Mary Baldwin’s traditional undergraduate program, the Residential College for Women (RCW), includes the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership and the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted. Mary Baldwin also offers undergraduate programs designed specifically for adults through its Adult Degree Program, as well as graduate programs in Shakespeare and Performance, health sciences , and education (see the Graduate Studies section of this catalog for information on graduate admissions).
If you are applying for an undergraduate program, you can apply for admission after your junior year in high school, for admission to the fall or spring semesters, or as a transfer student. You may enter with advanced placement, dual enrollment credit, or credit for advanced work by the International Baccalaureate or by tests of the College Entrance Examination Board. You may attend full-time or, if you live in the area, part-time. As an especially gifted student, you may enter well before completing high school. If you are 18 years or older, or have earned an associate’s degree, you may enter the Adult Degree Program, with its special provisions for adult learners who have many demands on their schedules and energies. Please see the Mary Baldwin College website or the Contact Information at the beginning of this Catalog for more information on admission to each MBC program.
Admission to Mary Baldwin is based on a student’s academic potential; achievement in secondary school, when applicable; strength and maturity of character; and any special talents and abilities. In judging academic ability, the secondary school record, when applicable, is the primary factor considered.
Candidates for admission should have completed at least 16 college preparatory courses. The college recommends that candidates include four or five academic subjects in their course loads each year in meeting the following recommended school program: English, four units; foreign language, two units; mathematics, three units; history and social studies, three units; and lab science, one unit.
Scores considered in the admissions process are those on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the American College Test (ACT), or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
All students who enroll at Mary Baldwin College agree to abide by the rules, regulations, and standards set and established by the college. The college in turn will offer a bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, bachelor of social work, master of letters or master of fine arts in Shakespeare and Performance, master of education or master of arts in teaching, or doctor of occupational therapy or doctor of physical therapy to those who meet the established standards, and will attempt during a student’s tenure to lend advice and support as solicited and/or needed.
The Declarations section of this catalog states Mary Baldwin’s policies on nondiscrimination, student privacy rights, and other important provisions.
A personal interview on campus with an admissions counselor is suggested for RCW students seeking admission. Appointments for an interview and tour of the campus should be made in advance. Refer to the college calendar in this catalog for the dates when the college is in session. The Office of Admissions is open Monday through Friday all year, except for short periods during the Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holidays. During academic sessions, the Admissions Office is open on Saturday mornings. During the summer months, it is not open on Saturday. Visit the website, www.mbc.edu, or call 800-468-2262 or 540-887-7019 to schedule an appointment.
Mary Baldwin will consider students for admission to the freshman, sophomore, or junior class by way of transfer from colleges and universities accredited by regional accrediting agencies or the American Association for Liberal Education. A transfer application must include transcripts of all college work taken and a transcript from the secondary school.
Applications for the fall semester should be filed with the Office of Admissions during the prior winter or spring, and notification will be made when the file of credentials is complete. For entrance in the spring semester, applications should arrive before December 1. An evaluation of credits will be made after the final transcript arrives from the institution from which the student is transferring. A non-refundable advance deposit of $300 must be received by December 30 for students entering in January.
In evaluating transfer applications, emphasis is placed on the previous college record. As a general guideline, transfer students should have an average of 2.0 or better in their college work in order to be approved for transfer to Mary Baldwin. Only courses with grades of “C-” or higher, or “passing” grades in acceptable internships, will be accepted for transfer credit, and each course will be considered separately.
Transfer students coming into RCW must earn a minimum of 63 semester hours at Mary Baldwin and spend two years in full-time attendance. For further information, refer to the section in this catalog on Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree.
Part-Time Degree-Seeking Students
Students who live close to the college and wish to complete their bachelor’s degree requirements by class attendance on the Mary Baldwin College campus may do so on a part-time basis. They are subject to the same admission requirements as other entering students.
Leadership Gateways and the First-Year Experience
All new undergraduate students have the benefit of membership in a gateway program offering support, direction, and connection. The Adult Degree Program functions as a Gateway for adult students. International students also have their own Gateway which includes intentional cultural, academic, and social immersion, and transfer students have their own Gateway to support various needs at any class level. Residential College for Women students may choose one of nine Leadership Gateways.
For first-year students, Gateways are a critical component of MBC’s unique first-year experience, serving as the entryway to a journey of lifelong leadership. Our first-year curriculum includes a year-long orientation program which assists in the transition to college and helps guide students in career exploration with focus on leadership. Throughout the first year, students work closely with faculty, staff, and peers to build successful studentship and strong relationships, to discover their passions, and to explore who they want to be. The Leadership Gateway brings these teams together around common co-curricular interests and activities and integrates these activities into the academic curriculum while exposing students to the larger campus and all of its resources. Our first year experience supports new students in their transition to college and in their exploration and discovery of their best selves. National data and MBC’s experience demonstrate that focused first-year learning communities enhance student success.
