GE 250 / GE 251 is a two-semester course that entails a diverse set of activities and endeavors outside one’s coursework. It is not particularly an academic course yet it seeks to enrich the lives of Bilkent students. It will motivate the students to go out of their rooms and classrooms and explore domains of life that they do not necessarily encounter in their daily routines.
It aims to contribute to learning to learn, learning to think, and learning to do.
Why GE 250 / GE 251? It is a means to pursue some of the educational goals of Bilkent: to go beyond merely training students for a profession or acquisition of knowledge in an area of specialization. Bilkent strives to provide opportunities for students to broaden their perspectives. Particularly, Bilkent aims to develop individuals who take initiatives, show responsibility with respect to the wider community and the world, contribute to innovation and improvement in the society at large, maintain and practice respect for differences, and are interested in intellectual and artistic/creative life of humanity.
What is unique about GE 250 / GE 251? GE 250 / GE 251 is supervised by a committee with representatives from the Office of the Dean of Students, the Provost’s Office, the Student Activities Center, and the Student Clubs.
Who will take this course? The GE 250 / GE 251 program is mandatory for all undergraduate students. However, other students can also take GE 250 / GE 251. It is to be taken in the second year, starting in the third semester. GE 250 is a prerequisite for GE 251. International students are also required to take GE 250 / GE 251. However, they are graded based on a scheme of grading different than the students for whom Turkish is their mother tongue: total points earned in the available English-language extracurricular activities.
The program starts in Fall 2010. In the 2010-2011 academic year anyone who has passed the third semester as of September 2010 is exempt from the GE 250 / GE 251 program.
Sequence, credit and other technicalities: GE 250 is followed by GE 251 in the following semester. GE 250 is a non-credit pass/fail course, while GE 251 is a 1 credit course. GE 250 is the prerequisite of GE 251.
GE 250 / GE 251 does not count towards the academic workload and hence cannot be counted as a ‘new course’ for students on probation.
GE 250 / GE 251 can be withdrawn from, as other courses.
Grading: Students earn points by actively participating in a diverse set of activities. Once a student collects points above a threshold, s/he earns a Satisfactory (S) grade in GE 250. Students who successfully complete both the GE 250 and the GE 251 modules of the program are assigned a final grade on the basis of the total points they collected. If a student registers for but does not carry out the activity, points are deducted. At the end of the year, the plus and minus points are summed up and the students are assigned a final grade.
Operation and Administration: The GE 250 program will operate through a web site. Students will be able to view the activities filed by the Office of the Dean of Students and register to a particular activity, subject to the available quotas.
With the GE 250 / GE 251 program, Office of the Dean of Students registers activities to an online database. The activities are then automatically opened for registration through the online system and students are posted a regular bulletin on new activities available. The registered activities are subjected to a preliminary review by a committee with representatives from the Provost’s Office, the Office of the Dean of Students, Students Activities Center and the student body on the basis of which all activities are assigned a correlating grade-point.
Through their STARS module, the students can view the GE 250 catalogue and register to whichever activity they desire (provided that the quota is not full). Office of the Dean of Students, for each activity that is held, is provided with a roster and is expected to check the attendance lists and report the absentees back through the online system so that people will not score points for activities they have not attended.
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