making the most of division I

It’s your first year of college. You’re going to class. You’re getting involved. You may even have started planning for next semester. You know what you need to do to complete Division I, but are you making the most of your Div I experience?

On Monday, October 15, the office of new student programs invited Division I students to explore this question with a panel of Division II students from 4-5PM in the Merrill Living Room. Couldn’t make it? Read on for details about what you missed!

What Happened:
Three current students, all of whom are in their second or third year at Hampshire, shared stories of their Division I experiences with program attendees. Each brought a different perspective on their successes and struggles during their first year at Hampshire, and attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about how each student navigated their unique Division I experience. From stories of discovering interests in the least likely of academic fields, to the importance of asking for help, to understanding campus life resources, Division I students received plenty of insight on how to make the most of their first year at Hampshire.

Advice from the Panel:

  • Whatever you do, make sure to communicate with your faculty. Keep professors and teaching assistants in the loop, and make an effort to get to know them. By building relationships with professors from the very beginning, it will be easier for you to communicate your needs and academic plans to them later on. They want to hear from you! Need help? Check out our post on how to approach faculty.
  • If you haven’t already, start saving all of your work. You’ll need it when it’s time to create your Division I portfolio, so make a habit of keeping things all in one place until it’s time to get started on the Division I passing process.
  • Be mindful of the four cumulative skills that accompany the Division I distribution requirements. You’ll need to demonstrate proficiency in each of these areas, so be thinking about them as you move through Division I.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to start the CEL-1 requirement. Make sure to give it the time that it deserves — you’ll have a more meaningful and less stressful experience overall (and you’ll be more likely to pass Division I at the end of your first year)!
  • Find things you love to do outside of class (student groups, activities, programs, etc.). They can influence and enhance your academics and also keep you centered when things get difficult.
  • Keep an open mind. Division I offers an unique opportunity for you to explore different areas of study, meet faculty, and figure out what you really like. The thing you don’t think you’re interested in now might become the basis for your Division II or Division III work. Anything can happen!

Use These Resources:
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are tons of resources at your disposal, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of as many of them as possible.

  • Need help with your writing? Contact the Writing Center to learn more about how they can help you improve.
  • Looking for research help? Visit the Johnson Library, and stop by the Infobar near the Circulation Desk for information on resources, special programs, and to ask questions.
  • Have questions about the academic program? Visit the Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA) in the Lemelson Building, or stop by the Peer Academic Resource Center (PARC), located at the Infobar by the circulation desk in the library.
  • Looking to get involved on campus? Stop by the campus leadership and activities office (CLA), or browse the list of student groups. Subscribe to campus mailing lists to keep yourself informed about what’s happening on campus.
  • Have you started your CEL-1 yet? Learn more about the CEL-1 on their website, read the FAQ, and browse open opportunities. Still have questions? Send an e-mail to cel1@hampshire.edu, or come to CEL-What? on Tuesday, October 23 at 4PM in the Dakin Living Room. You bring questions, we’ll bring snacks!

That’s all for now! Have questions, comments, or concerns? E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu.

creating your division I portfolio (as told by a div II)

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 a year 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, PBSJ, & 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 Monday, May 7 at 7PM in the Dakin Living Room. New Student Programs 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!

cel-what?

CEL-What?On Thursday, February 23 from 4-5PM in the Dakin Living Room, Ivana Staiti, community engagement and collaborative learning coordinator, presented a special drop-in workshop for division I students on the CEL-1 requirement. This session expanded upon the first CEL-What? workshop, which was held during the fall semester. Couldn’t make it? Still have questions about CEL-1? Read on for lots of great information.

What Happened:
Participants arrived with lots of questions about their progress with the CEL-1 requirement, which provided a good starting point for the workshop. Some had already started the requirement, while others came to the workshop seeking more information on how best to begin logging CEL-1 hours. Ivana answered participants’ individual questions, provided an overview of the basic philosophy of the requirement, and walked everyone through the CEL-1 website. Attendees also had the opportunity to see how sponsors add activities to the site, in addition to a demonstration of how students can register for specific activities.

Good Questions:
What follows is a list of the most common questions from workshop participants at all stages of CEL-1 completion (and their answers!). For more general information about the requirement, don’t miss the blog post for our first CEL-What? workshop.

  • Q: I’m interested in an activity that is posted on the website. Should I make an effort to contact the sponsor prior to registering, or should I just register through the site?
    A: It’s never a bad idea to reach out to the sponsor to make sure that the activity is still current, and to introduce yourself. By doing so, the sponsor will know to expect your registration, and you can get any questions you may have answered ahead of time.
  • Q: I think an activity that I’m working on should count towards CEL-1, but it isn’t on the website. How does an activity get posted?
    A: There are generally two different ways in which activities get posted to the CEL-1 website. Sponsors with special projects will post activities to the website in the hopes of finding students who are interested in working on these projects, and students can browse these activities as they post to the website. Other activities, including student groups, are not automatically posted to the CEL-1 website, so participants will need to ask a signer or other student to post the activity as a sponsor. If you’re working on an activity that should be on the website, don’t hesitate to speak to the instructor, signers, or other older students. Adding an activity is a quick and easy process for sponsors, and once the activity has been added to the website, you can officially register.
  • Q: I’m hoping to create a new activity, based on my interests. How do I find a sponsor?
    A: If you’re working with a staff or faculty member, or a Div II or Div III student, you can invite them to be your sponsor. Sponsors do not need to observe you completing all of your hours, but they do need to verify that you’ve completed them at the end of the activity. If you need advice on how to go about this process, speak to your advisor, or contact Ivana Staiti at cel1@hampshire.edu.
  • Q: I haven’t yet started the activity that I’m creating, and I’m not sure that it will amount to 40 hours. What should I do?
    A: Don’t forget that you can complete your hours multiple ways! We want to be sure that you’re completing the requirement so that you can pass Division I on time. Take the time to review all of the possible activities on the website, and feel free to register for multiple things. The project that you’re hoping will help you to complete your hours may turn out to be a significant part of your Division II instead. Keep yourself open to multiple possibilities, and be sure to survey all of the different ways to complete your hours.

