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The Next Chapter for Gordon: FAQ for Incoming Students

What’s happening at Gordon?
During the 2018–19 academic year, Gordon implemented a yearlong, proactive budget planning process as a systematic assessment designed to help bring operating budgets in both academic and non-academic areas in line with College revenues, while preserving essential support for Gordon’s overall educational mission. It included organizational changes that can provide Gordon the ability to make needed investments in areas of growth—particularly new educational technologies, accelerated pathways to degree completion that can save students and families time and money, and new delivery methods for programs which will increase and diversify revenue sources for the institution. Learn more about the academic changes, the market realities and the details of the process.

There is a specific program I am interested in. Is it closing?
This limited restructuring in some academic programs in not about closing programs, as these are areas of study and are not going away. Some previously stand-alone majors are becoming integrated with other areas of study, but that pathway will still be available, and new ones are being created. And as a reminder, regardless of modifications, all current students—those who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors as of fall 2019—will be able to graduate in their major. 

Will I be able to complete my intended major?
Curricular changes only impact a segment of departments, and between June 1 and June 15, students will hear more specific information if their area of study is being modified. It is likely that even if your intended major is no longer offered in its same format, a new pathway beyond the traditional limits of “major” or “minor” will allow you to achieve your educational goals. Gordon has done this in a small way in the past, with innovative programs like the Pike Scholars Program and independent studies, both of which allow qualified students to custom-make their own areas of academic concentration and to study topics of particular interest. As a result, we anticipate that every incoming student will have a way forward toward their life and career aspirations. Learn more about academic changes ➔

Will course offerings be changing for the fall?
There may be some course scheduling changes for the fall semester. Since incoming students are registered for their fall classes through a summer advising process, adjustments can be made throughout the summer with the help of your summer advisor. Your advisor will reach out to you this summer to answer questions you might have about your course preferences and to make any needed changes to your course schedule once you have been registered for fall classes.

Is the College in financial trouble?
Gordon is taking proactive steps from a position of financial prudence and not financial distress. We are making difficult decisions in response to market realities in order to shore up a stronger financial foundation for the long run. We have seen the cautionary tales in higher education all around us, where schools could not (or would not) make strategic, forward-looking choices. So, Gordon is making a plan to get better, not just get by. Learn more about market realities ➔

What's new and when will it be available?
You can find complete details on this bold new chapter at Gordon here ➔

Do the budget changes impact my financial aid award?
No. Despite our budget changes, Gordon remains committed to funding generous student scholarships and is making steps to enhance affordability for families. Financial aid awards will remain the same for the 2019–20 academic year. The only area of the budget that was excluded from potential cuts was College-funded financial aid. We remain committed to helping make Gordon as affordable as possible.

Why is Gordon making reductions in foreign languages while saying it is embracing more global programs?
The number of majors in the study of Western European languages has been declining across the country, and Gordon is no different. The study of languages thrives where it is tied to other majors. At the same time, with the changes in the world, students are interested in studying a greater variety of languages—our international affairs students want Arabic, and we now offer Mandarin through the intermediate level. We will be looking at ways to tie language study with majors—medical Spanish for example—and to expand options for our students through partnerships.

Who was impacted by the changes, and what is Gordon doing to care for them?
Because of the strict parameters in place regarding personnel decisions (both legal and HR/personal privacy reasons), the College cannot disclose the names of individuals impacted. Even though these positions have been eliminated as part of a budget reset, we care deeply about these colleagues and friends who have served so well in these roles. The College is very grateful for their many contributions to our community. As a token of its gratitude Gordon has sought to offer generous separation benefits to assist these colleagues. Benefits include severance payments (and a fully funded, yearlong terminal sabbatical for faculty), stipends to assist with healthcare coverage and transition expenses, reimbursable tuition scholarships for individuals who want to take classes at Gordon or elsewhere, and a full tuition scholarship for departing employees who have children pursuing an undergraduate degree at Gordon presently or who have students in high school who might want to do this in the coming years. We are able to offer these benefits, in part, thanks to an anonymous donor who shares the College’s desire to ease the transition for these affected colleagues. Departing colleagues also have the opportunity to choose how they say goodbye to the campus and their colleagues; if desired, the College will provide appropriate funds to underwrite these farewells on campus or in smaller settings.

Who can I talk to about my concerns or ideas?
If you have direct questions about your academic program(s), the budget process and outcomes, please send them to .  

All incoming students are assigned a summer advisor who will reach out to you this summer to answer questions you might have about your course preferences and to make any needed changes to your course schedule once you have been registered for fall classes. Check your email after June 1 to meet your assigned summer advisor.

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