9 Ways of Knowing

<p>Hey primefactor,</p>

<p>i’ve been lurking on the barnard board for some time now reading all your responses to the posters and I have to give a multitude of props to you for taking the time to give such detailed answers. They’ve been of great help. I’m a first yr prosp. and I was just wondering if you can answer a few questions I have:</p>

<li><p>9 ways of knowing : How effective are these courses? I used to be enthralled with CC’s core curriculum but after reading about barnard’s, I feel that the latter provides a much more comprehensive if not practical set of studies for the students. So I wonder if the classes are what they crack up to be - how are the professors, workload, etc. Which ones are taken the first year. And whether there, being 9, will produce hindrance from completing the classes needed for your major.</p></li>
<li><p>I know CU has the special pre-med concentration that allows you to take on additional math/science courses in addition to your reg. ones. Does that program extend to Barnard students?</p></li>
<li><p>Overall, in your classes comprised exclusively of Barnard students, how do you feel is the level of engagement, intellectual imput, etc. Are the students generally passionate about their beliefs and what they do and do you tend to get a lot of active participation in small group discussions.</p></li>
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<p>Thank you so much, these are just a few that’ve been swimming in my head lately…if i think of more, i’ll post 'em. :)</p>

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<li> The good thing about the 9 ways of knowing is that they're SO flexible. These classes can count for your major or minor as well. For example, as an econ student, I fulfilled my history (Economic history of the US), social analysis (macro), Reason and Value (foundations of political economy), and quantitative reasoning (lots of math) just by taking classes I had to take anyway for my major. For your Lit requirement, any class in English or Comp Lit qualifies, and for Cultures, any class in anthropology (in addition to a list of approved classes in other departments). So broad statements about professors and workload can only be made to the extent they can be made about the entire university (in other words, they range from worthless to amazing-like-you-never-thought-school-could-be : ask around, check culpa.info, and sit in on a lecture or two before deciding)!</li>
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<p>So your core experience will be uniquely constructed based on your interests and how you want to explore the liberal arts. The goal of the 9 ways curriculum is to encourage students not only to explore other fields, but to discover other ways of approaching their major interests. <a href="http://www.barnard.edu/provost/gerapprcourses.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.barnard.edu/provost/gerapprcourses.html&lt;/a> for a list of courses--I think lab science is the most restricted of the requirements, and it's kind of a pain.</p>

<p>With the exception of first year classes, then, the core requirements are just normal classes in other departments, at Barnard or at Columbia.</p>

<p>The bad thing is that if you like a unified core base of College-wide study, it won't be found in the 9 ways. There is some degree of class unity built through the mandatory first year seminar and writing course, which I know nothing about personally (since I'm a transfer). This also has its good and bad. Your circle of friends won't all get every reference brought up in a conversation, but the conversations will have more diversely grounded perspectives than perhaps otherwise. If you want to have a completely traditional liberal arts curriculum, you can take things like philosophy and classics to meet these requirements.</p>

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<li> I don't know about that particular program. I'll ask a pre-med major friend of mine what she knows about it. All I know right now is that Barnard does have a pre-med track in the biology department. But you can always take extra courses as long as you can handle the work.</li>
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<p>I promise I will return with more info about premed and an answer to #3 tomorrow!</p>

<p>Primefactor, you have been a wonderful source of info! My d has applied RD to Barnard (fingers and toes are crossed), and I will print out your reply re the "nine ways" for her info. I know that she will enjoy it, though the suspense is awful at this point and I think she is trying to avoid even thinking about Barnard because she wants to be there so badly!</p>

<p>Just wanted to thank you for taking the time here...</p>

<p>Regarding pre-med... in addition to biology, the chemistry department also has a pre-med track that adds the extra courses you need to apply to med school (if that doesn't make sense, blame my reporting, not my friend's information). For what it's worth, my friend said the health professions advisor is great. She doesn't know what Columbia's requirement track is like, but rest assured that 1) you'll know what classes to take to prepare for med school and 2) you can take more advanced or varied classes above and beyond requirements if you're so inclined.</p>

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<li> This is very hard to answer from my own experience. I've had only two classes that were all Barnard students--my transfer writing seminar and my senior thesis seminar. The rest, even classes that count for nothing but Barnard major credit, had at least a handful of visibly non-Barnard students (as for the girls, who knows where they were enrolled).</li>
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<p>But with that caveat, I've almost always been impressed with the level of discourse. Although I think the economics department attracts a higher % of people who aren't that passionate about the subject, but just want a good job after graduation, the discussions have still been great (there's nothing quite like 20 college students debating whether higher education is really a productive input to human capital formation). The thing I've noticed most is that as long as you support your opinion, people will respect it and consider it. They might challenge it, but they'll never dismiss it, and I really appreciate that. Although everyone cares about every class they're taking, usually enough people care about each class to make things interesting.</p>

<p>Overall, I've found the students to be very dedicated to what they do. They work for clubs or campus publications relating to their interests, participate in research, internships, volunteer work, activism... Of course, not everyone has a passion, and I can't even say if there are more or fewer students here who really care, compared to other schools. But there are a lot, in every field.</p>

