The Ultimate Guide to Alma College: The Academic Catalog
Critical Information. The catalog is your source of information about “courses of instruction,” about general education and distributive requirements (DRs), about requirements for majors, minors and interdisciplinary programs, and about rules concerning honors, disciplinary actions and other policies that govern the life of the college. You should become familiar with the catalog contents as you will be referring to it often during your career at Alma College.
Catalog Updates. The catalog exists in print and online at the AC website. Major catalog updates occur every two years; a short supplement is published in the year between to include all changes to classes, to tuition and charges, and to official policies. Previous versions of the catalog are maintained online (and in print).
Entry Catalog. The catalog of your entry year is your contract with the college; it is the catalog you “entered under.” If you complete the requirements of the catalog you entered under, the college must grant your degree, even if the requirements have become more rigorous in the ensuing years. (A notable exception: Teaching Certification must always be to current standards. See the Education Department and the Registrar with any questions.) If you have a print copy of your entry year catalog, please hold on to it. Make sure that you have the appropriate supplement if your entry year is the second year on the cover.
Culture of the College. The catalog lists faculty and staff, indicating their educational history and position held. Ever wonder why every building, addition and courtyard seems to have a special name? A list of “Named Facilities” is located near the back of the catalog with the story behind each name.
Academic Calendar. Want to see the academic year laid out in one place? Want to know exactly when spring break will be next year? When fall term starts? Each catalog ends with the school academic calendar for the two year cycle.
Ultimate souvenir. Your diploma is the physical representation of your degree completion, your transcript lists your classes and grades, but only the catalog spells out what those two documents really represent. You just might want to hold onto it for a while.