First-year students in RCW enter through the following Leadership Gateways with individualized orientation programs. Through these learning communities, all new students will complete BOLD 101: Baldwin Opportunities for Leadership and Development.
Director, Morgan Smith, web producer
Students interested in the Arts Gateway are passionate about visual, performing, and literary arts. They want to explore the influence of creative thinking in everyday life. Whether they have aspirations to become scientists, businesswomen, historians, or artists, students in the Arts Gateway strongly believe in the power of fresh thinking and original expression.
Students in this gateway will have the opportunity to attend local and regional arts events and exhibitions, visit the spaces and places that inspire, meet others who share an appreciation of the arts, and participate in activities designed to challenge and develop the creative mind.
Commuter Gateway (Suburbanites)
Director, Janet Ewing, associate professor of business
It need not be difficult for non-residential, local students to stay informed and connected. New commuter students from Staunton and surrounding areas will find support and networking opportunities among each other and upper-class commuter students. With a variety of ways to get involved on campus, Suburbanites will immerse themselves in the college community to become vibrant and active members of MBC both in and out of the classroom. This Gateway helps the commuter student navigate the first-year transition and become fully involved in the college community, while maintaining her ties and responsibilities at home.
Early College Gateway
Director, Stephanie Ferguson, executive director of early college and director of the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted
This gateway is for students who have been accepted to either the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG) or Early College Academy (ECA). PEG is a radical acceleration program that allows students as young as 13 to skip high school and dive right into college, living within a community of their intellectual and social peers. ECA enables academically talented students to start college after their junior year of high school. Many of these students complete their high school degree during their first year at Mary Baldwin.
Students in this gateway are invited to participate in other age-appropriate co-curricular and extra-curricular activities that are social, cultural, or just for fun. PEG students live in the PEG Center, a living-learning community with adult advisors in the building 24 hours a day.
• MBC 102 An Investigation of the Arts, which includes participation with the American Shakespeare Center actors and scholars at the Blackfriars Playhouse, or MBC 103 An Investigation of the Sciences, which focuses on how science is integrated across disciplines and explores opportunities to engage in research and projects beginning in your first year.
Note: Additional application and interview are required.
Director, Katherine Low, chaplain and assistant professor of religion
The Coexist Gateway offers students meaningful encounters with a variety of religious, spiritual, and philosophical traditions and pathways. Through cooperative activities and events, students witness the multiple ways in which people of faith live according to shared values.
Students are required to attend three conversations or events their first semester. Examples of events include the Fall Faith Fair, the World Religions and Peacemaking Lecture, and Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week spiritual activities.
• REL 130 Faith, Life, and Service
Ida B. Wells Gateway
Rev. Andrea Cornett Scott, Director
Named in honor of a 19th-century civil rights activist and suffragist, this gateway is designed to aid African-American students in their transition to college life. Participants learn to identify their skills, values, and experiences, and understand how their unique presence adds value to the MBC experience.
These new students will make a commitment to diversity programming by serving as student ambassadors for the Office of Inclusive Excellence. As a member of this gateway, students will also take a general education course taught by their advisor and engage in co-curricular programming focused on civic engagement and African-American culture. Ida B. Wells extended support system includes Ubuntu Student Mentors and Sista Friends alumni mentors, using a team approach to helping each young woman become her best self. Additional application and interview are required.
• PHIL 140 Community and Service Learning
Latino Culture Gateway
Director, Joanne Harris, director of diversity and advocacy
Designed for students who are interested in exploring the history and heritage of Latino cultures around the world, the Latino Culture Gateway enhances one of Mary Baldwin’s greatest strengths: diversity.
Music, art, food, dance, and literature help shape Gateway activities. Students will assist in planning events for Hispanic History Month and work with upper-class students involved in the on-campus group, Latinas Unidas. Resources will be provided in Spanish and English.
• Recommended courses: Spanish language courses and SPAN 127 U.S. Latino Literature and Culture
Lois Blackburn Women for Healthy Lifestyles Gateway
Director, Mary VanNortwick, wellness dietitian and assistant director of dining services
This gateway is designed for young women who want practice and promote healthy and active lifestyles as the foundation of their college life and studies. Gateway experiences are designed to provide exposure to all facets of the wellness spectrum.
