diverse technologies. Toward this goal, the College inte- grates computers throughout the curriculum. Students become adept at learning technology whenever it is needed.
Windows/Intel Pentium and Macintosh computers are available to students across the campus—in large, ergonomically designed computer labs, the libraries, study rooms, aca- demic buildings, and other locations. Students with their own computers have a direct connection to the Sweet Briar network from their rooms in the residence halls.
Academic Resource Center
The Academic Resource Center (ARC) offers peer tutoring services and assistance in writing and study skills. The ARC is available for help with current projects and for long-term skill development.
The ARC staff and trained assistants are available at designated hours, weekdays and evenings. Walk-ins are possible, but appoint- ments are encouraged. Sweet Briar students regularly use the ARC for tutoring, help in writing papers, effective testing strategies, and reading and study skills.
Libraries and Media Services
Sweet Briar’s Mary Helen Cochran Library contains an outstanding liberal arts collec- tion. All items are housed in open stacks and arranged for easy student access. The library is open 106 hours each week, 24 hours a day during exams. Reference librarians are available to help students organize their research efforts and to assist them with information needs. Bibliographic instruction to individuals and classes at scheduled times and by appointment help students gain the skills necessary to use effectively the vast information resources available. The library faculty also offers a series of non-credit courses in library instruction. The Basic Library Skills course is required of all incoming students. Library lab sessions are offered in conjunction with the courses for the writing requirement. Those students exempting from the requirement must take the course in stand-alone sessions. The resources of the Mary Helen Cochran Library are supplemented by those in two branch libraries: the Junius P. Fishburn Music Library in the Babcock Fine Arts Center and the Martin C. Shallenberger Library in the Pannell Center, which houses rare books and the College archives.
The rare book collection includes more than 5,000 volumes and thousands of manuscripts to support the curriculum. Of special note are the Virginia Woolf Collection, the W.H. Auden Collection, the George Meredith Collection, and the Evelyn Day Mullen T.E. Lawrence Collection.
The Fanny B. Fletcher Archives hold the records of the College. Students who take the course in historical research methods use these records as primary research materials.
The Sweet Briar College libraries are leaders in the use of advanced technology to improve the accessibility of information for students and faculty. A shared automated catalog, LION (Lynchburg Information Online Network), established in cooperation with Randolph College, the County of Amherst, and the City of Lynchburg Public Library, allows students to search and borrow items from their combined library holdings. Borrowed items are delivered to Sweet Briar. Access to the catalog is available to students in branch libraries and computer labs on campus and via personal computer in the residence halls.
The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) system provides access to millions of titles in libraries throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, and Europe. Online search services provide access to thou- sands of databases, indices, and abstracts, and offer full texts of information in hundreds of disciplines.
The John B. and Irene Vongehr Vincent ’40 collection features more than 4,000 books and ephemera in English on Chinese culture and history.
The Media Services Department provides training in simple video production and editing techniques, media equipment, and support to the College. Resources include video projection facilities, broadcast capability on the campus cable system, and interactive computer-driven multimedia workstations. The library also maintains extensive collections of audio and videotape programs, sound recordings, DVDs, and multi-media software.
The Honors Program
The Honors Program at Sweet Briar was established and continues to evolve in response to the needs of students who demonstrate exceptional initiative, ability, and creativity. The program consists of challenging courses, Summer Research Fellowships, opportunities for independent work, and a series of extracurricular activities.
Honors Seminars — Sweet Briar integrates the Honors Program into the existing curriculum to engage particularly motivated students in more ambitious, innovative academic work. The faculty develops new, interdisciplinary Honors Seminars each year. By student request, individual or small group tutorials called Honors Variants may be attached to existing courses, allowing participants to devise studies geared toward their specific interests and talents. In courses with multiple sections, one section may be offered as an Honors Section for qualified students.
The Honors Summer Research Program — Summer Research Fellowships support a select group of students from across the disciplines to conduct independent research under the supervision of a faculty member for an 8-week period during the summer.
