Springing from Oglethorpe’s 2007 QEP (see Sec. 10.20.), the Petrel Points co-curricular requirement gives all entering first-time TU freshmen two regular (fall and spring) semesters to accumulate at least 12 Petrel Points (PPs). Petrel Points are acquired when a student attends an event (usually held outside-of-class) which has been pre-approved as a Petrel Point event. Such events are chosen for their potential to augment, reinforce or expand upon things going on in the classroom, although drawing such connections is the purview of instructors and students. The required 12 Petrel Points must satisfy a distribution requirement:
- Arts, Education and Ideas (AEI): Musical, theatrical, artistic and scholarly events (including the Symposium in the Liberal Arts and Sciences), both on- and off-campus; 6 points required. Attendance at each of the foregoing events garners a student a single AEI PP.
- Civic Engagement (CE): Activities which engage students in the Atlanta and global communities through volunteer work, OUr Atlanta trips, and CE dialogues. CE events are typically coordinated through Oglethorpe’s center for civic engagement (CCE); 4 points required. Qualifying events include Orientation Day of Service, Orientation OUr Atlanta Trip, Alternative Winter Break, Alternative Spring Break, CE Dialogue panels and forums, and various local CCE initiatives (such as participation in recycling or community garden efforts, volunteering with Drew charter School or at Lynnwood Park or for Earth Day, and so forth). Further, each section of FYS 101 Fresh Focus I is entitled to take a minimum of one domestic study trip per semester (see Sec. 10.2.). The trips are called OUr Atlanta trips and are arranged by the instructor in cooperation with the CCE. OUr Atlanta trips ideally reflect the theme of that particular section of the course. Examples include trips to the Atlanta History Center, the Carter Center, and Coca-Cola Headquarters, to name a few. Students usually earn one CE Petrel Point for attending each such event/trip, although the Alternative Winter and Spring Break excursions are worth four Petrel Points each.
- Campus Leadership and Citizenship (CLC): Originally this rewarded attendance at events judged to contribute significantly to campus cohesion and culture, including Boar’s Head, Oglethorpe Day and Commencement; 2 Petrel Points required. As time went on, the CLC category was broadened considerably. Currently, students can acquire CLC Petrel Points by participating or performing in (as opposed to simply attending) musical, theatrical and artistic events, playing on a varsity sports team, hosting a prospective student overnight, holding a leadership position in a campus organization, writing a particular number of articles for one or more of our campus publications, starting a new student club or organization, and participating in a career fair. Furthermore, this category includes select events which foster campus or personal leadership, such as Safe OUtlet or Peer Mentor training. Each of the foregoing activities qualifies a student to earn a single CLC PP.
Petrel Points are managed on the Oglethorpe website at fye.oglethorpe.edu. It is here that faculty, staff and students can fill out an online application to request Petrel Points be awarded for participation in an upcoming event. It should be noted that all Petrel Point events require such an application well in advance. Also present is a continuously updated official calendar of upcoming events which have been pre-approved for Petrel Points, and what type of Petrel Points (AEI, CE, CLC) is associated with a particular event. Finally, there is an online form for students to request a review of missing Petrel Points (that is, Petrel Points they should have earned by attending or participating in a sanctioned event, but which have not yet been credited to their Petrel Points accumulation). Each student can check his/her Petrel Point progress on OASIS.
Successful completion of the Petrel Point co-curricular program is a graduation requirement for those TU students who enter Oglethorpe as first-time freshmen. If an eligible student fails to satisfy the requirement during his/her first two regular semesters, he/she will be subject to a graduated set of penalties, starting with being forced to register at the very end of the registration queue, until the Petrel Point obligation has been fully satisfied.