Gettysburg College

College review by Diane Forman and Linda Kay, guest blogger

Gettysburg College is a small liberal arts college located in Gettysburg, PA, site of the Battle of Gettysburg.  Students enjoy going downtown, which is about a mile walk from campus down Carlisle Street for shopping, restaurants and movies.  Although Gettysburg is a small town, it is close to Washington, DC and Baltimore.

Students at Gettysburg are bright, and engaged in campus life.  Approximately 85% of the student body participate in some level of athletics.  Our tour guide, currently a sophomore, was an exemplary model of a Gettysburg student; double major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cross Country Athlete, and tour guide.  She felt she should be doing more so she signed up for student senate this year.

Tour guide Kaytie

Gettysburg is a place where the students love what they do and the professors love teaching.  As we walked into the various academic buildings, we saw a sleep study in progress, students speaking with their professors in their offices and groups of students working together in labs.  As we viewed a typical lecture hall, the professor was packing up and began to tell us how much he loved working at Gettysburg.  He taught a class on the environmental problems in the Chesapeake Bay and tries to make the course interesting by combining political, biological and social issues of environmental problems.

Gettysburg is rich in tradition, including a yearly Snowball Dance and a Servo Thanksgiving Dinner during which the students are served a traditional holiday dinner by faculty and staff.  During Fall Convocation, streets in town are closed to traffic and the freshman walk downtown to the spot where Abraham Lincoln spoke. They return to campus for a pizza party and laser tag.

Honor Code is a critical component of the school’s philosophy, both academically and socially.   As an example, a professor will hand out an exam and leave the room.  In the gym, the students leave their belongings in open cubbies.

Popular majors at Gettysburg include Political Science, Organization and Management Studies, History, Psychology, English and Biology.   In addition, Gettysburg is one of four liberal arts colleges with a music conservatory.  Three different majors are offered including a BA in music, BA in music and performance and BS in Music Education which has a 100% job placement record. The Gettysburg Curriculum was created to enhance the learning in a liberal arts education.  It incorporates four learning goals: Multiple Inquiries, Integrative Thinking, Effective Communication and Informed Citizen.   Freshman are required to take a First Year Seminar.  You get to choose from about 50 different fascinating topics which include Commedia, Autism, The Great Depression of the 1930’s and Einstein in Wonderland: Physics, Philosophy, and Other Nonsense.  You are housed with the students in your freshman seminar which is a great way to make new friends and helps with the social transition to college.

Admissions is competitive, a 40% acceptance rate. They use a holistic approach in reviewing applications, with the most focus on the GPA, look for a B plus/ A minus and a challenging work load.  Gettysburg is test optional.

Gettysburg is a great school for a bright student who wants to be challenged academically at a small liberal arts college with a lot of opportunity for involvement both in and out of the classroom.

Learning Support for Students with Disabilities

Level- Coordinated Services

Students with disabilities who wish to self-disclose can go to the Office of Academic Advising located in the College Union Building.  There are various programs set up for all Gettysburg students, not just those who have documented learning disabilities, to help them succeed.

  • Informal coaching in areas such as time management skills, planning, and writing skills are available.
  • Additional assistance includes a 2-week study skills course on campus for a fee.
  • Peer learners are assigned by faculty in Science, Math and Foreign Languages to help students in need of tutoring.

Care Team:  A collaborative effort with two deans from academic advising, counseling and residence life, including college life/judicial, who take note of students who need extra care.  It can be students who are struggling academically or socially.

Foreign Language Substitution: Process that combines a student’s request, in the form of a letter, documentation, and a demonstrated effort by the student in a foreign language class.  They do not want the student to fail in order to get a substitution, but they want the student to try taking a foreign language.

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