Honors Thesis — The thesis provides the honors student with the opportunity to design and complete a long-term research project in her major department. The thesis is the culmination of an honors course of study at Sweet Briar. Working closely with faculty advisors, students begin their research in the spring of their junior year, completing it over the course of three semesters.
Honors Activities — The Honors Program sponsors events throughout the year, includ- ing a colloquium series featuring Sweet Briar faculty, visiting lecturers from other campuses, and informal discussions; trips to nearby plays, festivals, and cultural events; and an annual bus trip to Washington, D.C. Many events are initiated by honors students, and most are open to the community, making the program an integral part of life at Sweet Briar.
Honors students make use of the computers, audio-visual facilities, workspaces, and lounge located in the W.M. Keck Foundation Honors Center. The center also contains an office for an Honors Fellow, a distinguished recent Ph.D. in the humanities. A more detailed description of the Honors Program is available from thedirector of the Honors Program or from the Office of the Dean. Program requirements and this year’s course offerings are included in this catalog. See Honors Program in the Courses of Instruction.
As a corollary to its mission to prepare women to be active, responsible members of a world community, Sweet Briar encourages qualified students to spend all or part of the junior year in study abroad. The College sponsors and directs the Sweet Briar Junior Year in France and Junior Year in Spain programs and has special relationships with universities in Italy, Germany, Japan, and Scotland. Some Sweet Briar financial aid may be used by students to pursue studies in these programs. Students interested in participation in other programs may apply for special study abroad scholar- ships. These scholarship opportunities are limited and competitive. The College also approves other programs for credit under the sponsorship of accredited four-year domestic colleges, universities, or other educational organiza- tions, or by direct admission to accredited foreign institutions, including internships abroad. General foreign study information is available from the Director of International Studies, who works to match each student to a program that fits her academic and career goals.
In general, to qualify for approved study abroad in the junior year, a student should have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average by the end of her sophomore year. She must also have shown strength in her major area of study. Her proposed program should include at least one course in her major or in related fields.
Although study abroad is in keeping with the liberal-arts tradition, in some fields of specialization other options may be preferable. For this reason and in order to plan her program of study carefully in advance, a student wishing to spend all or part of the junior year abroad should confer with the Director of International Studies, as well as an academic
advisor in her intended major at an early date, preferably in her first year, but no later than November 30 of her sophomore year.
Each student wishing to study abroad, whether for an entire year or for a single term, must submit a dossier of supporting materi- als and forms to the Director of International Studies. The dossier and forms must be com- pleted no later than December 15 of her sophomore year.
Students who participate in a study abroad program must still pass three writing intensive courses in addition to the first-year writing requirement as required by the General Education Program.
In all cases, the approval of the College must be sought in advance if credit toward the Sweet Briar degree is to be granted. In exceptional cases, modifications to the guidelines described above may be requested from the International Studies Advisory Committee.
Junior Year in France
Sweet Briar’s Junior Year in France offers a program of foreign study in Tours and Paris for an academic year or a term to well prepared students who are especially interested in the language, history, and culture of France or who desire to specialize in such subjects as art, history, international affairs, or political science. Students from more than 35 colleges and universities across the nation study in this distinguished program each year.
A candidate is expected to have at least two years of high-school French and two full years of college-level French, including an introductory literature course, by June of the sophomore year. The candidate should be studying French during that year. A course in European or French history is also recommended. Minimum requirements include a 3.0 grade point average in French and a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Recommendations from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and her major advisor are needed before she can be recommended to the pro- gram by the Office of the Dean. Detailed information is available in the Sweet Briar Junior Year in France Office and the International Studies Office.
Junior Year in Spain
The Sweet Briar Junior Year in Spain is an intercollegiate, coeducational study abroad program. For an academic year or a term, stu- dents can enroll in two types of courses at the University of Seville: regular university courses in a wide range of fields and special courses for foreign students. Both are taught in Spanish by University of Seville faculty, in the areas of language, literature, history, art history, econom- ics, geography, and Latin-American studies.
A candidate is expected to have at least two years of high-school Spanish and two full years of college-level Spanish, including an introductory literature course. These require- ments should be met by June of the sopho- more year; study of Spanish during that year is highly recommended. A course in European or Spanish history is also recommended. Minimum requirements include a 3.0 grade point average in Spanish with a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Recommendations from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the major advisor are needed before the candidate can be recommended by the Office of the Dean. Detailed information is available in the Sweet Briar Junior Year in Spain Office and the International Studies Office.
Other Semester/Academic Year Programs
Study in Scotland
Since the early 1930s, Sweet Briar has had a spe- cial relationship with St. Andrews University in Scotland. Up to 10 students each year are recommended to the faculties of St. Andrews for admission as visiting students for the junior year. Candidates for study at St. Andrews must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA and will be considered on the basis of their fields of study and academic records, as well as their capacity for inde- pendent work and their maturity. Application information and forms are available from the Director of International Studies.
Heidelberg University, University of Munich, Germany
Sweet Briar students of German may study for one term or for the entire academic year at Heidelberg University through the Heidelberg University exchange program or for one academic year in Munich with a program spon- sored by Wayne State University.
Programs are also available at other universities in Germany and Austria. Interested students should contact the German faculty in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the Director of International Studies.
Urbino Exchange Program
A scholars’ exchange program with the University of Urbino was established in 1994, and the College offers a full academic year at the university to the most qualified Italian major or minor as part of the exchange program. Candidates are expected to have completed at least two years of Italian with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. For more information on the program, financial arrangements, and scholarship aid, contact the Italian faculty in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the Director of International Studies.
Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts, Japan
The Japanese Studies Program at Doshisha Women’s College was started in 1992. This fall semester program offers both Japanese language courses, and courses in Japanese culture conducted in English. Prior knowledge of Japanese is not required. All students stay with Japanese families whose daughters attend the college. The campus is located midway between Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka, and provides students with easy access to these major cultural centers. For more information and application, contact the Director of International Studies.
Intercollegiate Center of Classical Studies
The Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (ICCS), established in 1965 by representatives of 10 American colleges and universities, provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to study Greek and Latin literature, ancient history, and archaeology and ancient art in Rome.
The Rome Center operates two terms each academic year, one from early September to mid-December, the other from late January to the end of May. Each term allows about 15 weeks of instruction and provides one full term’s academic credit. For more information and an application, contact the Classics, Religion, and Philosophy Department and the Director of International Studies.
Wake Forest/SASASAAS Program in China-Beijing
The Wake Forest/SASASAAS in China Program is a one-semester (Fall) program in Chinese language, culture, and current affairs designed exclusively for students who attend schools that are members of the Southern Atlantic States Association for Asian and African Studies. This program is different from most study abroad programs in China in that students do not need a background in the language. Except for the language courses (Beginning to Advanced), all other courses are taught in English.
Middlebury Program in Florence
Middlebury College’s Italian Program in Florence will accept Sweet Briar students rec- ommended by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the Director of International Studies. Classes are taught only in Italian, and students take courses in literature, art, and history. This program requires a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and the completion of first and second year Italian. Several other programs are available for Sweet Briar students in other cities of Italy.
Sweet Briar Summer Program in Paris, France
Sweet Briar offers an intensive summer program in Paris, France—the City of Lights. The four-week home-stay program entails intensive study in the Sweet Briar College Center at the Alliance française in the Latin Quarter. Excursions to the neighboring cit- ies of Versailles and Tours, in addition to guided tours of castles in the Loire Valley, the Luxembourg gardens, the Louvre, the Orsay museum, and other famous Paris monuments, are included in the fee. Students who successfully complete the program receive four hours (two courses) or six hours (three courses) of Sweet Briar College credit. Open to college students who have completed an intermediate level of college French with a 2.75 gpa, and the recommendation of the instructor.
