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.
Odyssey experiences that fall in this category may be distinctly professional
or leadership-focused; some experiences may well fall into both categories simultaneously.
Such experiences may be a stand-alone course (coded PL), may be integrated into
a standing course, or may be entirely independent of academic coursework. Experiences
that fulfill this category may be either financially compensated or not.
A Professional Development experience gives the student an opportunity to develop
or refine skills related to a specific professional field or immerses the student
in a well-focused exploration of the student’s choice of profession or vocation. A vocational exploration can include the search for an appropriate career or field
of study, but it can also be a process for broader discernment about the values,
enduring passions, social roles, and forms of public service that will inform one’s
professional life. Vocational explorations meriting Professional Development credit
will have well-delineated objectives regarding the vocational aspirations to be
explored and clear articulation of how the activities performed advance that exploration.
Whether focused on a specific profession or an exploration of career and vocational
options, Professional Development experiences include an evaluation of the student’s
values, interests, strengths, and abilities as they relate to the field or vocational
options being explored. A minimum of 100 hours of engagement or a contractual commitment
over a two-year period to a Professional Development endeavor is required for the
Leadership Development experiences focus on the development of a student’s unique
leadership style as well as enhancing the student’s awareness of group dynamics
and the fulfillment of goals through engaging with a group. Odyssey credits for
such experiences require a minimum of 100 hours of engagement in up to four Leadership
Development commitments during the student’s time at the College.
In addition, Odyssey credit in this category requires the incorporation of a
reflective, analytical component, including written analyses. When the Professional
and Leadership Development experience stands apart from a class, this reflection
should be submitted to the Hendrix faculty or administrative staff member advising
the student during his or her Odyssey experience.
Examples of experiential learning activities that might fulfill this category:
Those courses that include a major hands-on component in professional
or leadership development could be candidates for fulfilling this Odyssey category. Specific examples include practicum courses focused on the application of theoretical
principles examined within a discipline.
Individualized Academic Experiences
In addition to standing courses, a professor
may wish to add to an existing course a major experiential project (module) which
would qualify for Odyssey credit under this category. Also, if the professor so
chose, it might be feasible for a smaller number of hours of professional or leadership
development that are a component of a course to be supplemented by non-course hours
to complete the 100 hours necessary for the Odyssey credit in this category. Similarly,
completion of leadership experiences in the ROTC program can fulfill this requirement
as long as a Hendrix faculty or administrative staff member is involved in overseeing
the reflective component that completes it as an Odyssey experience.
This category includes any activities not directly
tied to the curriculum. These include the extracurricular works of the formalized
Leadership Scholars program, the informal work of other leaders with significant
responsibilities in student organizations, serving as a key player in a political
or community advocacy event on- or off-campus, or engagement in varsity athletics. Up to four such leadership experiences may be combined to fulfill this requirement.
In the Professional Development category, on-campus work experiences that are
tied to engagement in academic professional development (e.g. serving as a tutor
in academic departments on the campus) may also be Odyssey-worthy.
Special Considerations for Professional and Leadership Development (PL) Projects and Activities
Note that for Professional Development projects, the required 100 hours
of participation (120 for Career Services internships) must take place in a
single activity. For Leadership Development they may be divided between up
to four separate activities.
Professional Development experiences should contribute to the development
or refinement of your skills related to a particular professional field, be
designed to aid you in your choice among several potential professions, or immerse
you in activities intentionally designed for vocational exploration.
Your proposal should state well-delineated objectives regarding the careers
or vocational aspirations to be explored and clear articulation of how the activities
performed advance that exploration.
Your proposal should demonstrate a commitment to and plan for examining
and evaluating your values, interests, strengths, and abilities as they relate
to the professional fields or vocations to be explored.
Leadership Development experiences should contribute to your understanding
of group dynamics and promote the development of your own unique leadership
For information on the distinction between internships and professional
field experiences, please see the appropriate section earlier in this guide.