Explorations

Students in Library

Liberal Arts for Life — one course.

Explorations: Liberal Arts for Life is a one-semester common course required of all students enrolled in The Engaged Citizen in their first semester at the College.

Explorations is designed to foster an ongoing engagement with the liberal arts experience, to facilitate the transition of new students to the Hendrix community, and to enhance students’ potential for success in their collegiate studies. The course meets once a week and carries one quarter (.25) course credit. This course credit cannot be combined with other fractional course credits to make a whole course credit. This course does not count toward the number of whole course credits required for graduation.

Areas of study in Explorations include higher education and the liberal arts, the aims and expectations of the College, engaged learning, academic and career explorations, and self-inquiry and personal development. Engaged learning experiences parallel the areas in the Odyssey Program. Additionally, the seminar focuses on refining student knowledge, perspectives and skills requisite to successful academic work and integration into the Hendrix community.

Each new student will be enrolled in a section of The Engaged Citizen and also in an Explorations section. Explorations may not be dropped. In each Explorations section, a second-year peer assistant will be available to provide student perspective and assistance. Transfer students who are exempt from The Engaged Citizen are also exempt from Explorations.

Explorations Syllabus

Explorations Learning Goals


Goal 1: Through its content and context, Explorations seeks to make each student aware of the importance of many of the academic, personal, and social contexts that are needed for a successful transition to Hendrix, and seeks to facilitate each student's transition.

  • The student exhibits an understanding of the perspectives, processes, habits of mind, and personal choices conducive to a successful transition as well as a progressive understanding of the importance of these attributes.
  • The student exhibits an understanding of the traditional and experiential components of the academic program of the College as well as the available student resources, mentoring and support systems in place to facilitate a successful experience at Hendrix.


Goal 2: Through its content and context, Explorations seeks to make each student aware of the importance of developing and refining intellectual skills that are needed for a successful transition to Hendrix, and seeks to facilitate each student’s initial improvement/maintenance of these skills.

  • The student exhibits an understanding of the importance of her or his ability to communicate both orally and in written form as well as gather and process information and knowledge at a level of sophistication necessary for a successful Hendrix experience.
  • The student exhibits an understanding of the importance of her or his ability to reason in an informed and ethical way, think critically, and make decisions in dealing with important issues and topics that are without definitive answers (world hunger, diversity and tolerance, service and leadership, etc.) as well as evidence of developing such abilities through the analysis of one or more such issues addressed in the course.
  • The student exhibits an understanding of the importance of her or his ability to work effectively and sensitively in a collaborative context and the continued development of the interpersonal skills and perspectives necessary for such successful collaboration.
  • The student exhibits an understanding of the importance of increasing her/his level of sophistication in thoughtful, cogent reflection on both written and oral materials as well as experiences in engaged learning. The student is expected to exhibit evidence of developing such abilities through the analysis of one or more major issues addressed in the course.