The First-Year Experience consists of two required components:
The Engaged Citizen
The Engaged Citizen is a one-semester course required of all first-year students entering Hendrix College. The theme of the “engaged citizen” combines the spirit of Hendrix’s Odyssey program with the college’s stated purpose of preparing “its graduates for lives of service and fulfillment in their communities and the world.” From philosophers and physicists to artists and anthropologists, we all approach questions about what it means to be involved in our communities, whether locally or globally, in different ways.
This course seeks to illuminate the multiplicity of possible interpretations of engaging as a citizen through interdisciplinary team teaching, in which pairs of faculty from across the institution come together to form dyads and explore a sub-topic from different methodological "ways of knowing." The varying disciplinary and individual approaches to this theme are intended to provoke discussion and reflection on this topic both within the dyads and throughout the Hendrix community.
The students divide their time equally between the two dyad professors over the course of the semester. The dyads can also meet periodically as a combined group if the professors deem it appropriate. The course includes an engaged learning component, involving an introductory, hands‑on activity that engages academic material in or outside the classroom and is tied to the content of the course.
The Engaged Citizen requirement is waived for transfer and returning students entering Hendrix with seven or more accepted transfer courses (excluding AP/IB credits). The Engaged Citizen may not be dropped. Students who do not pass The Engaged Citizen are required to complete the requirements of the Hendrix Immersion Project (HIP). HIP must be completed within one calendar year. Students needing to complete HIP due to failure of The Engaged Citizen should begin HIP no later than the first semester of their sophomore year. Students should work closely with their academic advisors to determine the best combination of spring courses and HIP start date that will help them resolve the problems that resulted in a failed first year seminar. HIP may be used as one of the student's three required Odyssey credits.
Explorations: Liberal Arts for Life
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 both a Journeys and 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 and returning students who are exempt from The Engaged Citizen are also exempt from Explorations.