Academics at Eckerd are really what you make of them. The math and science classes can be challenging for some, and you definitely have to put work in. However, since the class sizes are small, most professors are willing to help you out if you are struggling with something. I really like Eckerd's emphasis on the liberal arts because rather than shoving information down your throats Eckerd encourages students to think for themselves. Whether you want to go to grad school for sciences, major in something and get a career, or learn and develop ideas which could change the world, Eckerd might be the place for you!
The science department is pretty well known, especially marine biology. We have complete access the bay, which is great. Everyone knows their professors by name and profs make the extra effort to know who you are, where you are from and what you like, even in the bigger classes.
Again, Students don't take their academics seriously, which is a major downfall. Its not even a small percentage, its a majority. The profs try to have intellectual conversations but are often put down by the sleeping students and kids who come in thirty minutes late. Even in the harder classes like Chinese and Botany. It's frustrating to know that some kids are paying upward of 40,000 to skip class, walk in late and be completely disrespectful to the faculty. That being said, the faculty is quite good. Many of them are retired older people who led very successful lives and attended ivy leagues or schools over seas.
First off, Autumn Term. Autumn term at Eckerd is when all the Freshman attend school starting at the beginning of August, they are on campus without upperclassmen for about 3 weeks, they take one class and get used to the college life while meeting basically everyone in your class and making a bunch of friends. You may think that this sucks because you loose part of your summer, but it is actually a great time and you meet a bunch of kids who will be your friends for the rest of your time at Eckerd.
You WILL know your professors all by name, and they will all know you by name. Class sizes are fairly small, depending on the level. Autumn Term classes are usually about 20 students, while entry level classes, depending on your department can range from 20-60 kids. Most classes will be around 20ish, but some you will have 6 kids in and if you're unlucky you will get a class with more than 40. Class participation is required in some classes, but not all, as is attendance. Most professors say that attendance is required and if you miss more than 2 classes you lose either half a letter grade or a full letter depending on the professor. Others will say that as long as you learn the material, just make sure you show up for the tests. Professors that do this though usually add in that if you do not attend class regularly and are on the boarder of say an A or a B you will get the B, whereas if you attended class regularly they would give you the A.
There are intellectual conversations around campus, although sometimes it will be between a group of kids who are high. You may think that these two things contradict each other, but these are the ones that if you sit around and listen to them for a little while you'll start to realize how smart some kids are at Eckerd. Competitiveness on the other hand I do not see too much of at Eckerd, but that may be because I myself am not a competitive student.
Eckerd is also a Liberal Arts college. This means that you're going to be taking classes in each academic area. Natural Science, Social Science, Art, Humanities, Environmental, Global, and a Language (you can be exempt from language.) You are also required to take 4 short terms (1 autumn term, 3 winter terms), attend 16 College Program Series events, and pass a writing portfolio your Junior year.
Eckerd's education has a great balance between getting a job and learning for your own sake. You really get to know who you are as a person at Eckerd which is the first step, there are plenty of people in Career Resources to help you with Resumes, Curriculum Vitaes, Internships, and Job Opportunities.
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