Learning by experience is valued by the Maryville College community, and January Term, or “J-Term” as it is more commonly known, helps guarantee that students are given opportunities for up-close, hands-on experience and reflection.
Classes during this three-week academic session occur between the fall and spring semesters and typically begin on the Monday following New Year’s Day. Since the length of the term is compressed, classes are longer and more frequent (generally between 9 a.m. and noon each day) for more intense and concentrated study.
Students enroll in one course during J-Term and usually earn three credit hours, which are applied toward the 60 credit hours needed to fulfill general education requirements. Off-campus trips scheduled as part of course syllabi can last an afternoon or two weeks and can take students places as near as a Blount County community agency or as far away as a Vietnamese market.
According to the College’s catalog, “Every student’s program of study centers on the familiar work of classroom and laboratory, library and studio. Yet important learning also takes place in less familiar settings, where the student is called upon to adapt to a new environment, to act without one’s customary support system, to develop trust in one’s own resources of intelligence and discipline. It is to encourage that kind of learning, so critical to personal maturity, that the College makes available a variety of special programs.”
During J-Term, freshmen are required to enroll in First-Year Seminar 130: Perspectives on the Environment. In this course, students, in classroom and field settings, explore how human beings have changed and adapted the local environment of the Southern Appalachians and how human beings have used environmental resources in the development of their culture.
Seniors often take the opportunity during J-Term to enroll in Ethics 490: Philosophical and Theological Foundations of Ethical Thought. A senior capstone, interdisciplinary course, ETH490 asks students to consider the ethical dimension of the human experience, including historic and contemporary ethical frameworks designed to engage the students’ ethical stances.
What about sophomores and juniors? A variety of courses are open to them. God at the Movies. Appalachian Music. Model United Nations Security Council. Wilderness Medicine. Click on the links to the right and explore the options yourself.
Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state‘s third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for its academic rigor and its focus on the liberal arts, Maryville is where students come to stretch their minds, stretch themselves and learn how to make a difference in the world. Total enrollment for the fall 2013 semester was 1,168.