Students will have the opportunity to help plan community-based activities such as the Girls and Women’s Health Fair and Wellness Walk, in conjunction with Women’s Health Virginia; volunteer with the Women’s Health Initiative; and work with Physical Education, Dining Services, the Health Center, and other campus life offices to help learn and promote healthy lifestyle practices. Each student also completes a personalized fitness and wellness assessment leading to an individualized wellness plan. After their first year, students may work as wellness mentor and assist with programming for new freshmen entering the program.
• Phys Ed 100 Fitness
Spencer Citizens Gateway
Director, Steve Grande, executive director of the Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement
Spencer Citizens have a passion for service whether it’s in the local or global arena. Multi-cultural experiences and travel opportunities enable participants to become agents of change, understanding that at the heart of leadership is service to others.
Students in this gateway take part in community service projects and assist with Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement activities throughout the year, such as Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and the International Café Series. After their first year, Spencer Citizens have the opportunity to become Citizen Fellows.
• CE 102 The Reflective Self in Community
• Recommended courses: PHIL 140 Community and Service Learning or SOC 282 Community Service and Society
Kim Robinson, Director
Transfer students are new to Mary Baldwin, but they already have some experience with the college ropes. MBC makes the transition seamless and offers the resources and support they need to succeed while finishing their undergraduate education. Mary Baldwin and the Virginia Community College System also have a Guaranteed Admissions Agreement to facilitate credit transfer from community colleges.
Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL) Gateway
Director, Terry Djurac, Brigadier General, US Air Force, Retired
Through rigor, intense challenge, and mutual support, VWIL is a four-year leader development program which integrates theoretical instruction with practical application so that graduates have the knowledge, skills, character, and experience to assume positions of leadership in the military, public service, and private sectors in the United States and around the world. Using a holistic approach emphasizing moral and ethical development, VWIL combines military leadership development training (through ROTC as well as the VWIL Corps) with civilian approaches. The VWIL Corps is the only all-female corps of cadets in the nation.
VWIL’s leader development program integrates five major components:
• Academic curriculum
• Physical education and fitness
• Military leadership (ROTC)
• Co-curricular program
• Leadership experience
VWIL’s students, in addition to completing both the college’s General Education requirements and an academic major, complete the following additional requirements, some of which may also count toward the General Education Requirements:
• All VWIL students are required to complete a minor in Leadership Studies, which includes three interdisciplinary leadership core courses addressing history and theories of leadership, ethics and community, and the practice of leadership
• A leadership internship
• At least eight semester hours in two natural science disciplines to satisfy the total General Education Requirement
• Three math and quantitative reasoning courses to include Math 150 or above, a Math elective, and a statistics course
• A communication course
• INT 177 The Citizen Soldier
• Non-commissioning students complete course work in either the Business or Community and Social Change emphases of the Leadership Studies minor
• Other specified courses that meet General Education requirements in Ethics, Women’s Studies, and International Studies selected from VWIL program listings
Physical Education and Fitness
Regular physical training is required, as well as the completion of the Strength and Endurance Test at periodic intervals.
Advanced fitness is required during the freshman year.
The VWIL freshman experience starts with Wilderness and continues with the Leadership Challenge Program (LCP).
A networking activities class (ballroom dance, golf, racquetball, or tennis) and one other physical and health education course are completed in subsequent years.
VWIL students are required to complete a minimum of two years of ROTC in one of the four services. Classes are conducted either at MBC or the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. Those seeking commissions continue with ROTC through the junior and senior years.
The co-curricular components provide the contexts within which VWIL students develop and practice leadership skills in an environment of increasing freedom and responsibility. VWIL students live together and meet standards for room neatness, additional study provisions, and conform to disciplinary rules and regulations. Through participation in Mary Baldwin college activities and classroom experiences, they balance cadet life and student life. VWIL students adhere to both the Mary Baldwin and the VWIL codes of conduct.
Students in this leadership program live and learn together as sister nULLs, participating in formations, parades, strength and endurance training, and seminars oriented toward career interests and leadership development. Drill team, marching band, and Honor Guard are other available opportunities.
Leadership Experience Opportunities
Beginning in their sophomore year, students will assume leadership positions in the Corps, continuing to live together and holding to a code of professional standards. They have the opportunity to hold rank in the regiment and/or positions within the VWIL class system. They are also encouraged to become active in the Mary Baldwin Student Government Association. As part of the Leadership minor, all VWIL students will complete a leadership internship.
• ROTC: Army, Air Force, Navy/Marines (commissioning optional)
• Physical Education: Leadership Challenge, Wilderness Adventure, Advanced Fitness
Note: Additional application and interview is required