Sweet Briar Summer Program in Seville, Spain
Sweet Briar offers an intensive summer program with the opportunity to study in Seville, one of Spain’s most beautiful cities. The five- week home-stay program entails intensive study in the Sweet Briar College Center across from the University of Seville. Excursions to the neighboring cities of Granada, Córdoba, and Chiciana, in addition to guided tours of Seville’s cathedral, Giralda, Alcázar and a trip down the Guadalquivir River, are included in the fee. Students who successfully complete the program receive six hours of Sweet Briar College credit. Open to college students who have completed a beginning level Spanish, or the equivalent, and the recommendation of the instructor.
Virginia Summer Program at Oxford
Sweet Briar is one of six Virginia colleges that sends a select group of students to St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford, England, for summer study. The program follows the English system, combining lectures and weekly tutorials conducted by British dons. The literature, history, and society of late 16th- and early 17th-century England are the central themes of both lectures and tutorials. The program is designed for rising seniors and juniors, though exceptionally qualified rising sophomores may be considered. All applicants are strongly urged to take background courses in English history and literature before applying. Applications are due February 15. Information may be obtained from the International Studies Office or the Department of English.
Directed Studies Program in Italy
A Directed Studies Program offering six credits, three for a language course tailored to the stu- dent’s previous knowledge of Italian language and three on Italian Renaissance literature, is taught in English in Urbino, Italy. This four- week program meets daily in July and includes excursions and visits to museums in the cities of Florence, Ravenna, Perugia, Assisi, Rome, and Urbino. The program includes room and board, and transportation from the States to Italy. Meals during the excursions are not included.
German Summer Program in Münster
Sweet Briar, in conjunction with Vassar College and the College of William and Mary, conducts an intensive seven-week summer program of travel and study in Germany. The program entails a five-day informal trip through Germany, a five-week home-stay with a German host family, and a five-day excursion to Berlin. While in Münster, students take courses in German conversation, literature, grammar, and culture. Students who successfully complete the program receive six semester hours of credit. Minimum requirements are the completion of GRMN 101 and GRMN 102 or the equivalent, and the recommendation of the instructor. For more information, consult the German faculty in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.
The American School of Classical Studies Summer Program at Athens
The School offers annual six-week summer sessions, usually two to twenty students each, from late June to early August. These sessions are designed for those who wish to become acquainted with Greece and its antiquities and to improve their understanding of the relationship between the country (its monuments, landscape, and climate) and its history, literature, and culture.
Each session is divided between the study of sites, monuments, and museums in Athens and trips to places chosen by the Director of the session in Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Macedonia, Northwest Greece, and the islands. Participants are required to deliver oral reports on assigned monuments or other topics. they see two more plays. The class carries a fee, which includes room, board, travel, and theatre admissions.
Other Study Abroad Programs
Sweet Briar also offers students a number of opportunities for study abroad throughout the world including, but not limited to, Australia, Austria, Bermuda, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Guam, Holland, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Korea, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Panama, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad, and Tobago. Students should meet with the Director of International Studies for further information.
Students may earn Sweet Briar academic credit for participating in an internship abroad, provided they have faculty supervision and approval. For fall or spring semester internships, students are eligible for a proportionate amount of their Sweet Briar merit scholarships, if they are billed by Sweet Briar for the internship credits. Please contact the Director of International Studies or the Financial Aid Office to learn more about this option.
Off-Campus Study in the United States
Seven-College Exchange Consortium
Sweet Briar participates with six other colleges (Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, Mary Baldwin College, Randolph-Macon College, Randolph College, and Washington and Lee University) in a program that allows students, usually juniors, to spend a term or an academic year at one of the other colleges. The primary purpose of this consortium is to pool resources, thereby making it possible to expand and extend the offerings of the individual col- leges. Information is available from the Office of the Dean.
A student at Sweet Briar may take a course at Lynchburg College or Randolph College in the spring or fall semester, provided the course is not currently available at Sweet Briar. No tuition will be charged in addition to that already paid to Sweet Briar, but the student must pay any extra fees or charges. Grades earned at these colleges are accepted in transfer. The College will assist Sweet Briar students in making travel arrangements. The Tri-College Consortium program is not available for summer courses.