<p>And thanks, both, for the appreciation! It's great to help the right people find Barnard.</p>

<p>And good luck to your daughter, churchmusicmom! I'll keep my fingers crossed for her, too.</p>

<p>Thanks, Primefactor. Barnard is definitely her first choice...and the waiting is torture. I think she is afraid to even dream about going to school there until she knows her admission status. We got a letter from the financial aid committee a couple of days ago requesting more info (hadn't sent in tax forms, etc yet...but that is done now, trust me!) and that they could not "finish reviewing her application for aid"...etc, etc. I am trying hard not to get hopes up based upon that contact alone, but ....arghhh!!! Does everyones' financial aid application get reviewed, do you think, regardless of admissions status??</p>

<p>Anyway, we are voraciously reading all we can and your posts are a "feast".</p>

<p>churchmusicmom,</p>

<p>I applied to Barnard RD, as well, and my mother is thinking exactly what you're thinking! (I think all mothers are on the same wavelength, haha...) My mom says that it's only logical that those who were accepted would get notification of missing FA forms, because Barnard isn't going to waste their time going through the FA apps of people that weren't even accepted! I got one of those letters, too, so I hope it's a good sign!</p>

<p>Of course, just because someone didn't get a letter, doesn't mean they're rejected. Their FA file might already be completed, so there's no need for a letter.</p>

<p>I did actually ask "the question" when I called to see if the documents I had faxed to the fin aid office had gotten to them in a legible fashion...and the person told me that it "absolutely did not" mean anything...but I have to think that a school that receives upwards of 4,000 apps (a good number of which request some fin aid, I suppose), would not process all of those when only about 1/3 will actually get admitted. As I said above, here's hoping!</p>

<p>And best of luck to you!</p>

<p>They may be able to review all of these financial app.s because it is done largely by mathematical formulae. It would be like doing admissions on stats only.</p>

<p>In fact, I think they MUST have to give everyone a preliminary review. Otherwise, they'd have so little time after decisions are made to determine the financial aid for the hundreds of offers made.</p>

<p>I also did receive a notification, and it gave me hope. But there wasn't much left of it when I asked directly to a Vassar FA staff whether a college would actually do preliminary reviews on 10,000 applications. He said yes. I think I believe him.
And, uh, is it an ominous sign if he said all my FA paperwork looks good, when I know that one is missing?</p>

<p>When I visited Barnard, they said that the FA office and the admissions office are completely seperate and don't communicate until after the decisions have been made. Their offices are even on different floors!</p>

<p>primefactor, i'm really interested in barnard, and i hope to visit over spring break. your posts are very informative!</p>

<p>LOL Well, Barnard's FA office got the 12 pages I faxed last week, and then today we got yet another request from the FA office for additional documentation...this time, d is going to actually be at Barnard on Friday to take a dance class, so she's going to deliver it in person! </p>

<p>Primefactor, she posted in the Barnard LJ asking if anyone is interested in meeting with her, and a first-year has agreed to do that. You ladies at Barnard seem so very understanding and willing to help out prospective students. I truly hope my d gets to carry on that tradition some day!</p>

<p>I saw that post! I almost volunteered, but I'm slated to spend Friday working on my thesis. :( I'm glad I didn't now, so your daughter can get another perspective.</p>

<p>Thanks anyway...and good luck on your thesis!!!</p>

<p>hi! i really need help! i thought since you mentioned barnard you know somehting about it and could help, i accepted tufts' offer of admission, but barnard just got me off their waitlist..where should i got-- i was gonna major in International Relations and minor in Media and Communications at Tufts....help!~</p>

<p>are there any courses in the film major that count as a 9-ways-of-knowing course? i've been looking at the website and it seems as if film courses only count as visual arts...</p>

<p>If you go to this page</p>

<p><a href="http://www.barnard.edu/provost/gerapprcourses.html#social%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.barnard.edu/provost/gerapprcourses.html#social&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>you will find all of the "nine ways" listed, along with links to the courses that have been approved for each of them. I have heard pretty much universally that satisfying the nine ways requirements is usually not difficult as you chose courses that satisfy your major requirements and interests and ones that satisfy the nine ways. I suggest you look over this list and see for yourself. I briefly looked at the requirements for the film major and it seems you will have plenty of "room" to take other stuff to broaden your horizons. Be open to new things: you may decide to go in an entirely new direction!</p>

<p>From what I can tell, most of the "nine ways" are easy to complete, with the only real effort needed to satisfy the language and lab science requirements. Unless you come in with some degree of advanced language placement or AP science exemption, it can take some careful planning to simultaneously (A) phase in your major requirements, mindful of course pre-requisites, professorial leaves of absence and potential uncertainty about major (or even double majors), (B) plan for a possible junior year abroad or early grad school admission and (C) take full advantage of the full menu of coursework the University has to offer. Good luck, however, if you're planning to take a "hard" language (e.g., Arabic, Persian, Chinese), as those 5-credit courses can take up a lot of "free" electives. Still in all, it's a great foundation.</p>