Hendrix College has long recognized the educational value of engaged learning, that is, of the enhanced learning that results when theory meets practice, and when experience itself, as reflected upon, becomes a source of inspiration and learning. This recognition of the value of learning through doing is manifested in numerous ways, both within the campus community and beyond its borders. The academic program entitled The Hendrix Odyssey Program is designed to encourage all Hendrix students to embark on educational adventures in engaged learning.
All students are required to complete an approved activity in at least three of the following categories:
- Artistic Creativity [AC] - Experiences in which students explore their creative potential in art, music, dance, drama, film, or creative writing.
- Global Awareness [GA] - Experiences in which students immerse themselves in cultures or environments other than their own in ways that enhance their appreciation of those cultures and environments, deepen their understanding of the major issues affecting the world today, and lend them new perspectives on the places in which they live.
- Professional and Leadership Development [PL] - Experiences in which students apply their intellectual interests through internships, other opportunities for working alongside professionals on site, or leadership in community life or professional settings.
- Service to the World [SW] - Experiences within and beyond the Hendrix community in which students are engaged in helping meet the social, ecological and spiritual needs of our time.
- Undergraduate Research [UR] - Experiences in which students undertake significant research projects using the methods of their chosen disciplines.
- Special Projects [SP] - Experiences in which students extend, apply, connect or share different ways of knowing (e.g., oral, verbal, tactile, imaginative, intuitive), often in interdisciplinary settings.
In addition, we expect the following progression towards meeting this graduating requirement:
- Second semester of sophomore year: Students are expected to have completed an Odyssey experience in at least one category by the time they register for classes for their junior year. Students are advised to work with their CNSA advisor their first three semesters to make sure that they are making progress towards this expectation.
- End of junior year: Students are expected to have completed Odyssey experiences in at least two categories by the end of their junior year. Students are advised to work with their major advisor during their second and third years to make sure they are making progress towards this expectation.
Approved Odyssey activities may be in the form of pre-approved activities as identified in the Odyssey Program Guide, specially coded courses, or independent projects. Qualifying courses are identified by two-letter codes alongside course descriptions in this Catalog, in the online course schedule and in the Odyssey Program Guide. If a course is coded both as a Learning Domain and an Odyssey category course, a student who earns a C or better in that course will get credit for both requirements. No course, however, may be used to fulfill more than one Odyssey category requirement.
Both students and faculty members may design Odyssey projects completely independent of courses. Projects must be approved by the Odyssey Office, and proposals for credit must be submitted and approved prior to the commencement of the project. A student initiating an Odyssey project must work with a faculty or administrative staff sponsor who aids in the development of the project and evaluates its successful completion. Depending on the category, a final project, public presentation, or significant reflection component may be required.
Some funding is available from the College through a competitive process to assist in the implementation of approved Odyssey projects. Under certain conditions, students may receive travel grants to present undergraduate research and artistic creations at conferences. For details on the criteria for each Odyssey category and the process for proposing projects and applying for funding, see the Odyssey Program Guide.
Students’ transcripts include a record of their completed Odyssey experiences. As part of the process for completing their projects and activities, students write 150-word descriptions of what they did and what they learned through each experience, and these appear on the transcript to give future graduate schools or employers an enhanced understanding of an individual student’s application of theory to practice and engagement in learning through doing.