American University Washington Term
An upper-class student may spend a term in one of several American University programs in the areas of public law, American politics, journalism, international and environmental development, or economic, foreign, or domestic policy determination. Applications should be made by the middle of the term prior to the Washington Term to the Department of Government.
Subject to the stipulations set by the faculty, up to 18 credit hours toward the Sweet Briar degree may be obtained in summer study in accredited American colleges and universities, in approved summer programs abroad, and for internships and independent study projects. All such work must have prior departmental approval. Information may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office.
At Sweet Briar, internships are defined as a work experience related to a student’s academic program. These are serious academic experiences which must be sponsored by a member of the faculty and approved by an academic department and the Dean of the College. To be eligible for an internship, a student must be a rising sophomore, junior, or senior and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. She must have completed at least three semester
The Sweet Briar London Theatre Tour
The Sweet Briar London Theatre Tour is offered every other summer. This class, which carries three hours of credit, travels to London where students attend over a dozen plays, tour the British Museum, the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Globe reconstruction on the South Bank, the National Gallery, and a variety of other historical and cultural institutions. The class also takes tours of theatres like the National Theatre and the Haymarket Theatre. The class takes weekend excursions, including one to Stratford-upon-Avon, where hours of course work in the field of study to which her internship is related, and she must have a grade point average of at least 2.0 in this field. Students who are on any type of academic probation are not eligible for internships.
An internship shall consist of a minimum of 40 hours of work per earned credit hour, either at the work place or in related field work, and shall usually receive one to three semester hours of credit. With the recommendation of the faculty sponsor, and approval of the academic department and the Dean, internships of longer duration which are more academically substantive may be awarded more credit, up to a maximum of six semester hours for any one internship. No more than 12 semester hours of internship credit may be counted toward the undergraduate degree. Internships are graded on a Pass/Credit/No Credit basis.
Students may initiate the process of obtaining an internship by requesting an Intent to Intern form from the Office of Career Services. This form must be signed by the faculty sponsor, the Chair of the Department or the Director of the Program, and the Dean. To receive credit for the internship, a student must submit a written report of assigned reading related to the academic discipline in which the internship is taken and to the internship itself; a journal which provides a detailed description of what the intern did; a paper in which the intern attempts to make sense of the internship experiences recorded in her journal by relating them to her academic discipline and to any assigned literature; and a form signed by the on-site supervisor verifying satisfactory completion of the internship. The student must also request her supervisor send an evaluation of her work directly to the faculty sponsor. The deadline to complete the approval process and register for an internship is the eighth day of classes for the fall and spring semester, and one week before the end of spring term classes for summer internships.
Internships provide opportunities for students to explore career possibilities and gain work experience. Because of Sweet Briar’s proximity to Washington, D.C., a large number of students are able to serve as political, legal, or public service interns. Students work there and elsewhere for U.S. senators and representatives, attorneys, and local political organizations.
Economics interns often gravitate to the banks and brokerage houses of New York City. For example, students have worked at Chase Manhattan Bank, Merrill Lynch, and Paine Webber Mitchell Hutchins Assets Management. Economics interns have also worked for such companies as the international accounting firm Coopers and Lybrand in Washington, D.C.; Bear Stearns Securities in Boston; and Resort Real Estate Development in Pawleys Island, S.C.
In recent years, arts management interns have gained a better understanding of museum work at the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, N.C.; Hirschl and Adler Galleries in New York; and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Students interested in journalistic or editorial careers have worked at Southern Accents magazine, Atlanta; the Wiley Press, New York; and the Nashville Banner in Tennessee.
Other internships have ranged from work for the District Attorney’s Office in Dallas; marketing IBM software in Washington, D.C.; and assisting the managing director of a regional theatre in Pennsylvania, to making farm calls with an equine veterinarian in South Carolina.