Use These Resources:

  • The CEL-1 website is a hub of great information. Review the extensive list of FAQs, browse available activities, and get yourself signed up!
  • Feel free to speak to your advisor about your progress with the requirement. We want to be sure that you’re able to pass Division I in a timely manner, so please let your advisor know if you’re having any trouble completing the CEL-1.
  • Still have questions? E-mail them to cel1@hampshire.edu. They’re happy to help!

That’s all for now. Did we miss anything? E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu for more information!

cel-what?

On Tuesday, October 18 from 4-5PM in the Dakin Living Room, Nell Arnold, assistant professor of fiction writing, and Ivana Staiti, community engagement and collaborative learning coordinator, set out to answer this question for an audience of staff, faculty, and new students. Have you started your CEL-1 yet? Still have questions? Read on for some great information on who to ask and how to get going.

What Happened:
After a brief (but vibrant!) conversation about the philosophy behind this graduation requirement, our presenters walked the group through the CEL-1 website and the process for signing up for activities. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about specific offerings and suggest some additional projects. Did you see the CEL-What? bulletin boards in Dakin and Merrill Houses? Each attendee received a copy of the brochure that inspired those boards, which are chock full of information about FAQs, what counts, and other great tips. Most of this information is available on the CEL-1 website, so please check it out if you haven’t already!

What We Learned:

  • There are lots of different ways to complete the requirement, and there’s no need to choose just one activity to satisfy all 40 hours. By engaging in a multitude of activities, you’ll gain experience in different areas of campus life, meet more people, and have more opportunities to connect the CEL-1 to your academic interests.
  • New activities are posted almost every day, and each has a different timeline. Check back regularly to learn more about short and long term opportunities. Some last only a day, while others span entire semesters. You never know what you’ll find.
  • Participation in student groups, OPRA, EPEC, and Lemelson courses counts towards this requirement, so you may have already started without even knowing it. Talk to your advisor and take a look at the website for more information on how to register the things that you’ve already started, and to ensure that these hours count towards your completion.
  • Although there are countless posted activities, it is possible to create your own. Staff, faculty, Division II, and Division III students can sponsor activities. If there’s something you’d really like to work on, talk to your advisor about how your idea will fit into the requirement and how to find someone to sponsor your work.

Use These Resources:

Did we miss anything? E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu for more information!

making the most of division I

It’s your first year of college. You’re going to class. You’re getting involved. You may even have started planning for next semester. You know what you need to do to complete Division I, but are you making the most of your Div I experience?

On Tuesday, October 4, the office of new student programs invited Division I students to explore this question with a panel of Division II and Division III students from 7-8PM in the Dakin Living Room. Couldn’t make it? Read on for details about what you missed!

What Happened:
Three current students, all of whom were Orientation Leaders during new student orientation this fall, shared stories of their Division I experiences with a packed room of Division I students. Each brought a different perspective on their successes and struggles during their first year at Hampshire, and attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about how each student navigated their unique Division I experience. From stories of discovering interests in the least likely of academic fields, to the importance of asking for help, to finding life balance, Division I students received plenty of insight on how to make the most of their first year at Hampshire.

Advice from the Panel:

  • Trust your gut when selecting your classes. Try to pick them and like them without thinking too much about your biases and past.
  • Find things you love to do outside of class (student groups, activities, programs, and events, etc.). They can influence and enhance your academics and also keep you centered when things get difficult.
  • Try your best to manage your time well. Think ahead throughout the semester to ensure that you complete assignments on time without having to sacrifice sleep (or work quality!)
  • Know your limits. You may have a list of 10 different student groups you’d like to join, but it’s important to be realistic about your time commitments. Choose the few things that you’re most interested in to start with, and if you can take more on, do so gradually.
  • Keep an open mind. Division I offers a unique opportunity for you to explore different areas of study, meet faculty, and figure out what you really like. The thing you don’t think you’re interested in now might become the basis for your Division II or Division III work. Anything can happen!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are tons of resources at your disposal, from the Writing Center, to the library, to the center for academic support and advising (CASA). Wondering where to start? Feel free to ask the office of new student programs!

Use These Resources:
Presenters suggested quite a few resources to the attendees. Here are the ones we discussed the most:

  • Need help with your writing? Contact the Writing Center to learn more about how they can help you improve.
  • Looking for research help? Visit the Johnson Library, and stop by the Infobar near the Circulation Desk for information on resources, special programs, and to ask questions.
  • Looking to get involved on campus? Stop by the campus leadership and activities office (CLA), or browse the list of student groups. Subscribe to campus mailing lists to keep yourself informed about what’s happening on campus.
  • Have you started your CEL-1 yet? Learn more about the CEL-1 on their website, read the FAQ, and browse open opportunities. Still have questions? Send an e-mail to cel1@hampshire.edu, or come to ‘CEL-What? Exploring and Understanding the CEL-1 Requirement for Division I Students,’ on Tuesday, October 18 at 4PM in the Dakin Living Room. You bring questions, we’ll bring food!

Need more information about anything we’ve covered? E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu.