get to know summer@hampshire!

Written by program assistant Nina Gunther-Segal 13F

summerprograms-mainWondering how you’re going to spend the summer? Looking for a way to immerse and educate yourself in a particular area of interest? Lamenting the fact that in only a few months the school year will end, and you’ll have to leave campus? Then Hampshire’s Summer Academic Programs are for you!

I had a conversation with Abby Ferguson, an expert on the Summer Academic Programs, who told me what first-year students might want to know about them. They’re a series of programs designed to reflect Hampshire’s strengths during the academic year, and a time when Hampshire opens up course offerings to students from all over the country. They’re primarily undergraduate programs (although there is one pilot high school program this year) and because the programs are rooted in academics, they provide transfer credit. Abby made a point of letting me know that they’d really love first-year students to look into the programs — it’s an incredible opportunity to participate in a variety of hands-on, uniquely Hampshire activities (experientially-focused, interdisciplinary) that you won’t get at other schools.

Here’s some more specific info about the individual programs:

Food, Farm and Sustainability: This is Hampshire’s flagship summer program, now in its third year. It’s six weeks long, from June 2 to July 11. Participating students will have the opportunity to work on the farm and with Natural Sciences faculty to look at sustainable agriculture from a variety of perspectives. It’ll include lots of hands-on learning activities: communal meal preparation, working at a variety of local farms, and enjoying the beauty of the Pioneer Valley in the summer while integrating work and education. Partnerships with local farms are deeply rooted in the curriculum, and the immersive program really gets at the root of sustainable agriculture.

TESOL Teacher Training Course: This program, during the month of June, allows students to delve into the coursework of teaching English to speakers of other languages, gaining a TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) certificate in the process. It’s strongly connected to the Fulbright Program — many students go on to get Fulbright scholarships after taking this course; it also opens up incredible opportunities, globally.

Creative Media Institute: This is Hampshire’s summer film studies program, for four weeks at the end of the summer. Every year it has a different focus–this year’s is non-fiction media, and will be an opportunity to get inside documentary filmmaking in an immersive way. Not only is it open to students, but also to practitioners and filmmakers, who can come and take the course alongside students. This is particularly cool because it allows different learning communities to communicate, learning side-by-side and from one another. Students are encouraged to bring their works in progress to the program. The program involves lots of screening and responding to films. It will have several guest faculty and artist visitors, among them two Hampshire alums: esteemed filmmakers Ken Burns and Brett Morgen.

Institute for Curatorial Practice: This one’s brand new, and the summer programs organizers are very excited about it. It’s a five-week program that examines the practice of curation from all sorts of disciplines. The education provided is cutting edge, attempting to take museum studies into the 21st century. This is a program that takes full advantage of the Five College Consortium, firmly rooting its education in the collections, archives and exhibitions of the area. There will be many field trips and museum visits, and as part of the course, students will get to use what they learn to create digital exhibitions in groups.

Designing Social Impact: Hampshire students can’t take this one, because it’s a high school program, but if you know of any high schoolers (age 16+) who might be interested in experiencing the unique things Hampshire does, let them know! This is a design-focused program that takes advantage of the fact that Hampshire is one of the first liberal arts colleges with a fully-functional fabrication shop. Students will get to work in the Center for Design with faculty to innovate and develop their own projects.

Interested? Apply online — go to summer.hampshire.edu and click on the program that interests you to find an application. It’s a relatively simple process, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The priority deadline is April 14, meaning students are encouraged to get their application materials in by then — this is the last date by which spots can be guaranteed in the programs. As students apply, faculty will meet to review applications and make admissions decisions. Hampshire students are eligible for federal aid for the programs’ cost (if so, indicate your interest on the application form). Students can also take more than one program, because they’re staggered throughout the summer.

This is an amazing opportunity to see the college from all sorts of areas! You can talk to your advisor or a faculty member about how to apply it to your coursework and the overall trajectory of your Hampshire education.

If you have any more questions, email Abby Ferguson (afPR@hampshire.edu) or summer@hampshire.edu. And for more information about all the programs, check out the official Summer Academic Programs page.

our identities, our community (and why you should attend!)

OIOCAre you a first-year student? Want to learn more about identity and how to engage in dialogue about difference? Our Identities, Our Community, a foundational identity workshop for first-year students, is coming up on Saturday, February 8, and we’d love for you to join us. Want to learn more? Read on for great information, and answers to the most common questions!

What’s this workshop all about?
As individuals, we bring a variety of different identities with us to the Hampshire community, many of which take on new meaning as we immerse ourselves in our new surroundings. As a participant, this workshop will help you to better understand your own multitude of identities, the ways in which they intersect, and how they inform your experiences at Hampshire and in the U.S. You’ll also be introduced to behaviors that support dialogue in a diverse community, with the goal of empowering yourself and others to continue to engage in conversations about social justice, oppression, power, and privilege at Hampshire and beyond.

Who is facilitating the workshop? Anyone I know?
The workshop will be facilitated by the Design Studio for Social Intervention, great friends of Hampshire College who have hosted workshops and trainings for a number of different groups and programs on campus. They have an informative, interactive, and engaging afternoon planned, and can’t wait to share it with you. Staff members from the office of new student programs will also be in attendance to provide support to the facilitators and to connect you with campus resources that will help you extend what you’ve learned beyond the workshop space and into the campus community.

Why would I want to attend something like this?
There are innumerable reasons to attend Our Identities, Our Community, but here are a few of our favorites:

  • You want to engage more deeply in conversation about identity and social justice in class or with other students, but feel intimidated and worried about saying the wrong thing.
  • You want to learn more about your own and others’ identities, how they intersect, and understand how identities can influence individuals’ experiences in the United States.
  • You want to meet other first-year students who share the same interests and passions as you do, and find new ways to connect.
  • You want to learn more about campus resources related to social justice and community advocacy.
  • You want to attend the ASK Conference in late February, and would like to learn some foundational concepts beforehand.
  • You’d like to earn four CEL-1 hours while you learn!

Sounds good to me. When is it and how do I register?
Saturday, February 8
12-4 p.m. (lunch provided)
Franklin Patterson Hall

Registration is limited to 50 participants, so register now to reserve your space!

Questions? Email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We hope to see you there.

final projects and self-evals and course portfolios, oh my!

Written by program assistant Xavier A. Torres de JanonOh My

Your first college semester is almost over (can you believe it?), and for Hampshire students, this means three things: final projects, self-evaluations, and course portfolios. Wondering how to get it all done? We’ve compiled some advice and helpful suggestions for you to consider as the semester-crunch kicks in.

Final projects: the tougher sibling of final exams

Think final exams are harder than final projects? Well, any Hampshire student can immediately tell you that that’s mostly false. Final projects are tough, but they are not impossible. As long as you are working on them continuously, not allowing yourself to leave everything until hours before the deadline, you will be fine. Before you know it, you’ll have everything handed in, ready to rest and relax during Winter Break. Of course, writing a college-level 8+ page paper can be intimidating and stressful, so here are some tips that might be helpful:

  • Dedicate the timeThe quality of an academic project is directly related the amount of time dedicated for it. Trust me, professors can tell the difference between an all-nighter and a thoroughly edited essay. Try to put some work into your finals right now. Your future self will be pretty thankful!
  • Faculty are there for youYour professor will be the one evaluating your final, and so their expectations and requirements matter a lot. If you need guidance or just plain encouragement, reach out to them. Our faculty tend to also be very willing to give you feedback on drafts of your finals. If you feel uncertain of how your project is looking, send an e-mail to your professor. Comments from them can make the difference between a great and an outstanding final.
  • Breathe in, breathe out, and relax – Don’t overwork yourself. During finals season, there are a lot things going on at Hampshire to help you with research and writing — including a library workshop called Ask the Experts THIS WEDNESDAY from 7-9 p.m. on the first floor of the library. There’s also plenty of programming put up to help you de-stress, like Library Study Breaks and Wellness Center relaxation events.

Looking back and reflecting: self-evaluations

A big part of a Hampshire education involves reflecting on your own academic work, progress and growth. You’ll probably hear a lot about self-evaluations in the upcoming days. The good news is that you already wrote a short self-eval during your mid-semester evaluation, so you should have an idea of what a self-eval looks like. These are not critiques of the class or its professor, but a personal analysis of your performance in the class. Some faculty have specifics that they want to see in your self-eval, while others allow you to engage with them independently. Self-evals will be read by your professors when they’re writing your final evaluations, so make sure to include things that you’d like to remind or point out to your professor about your engagement with the class.

Honestly, I didn’t enjoy writing self-evals during my first semester. I struggled with them and felt that I was re-writing repetitive information for all of them. However, now I see their usefulness and importance. These are great opportunities for you to write down your evolution of academic interests and passions. What interested you in the class? What do you want to explore more? Would you take a similar class again? For more self-eval advice, specifics and recommendations, check out this previous post on our blog, written by former program assistant Cat Guzman 10F.

 “Where did I put that paper?!”: course portfolios

Another unique aspect of Hampshire classes is the demand of course portfolios. These packets (generally submitted in a large manila envelope) contain your classwork throughout the semester and help your professors in providing a fair assessment of your academic performance. There is no formula for a course portfolio, as each professor will want to see different things in them. Overall, though, you should be prepared to provide a compilation of your semester’s work, a self-eval and the class’s final project.

Ideally, the assignments in your portfolio should be the original versions, with faculty comments included. In other words, this is a good time to organize your room, folders, and files to dig up your papers of the semester. That being said, some professors will be flexible in accepting re-printed versions in your portfolio, but try your best to find the originals. If you got the paper back, it’s bound to be somewhere in your life. Spontaneous black holes in your room are, sadly, not a thing yet.

I hope this post will be useful to you. Spread it around to your friends! And as always, please contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu with any comments, questions, or concerns. We’re always happy to help. Best of luck in the next couple of weeks!

preregistering for spring 2014 classes!

Written by program assistant Xavier A. Torres de Janon 12F

photoFall is truly here! The campus is even more beautiful than normal, and the change of seasons reminds us of the passing of time. As time goes by, so does your first semester at Hampshire. Remember those forms you had to fill online during the summer regarding course registration for your fall 2013 semester? Well, it’s now time to choose courses once again: November 11 marks the beginning of spring 2014 preregistration.

What is this preregistration thing all about? During a period at the end of each semester, you have the opportunity to preregister for up to 4 academic courses, including a maximum of 2 Five College courses, for the next semester. This allows you to have an idea of the classes you will be taking your next semester, as well as accelerating the registration process for everyone. It also permits you to ensure classes that you are certain about; by preregistering, you secure a spot in a class; if a course is full, you can add yourself to the waitlist. Remember that preregistering does not mean committing yourself to any class, as you can still freely add and drop courses during the regular Add/Drop Period. Preregistration for spring semester for Hampshire courses will take place between November 11 and December 6; the Five College request period ends on November 22.

In my experience, preregistration is a very exciting time of the year. Hampshire’s academic structure and affiliation with the Five College Consortium allows you to pick from literally hundreds of absolutely fascinating classes. It’s also fantastic because it lets you plan your next semester ahead. Figuring out your schedule for the semester is super hard, and having a head-start in having an idea what courses you’ll be taking is really helpful. That being said, I would advise you to be thinking about your Div I requirements before picking any class for your next semester. Try to have fun while doing so!

Now, how do you go about preregistering? First of all, your advisor needs to authorize you to do so. Before preregistration begins, Advising Week takes place. You should absolutely plan to meet with your advisor either on Advising Day (Wednesday, November 6) or anytime during the week. You might want to have some idea of what courses you’re interested in taking before you meet with your advisor. They will want to know this before giving you authorization to preregister, and they can provide you with great insight into what classes better fit your needs. Courses are now up on TheHub, click on ‘Search for Courses’ to check what will be available for the spring 2014 semester during this time.

Once you receive authorization, head to TheHub, log in, and click on ‘Approvals and Holds.’ Here, you will be able to see if your advisor has authorized you yet (if they said they would but haven’t, you should e-mail them!) and your preregistration time. Each student at Hampshire receives a time to begin preregistering. For example, you will see something like this: “You may register for spring term on 11/11/2013 at 4:00PM.” This would mean that you can begin registering for courses for the spring 2014 semester at 4:00PM on November 11. Different students get different times. Don’t freak out if you get a later time in the day, though — preregistration doesn’t even begin until mid-afternoon. If you’re pretty sure of what courses you’re interested in, you will more than likely be able to get a spot in them when your time to preregister begins. Also remember that being in a course waitlist is not the end of the world. At Hampshire, professors will often let you in if they realize that your passion, interest and/or commitment to the class is real.

So, once your preregistration time arrives, start registering for courses! Central Records has extremely helpful step-by-step registration instructions. When Hampshire preregistration begins, so does the Five College Request Period. Thus, you can also go ahead and submit requests for Five College courses at this time. Here are Central Records’ instructions on how to do this: http://www.hampshire.edu/shared_files/5Cscreenshots.pdf .

If you have any questions regarding the preregistration process, you should contact Central Records by calling 413.559.5421, e-mailing centralrecords@hampshire.edu, or stop by their office in Lemelson. Like all Hampshire staff, they are always happy to help!

Still have questions? Let us know! Email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu.

writing mid-semester self evaluations

CalendarFall semester is nearly half over. Can you believe it? In the world of new students, that means a few things. One — October Break is almost upon us! And two — it’s almost time to write your mid-semester self evaluations.

Mid-semester self evals are due on TheHub on Thursday, October 10. For your first two semesters at Hampshire (yes, even if you’re a transfer student!), you’ll need to complete one for every course that you are taking. Wondering what to include? The parameters of your self evaluations will depend on each of your professors, so if you haven’t already, you should connect with all of your professors to find out the specifics of what they want you to include. Generally speaking, a mid-semester self evaluation is a paragraph that talks about where you were when you started, where you are now, and what is working (and not working) for you in the class. Again, you should plan to be in touch with your faculty for more information about what they expect, but we’ve included an example of a (slightly long) one below:

At the beginning of the course, I found that the articles were dense, hard to parse, and that it was taking me a really long time to get my brain into the mode necessary to read and understand the theory. It was refreshing to know that when I came to class, the ideas we had read about would not only be discussed, but also graphically demonstrated. As far as my academic performance in the class… I have a tendency to talk too much, and some days I am better than others at reigning it in. I don’t want to talk at the expense of the other students’ contributions, but I think that happens occasionally, and I am trying to pay better attention (again, with varying success).  That being said, I am really enjoying the learning! The class is vibrant and most of the students are engaged and articulate, with multiple perspectives that I find very interesting. I am less than confident about the originality of my ideas and the clarity of my writing. I feel a certain self-awareness about the lack of polish, and again, vocabulary in my academic writing.  I had a really easy time coming up with topics for the first two blog posts but a harder time with the third. I am looking forward to my research topic, but am anxious about the quality of what I see as being my pretty unsophisticated academic writing (especially when I read some of the other blog posts!). I see room for improvement, and am excited about the work.

Still have questions after speaking with your professors? Feel free to contact the friendly folks in CASA at 413.559.5498 and ask to speak with Laura Melbin (for first-years) or Anne Downes (for transfers). Laura and Anne can also be reached via email at lmelbin@hampshire.edu or adownes@hampshire.edu, respectively.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu with any questions, concerns, really great ideas, or good stories. We’d love to hear from you!

what’s the deal with work study?

Great question. We’re glad you asked!

If you’re an incoming student with a work study award as part of your financial aid package, you’re probably wondering how (and when) to get started on the process of securing work study employment on or off campus. All work study-eligible students will receive correspondence in their Hampshire email accounts from Janel Johnson, Hampshire’s student employment coordinator, in mid-August, with more information about securing a work study position. But if you can’t wait to start thinking about employment opportunities, here are a few tips and FAQs to help you get started before you arrive!

Where can I view the available work study positions?
Available on and off campus work study positions are listed on the student employment intranet site, and will be updated more fully in mid-to-late August. These listings are as current as possible for this moment, but will certainly be updated as we move towards the semester. To get a sense of what’s available, you can browse the following sites. (Note: you will need your HampNet username and password to log on to the Intranet.)

When can I begin contacting potential employers?
The student employment office generally recommends that students wait until August to begin contacting campus offices. Many Hampshire offices are closed during the summer, while others operate with limited staffing, so you’re more likely to get in touch with offices once their full staffs have returned for the start of the fall semester (which generally happens around August 1). We’ve heard some stories about students contacting offices sooner than this and having success in doing so, but most offices don’t expect to hear from you until August.

How should I contact potential employers?
Once you’ve identified a few potential opportunities in which you’re interested, you can begin contacting these offices to express your interest, see if the position is still available, and schedule an interview for early in the semester. Email is preferred by most offices, as it is easier to keep track of communication, potential candidates, and interview scheduling. Some listings will indicate how best to contact the office, so feel free to use this as a guide. If you cannot find contact information on a listing, feel free to contact the student employment office for more information.

How many positions should I pursue?
The student employment office suggests that students pick up to five positions of interest. Many students have a work study awards as part of their financial aid package, and the more opportunities you pursue, the more likely you are to secure a position.

Are there any forms that I need to fill out?
Once you have interviewed and acquired a job, you will need to fill out a work contract, I-9, W4 and M4 tax forms before you before will be able to be paid for your work. You can obtain the work contract through either the employer or the student employment offices. All work study-eligible students are required to attend the student employment meeting, which takes place on Tuesday, September 3, at which point you’ll fill out your tax forms and learn more about policies and procedures for student employment. It is very important NOT to fill out the tax forms before you come to campus. These are date sensitive and can not be accepted if dated before the student employment meeting during orientation. More information about this meeting will be available in the new student orientation schedule. Please note that you’ll need to have two forms of identification with you in the form of 1) a current passport, a social security card, or a certified birth certificate, and 2) either your Hampshire ID or a driver’s license. Please keep this in mind when packing for Hampshire!

Where can I find more information?
Visit the student employment office page on the Intranet for lots of great links, including information on contracts and a list of FAQs. Janel Johnson, the student employment coordinator, will return to the office in mid-August, but you can certainly contact Financial Aid at financialaid@hampshire.edu or 413.559.5484 with any pressing questions. They’re happy to help.

Still have questions? Curious about anything new student related? Feel free to contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’d love to hear from you!

understanding the cel-1 requirement

CEL1If you’ve begun your advisor questionnaire on TheHub, you’ve likely encountered a question about what types of campus service learning activities you’d be interested in during your first year at Hampshire. In addition to the seven courses you must complete in Division I, all first-year students are also asked to fulfill the Campus Engaged Learning requirement, affectionately referred to as CEL-1, in order to pass Division I and move on to Division II. You cannot sign up for CEL-1 activities until after you’ve arrived on campus, but for those of you who can’t wait to learn more, read on for lots of great information!

What is CEL-1?
CEL-1 is a Division I requirement that asks you to engage in 40 hours of collaborative work/projects/learning outside of the traditional classroom during your first year. CEL-1 activities thus take place on campus and/or enhance campus life. With an emphasis on mindful participation, documentation and reflection, CEL-1 activities provoke observations about the meaning of community and the relationship between your coursework and your other pursuits. The requirement allows you to weave together multiple experiences (i.e. you can take more than one CEL-1!) throughout the year that build a dynamic, comprehensive Division I experience.

How does it work?
CEL-1 activities are offered by the Hampshire community and take on several different forms. Sponsors include the array of community members on campus, including campus program staff, Hampshire faculty, Division II and III students and student group leaders.  You are welcome to craft your own CEL-1 activity, provided that it meet the guidelines and has a non-Division I sponsor. You’ll be asked to document this work as you go so that you’re better equipped to write about it in your final Division I Portfolio and Retrospective Essay. Documentation can take many forms as well: journal entries, photography, collection of materials, video, artwork, etc.

What counts?
Past CEL-1 activities run the gamut of experiences, including various arts-based projects, design/build work, outdoor adventure and leadership, food/farm/sustainability initiatives, identity-based groups, student-run courses, social justice organizing, event planning, and so so much more! Membership in an recognized student group, completion of an Outdoors Program/Recreational Athletics (OPRA) course, and completion of an Experimental Program in Education & Community (EPEC) course can all count towards your CEL-1 hours, so there are countless ways for you to complete the requirement.

How should I begin?
Appropriate CEL-1 activities will be ones that you discuss and decide on with your tutorial advisor, but you are welcome to start brainstorming and getting involved in projects as soon as you arrive on campus and the semester begins! The CEL-1 website will guide you through completion of the CEL-1 process, and will provide an overview of the available activities once classes start. This website is where sponsors can upload information about activities they are offering, and where Division I students can learn more details, browse opportunities, and register for activities. To browse available opportunities from last year (and get a sense of what you might be interested in), click ‘Old/Past’ in the Status toolbar on the Browse tab of the site.

When should I begin?
Because this is campus-based engagement, the expectation is for you to get here and familiarize yourself with the opportunities available to you. You will be updated about the CEL-1 process during and after orientation, and will be asked to sign up for activities after you’ve arrived on campus. You’ll be advised to begin this process early in your Division I, and will receive lots more information after classes begin.

Where can I find more information?
You’ll be receiving more information during orientation and after you arrive, but in the meantime, you can read more about the requirement on the CEL-1 website and the Center for Academic Support and Advising’s CEL-1 page. Have a burning question that can’t wait? E-mail cel1@hampshire.edu for more information. They’re happy to help!

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu with any questions about new student orientation, your arrival, or your first year at Hampshire. We’d love to hear from you.

creating your division I portfolio

Written by program assistant Cat Guzman 10F

So, you know what you’ve got to do to pass, but are you still wondering how to do it? I know I was about two years ago, and I remember wishing I had an older student with personal experience help explain the process to me. The Division I portfolio is essentially the culmination of your whole first year at Hampshire—a testament to the things you’ve learned and the best work you’ve done. Reflecting on the year and creating your portfolio now may seem daunting (especially with final deadlines around the corner), but it doesn’t have to be! It’s a time for personal reflection and assessment, and it can actually help you better understand your experience and development thus far as a Hampshire student. If you’ve satisfied all your requirements, the portfolio is really the only thing standing between you and passing Division I. Ready to create it?

Here’s what you want to do:

First, get a 3-ring binder (about 1-2” in size) and some section dividers. You can also use the clear binder that CASA gave you at the start of the year — that’s what it’s for! Create the following labels for the pieces of the portfolio you need:

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Division I retrospective essay (2-3 pp. recommended length)
  3. Copies of all evaluations and grades you’ve received so far.
  4. A list of courses you’ve completed (indicate which ones satisfy four out of five distribution areas: ADM, CHL, MBI, PBS, & PCSJ)
  5. Documentation of your CEL-1
  6. One section for each of the cumulative skills
    1. Independent Work
    2. Multiple Cultural Perspectives
    3. Quantitative Reasoning
    4. Writing and Research

Next, gather the easy pieces: the Table of Contents page, your printed course evaluations and grades (include all that you have up to this point), a list of your courses that will satisfy Division I, and documentation of your CEL-1.

Then, find a free chunk of time to look through all of the evaluated work you’ve saved up until now and pick your best examples that apply to the each of the four cumulative skills — these pieces will ultimately go into your portfolio. This doesn’t require a day’s worth of work; it can be done in a couple of hours in your room. And if you feel at all confused about what should or shouldn’t go into the portfolio, don’t hesitate to ask your advisor for some helpful advice, like I did. (Note: all of your favorite work may not fit into your binder, but don’t let that stop you from including it in your portfolio! For my Div I portfolio, I decided to include a photography project that consisted of 12 large matted prints. It wasn’t a part of my binder, but my advisor appreciated my choice to present it anyway in my final meeting.)

If you want some company while assembling your portfolio, make sure to stop by the Portfolio Making Party on Tuesday, April 30 at 7PM in the Dakin Living Room. New Student Programs and CASA staff will be on hand to offer advice, supplies, and plenty of snacks. Stop by and spend some time with fellow soon-to-be Div II students!

Writing Your Division I Retrospective:

The retrospective is ultimately a reflection essay — a chance to tell the story of your first year at Hampshire. When writing, consider how you began the year and your expected academic interests. Talk about the academic challenges you faced and the steps you took to meet them, along with the “high points” of your year, including what interested you, what new ideas or topics surprised you, and what you enjoyed the most. Write about your participation and experience in the Hampshire community for your CEL-1 activity. And with the cumulative skills in mind, think of what you learned about each of them along the way.  As you prepare, you may also want to consult your advisor to see if there’s anything specific that they want you to include. The main goal is to provide a clear picture of your progress as a student and member of the community during your first year at Hampshire.

I’d recommend you write it in a quiet and empty space where you can truly focus, whether that’s in your room or in the main gallery of the Liebling photo building. Give yourself the time to re-read it all, re-visit your experiences, and think about why it all mattered. If the assignment seems scary, I promise you it’s easier than it seems! Looking at your best work over the course of your first year at college (all of those written pages, creative projects, research, etc!) is a pretty amazing feeling. You’ll be able to draw conclusions about your work and about yourself. Ultimately, you should feel really proud of all you’ve done and learned so far, and this should definitely help motivate you to finish your portfolio. You’ll want to include a hard copy of your retrospective in your portfolio, but don’t forget to complete the passing process on TheHub as well. You’ll be able to copy and paste your retrospective into the passing form after you’ve finished writing.

…And when you’ve completed all the pieces, get ready to present your work to your advisor in your final Div I meeting!

Remember:

1. These are guidelines to help you better navigate the process of creating your portfolio—don’t feel obligated to work in this exact order, just get it done before the deadline in the best way you know how.

2. Your portfolio and retrospective are what you want them to be. This was the most important lesson I learned last year and the best piece of advice I can pass forward.

Division I is what YOU make it—your overall experience at Hampshire is what you make it. Keep this in mind when you’re creating your portfolio, and enjoy the process!

I hope this helps you—best of luck!

As always, contact newtohamp@hampshire.edu with any questions, comments or concerns. We’re happy to listen and help!

how to pass division I (in a nutshell)

Written by Program Assistant Cat Guzman 10F

Around this time two years ago, I remember stressing over my Division I portfolio. I had met all of my requirements, so I was (technically) ready to pass, but I felt overwhelmed and mentally unprepared. The urgent e-mails that flooded my inbox sometimes added to the pressure instead of motivating me, and with finals just around the corner, the process felt so daunting that I ended up waiting until the beginning of my second year to do it.

Looking back, I realize I probably would have saved myself the extra pressure to pass if I had just done it when I was first ready. What I needed was to see the process from a different and simpler perspective.

Let’s break it down into individual steps:

1. First, courses! Take one course in four of these five distribution areas (totaling four courses):

  • Arts, Design, and Media (ADM)
  • Culture, Humanities, and Languages (CHL)
  • Mind, Brain, and Information (MBI)
  • Physical and Biological Sciences (PBS)
  • Power, Community, and Social Justice (PCSJ)

Take three elective courses (these are courses that don’t necessarily hit a distribution area, and are totally determined by YOU).

So, a grand total of SEVEN courses will comprise your Division I portfolio. And along the way, make sure you’ve progressed in these cumulative skills:

  • Progress/proficiency in analytical writing and informed research practice
  • Progress/proficiency in quantitative skills
  • Engagement with multiple cultural perspectives
  • Progress/proficiency in the ability to successfully undertake independent work

2. Complete at least one CEL-1 (Campus Engaged Learning) activity, totaling 40 hours. Your retrospective essay will include reflection on your CEL-1 activities, so be thinking about how they fit into your overall Division I experience.

3. Write a retrospective essay on your academic experience thus far (more on this in a future blog post).

4. Create a portfolio of your best work over the course of the year (more on this soon too!).

5.  Set up a final meeting with your advisor, and submit your Division I portfolio.

By this time, you’ll be wrapping up your courses and CEL-1 activity for the year, so the actual portfolio (including the retrospective) is the only thing that stands in your way of passing and becoming a Div II! Theoretically speaking, you could pass next semester—but who wants to dwell on officially passing their Division I over the summer? Save yourself the pressure, and get it done now if you can!

Feeling like you might be ready to pass Division I? Here’s a suggested timeline:

  • April: Make an appointment with your advisor for Progress Review Week. You’ll be expected to give your advisor your Division I portfolio, including your retrospective essay (more on these items in an upcoming blog post!). By now, you should be completing your CEL-1 activities. Remember that you need to complete the online passing process in addition to meeting with your advisor!
  • May: If you’ve completed all of your Division I requirements, you will be expected to pass your Division I now. Complete the online passing process: you will be asked to select your Division I courses, post your Division I retrospective essay (which includes your CEL-1 reflection, check for guiding questions on TheHub), and complete an online Division II Intent form. Meet with you advisor for your Division I passing meeting. If you have not completed all of the requirements for Division I, you must still meet with your advisor and agree upon a plan for the completion of Division I.
  • September: Happy School Year! Passed Division I in May? You can begin to draft your Division II contract on TheHub now.

I hope this helps put things into perspective, but if you find yourself still feeling lost or overwhelmed, stay tuned for a future blog post where I’ll break down the steps of creating your Division I portfolio, including writing your retrospective! Also, mark your calendars for this year’s Division I Portfolio Making Party, which will be held on Tuesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. in the Dakin Living Room. Laura Melbin from CASA will be in attendance, and we’ll provide lots of snacks and portfolio-making supplies!

Good luck, and don’t hesitate to contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu with any questions or concerns!

using the consortium!

Written by program assistant Cat Guzman 10F

Power of FiveWith pre-registration looming, you’re probably in the process of assembling your schedule for next semester. You may have your eyes already set on a full schedule’s worth of Hampshire courses, but have you considered studying at any of the other four colleges? You have the entire Consortium to your advantage! Planning a schedule with this in mind, however, can sometimes feel like you’ve just opened the floodgates of knowledge. Have you ever felt overwhelmed by this process? Or just plain curious about how to navigate it? Here are some tips on why and how to personalize a successful schedule throughout the Five Colleges:

The Benefits of Using the Consortium:

  • Getting off campus! Ever feel like you want a break from Hampshire? Taking a Five College course is an excellent way to start exploring new places and meeting new people.
  • Meaningful and formative experiences! Aside from learning in a new environment, studying at different schools exposes you to different ways of learning among people with different kinds of perspectives.
  • With five colleges worth of courses to choose from, you’ll have the opportunity to develop a schedule that fits your unique needs. Want to study a particular topic from a specific academic area? Take advantage of the various resources the consortium offers, and find the courses that you really want.

Some Helpful Hints:

  • Wondering how to find courses at other schools? Talk to your advisor for course and faculty suggestions specific to your interests. They’ll most likely have contacts across the consortium, so take advantage of their help. Use the Five College Course Catalog! It’s a great and simple search system for finding specific courses and faculty members by their schools, subjects, and names.
  • Plan your schedule wisely! This means not only making sure that classes don’t conflict, but taking travel time into account before making any course decisions. The PVTA is a free and convenient system, but don’t be a stressful commuter. Be realistic about your availability and flexibility, and don’t over-exert yourself.
  • Reach out to Five College professors who interest you. Introduce yourself, and keep in touch — especially if they’re teaching a course you really like or you know to be really popular.
  • Go to the first day of your Five College courses. Certain courses may be overcrowded and the competition for enrollment may be stiff, so showing up is crucial. And if for some reason you can’t, make absolutely sure to contact the professor to explain your situation.
  • Five College faculty aren’t required to write evaluations for you, but it never hurts to ask. Make sure to ask early in the semester so that the professor can prepare to evaluate you fully at the end of the term, should they agree to do so.
  • If you’re planning to take classes off campus, make sure you still have a mix of Hampshire and Five College courses in your schedule. This will allow you to continue to cultivate relationships with faculty here at Hampshire and remain engaged in the community. The advice of Hampshire faculty will be invaluable as you continue to choose courses, and you’ll likely want to include many of them on Division II and Division III committees!

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • You can request a Five College course on TheHub, but this does not mean you’re automatically registered. The registration process can take some time and isn’t always guaranteed until after classes begin! Check the status of your course requests frequently on The Hub—and be patient!
  • You don’t have to take courses to be involved at other schools. You can experience the culture of other schools in other ways such as joining a club or going to campus events. These are opportunities where you can meet new people and gain networking experience. Wondering how to find out what’s happening on other campuses? Make sure to check out the Five College event calendar, an excellent resource for curious students.

Hampshire alone offers so many different courses for students, and considering what the rest of the consortium offers can feel daunting. The process requires a significant amount of time searching, communicating, and planning—but don’t let this turn you away. Using the consortium can be a very rewarding experience, and can really help shape your experience as a Hampshire College student. It’s most definitely worth the effort!

Use These Resources:

Wondering how to register for Five College courses? The Central Records office offers a slew of great resources for students who are just getting started. Check out their course registration information page, or view screenshots of the Five College course request process on TheHub. Still have questions? E-mail Central Records at centralrecords@hampshire.edu, or stop by their office in the Lemelson Building.

Questions or comments? E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’re happy to help!