December 1, 2023

Academic Updates and Course Registration

Elaine Meyer-Lee

Dear Goucher parents, families, and friends,

At this national time of Thanksgiving, we faculty and staff in the academic division are grateful for the opportunity to educate your students and for your and your students’ presence in our community. We certainly join with the messages you have received from Kent about supporting all our students in this learning environment amid the horrific violence that has been occurring beyond our campus. 

Here in our vibrant community, though, there is much happening for which we are thankful. Wonderful class sessions, guest lectures and readings, performances, and advising have been underway on our campus, and students have also been learning abroad or through volunteering at one of our signature community-based sites or with the Goucher Prison Education Partnership. Our Career Education Office continues to bring the important skill sets necessary for post-Goucher success right to our students wherever they are, now integrating relevant modules into their on-campus work positions and study abroad coursework. Our faculty are publishing, presenting, and winning awards in their fields, and the college is launching new majors in public health and digital arts (with one in neuroscience under development), a three-year accelerated bachelor’s option in five majors, and new 4+1 programs with our own new graduate program in environmental sustainability and management (with digital communication and applied policy analysis under development, as well as some with John Hopkins University, which we will be announcing soon). Faculty are also working to bring down textbook costs and refurbish our Makerspace for our students. 

All of this excellence was recognized externally this fall when we were honored by U.S. News & World Report as being among the best liberal arts colleges for undergraduate teaching, the most innovative liberal arts colleges, and the top performers on social mobility, as well as having one of the best study abroad programs (No. 4) and being No. 1 in sending the most students abroad of all colleges and universities in the country of all types. Global education, social justice, and innovation form the foundation of a Goucher education, and it was gratifying to see us acknowledged as leaders in each of these categories. 

Now that we are wrapping up our advising and registration for your students’ January and spring courses, we are focused on helping them finish up this semester successfully. We encourage you to ask them about what they learned this semester and what they are hoping to focus on next semester. In this exciting time of young adult development, we hope you will join us in supporting their agency in exploring their academic interests and learning for themselves, sometimes even the hard way, about their strengths and interests and how to best apply them. I know as a parent of young adults myself that it is not easy to see them make some academic choices that I question, but their autonomy is essential to their success, and I need to trust their process. This is why, while we value parents, families, and friends as an important part of our Goucher community, our academic advising happens directly and only with our students themselves. However, you may want to remind your students to sign up for January classes as soon as possible if they have not yet, as some of them are filling up quickly. For the in-person classes, housing in January is included this year at no additional cost.

We are so glad that you and your students are in our community, and wish you all a peaceful and joyous winter break, however you intend to spend it,

Elaine Meyer-Lee
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs