In addition to carrying out the work defined by the Division II contract, every Hampshire student must complete two academic requirements prior to completing Division II work: Multiple Cultural Perspectives and Community Engagement and Learning (CEL-2).
Multiple Cultural Perspectives
Hampshire College is committed to the principle that a liberal arts education should include a serious engagement with multiple cultural perspectives. The Multiple Cultural Perspectives requirement is to be an integral part of the set of questions that guide the Division II at its inception (Division II contract) and completion (Division II portfolio). In consultation with their Division II committee, students will fulfill the requirement through substantial engagement with one or more of the following critical issues: non-Western perspectives; race in the United States; and relations of knowledge and power. At the completion of the concentration, students will present the results of their work on the Multiple Cultural Perspectives requirement in their Division II portfolio, including course work and/or independent research. Students will also describe in their retrospective essay (or elsewhere) the impact those explorations have on their concentration as a whole. This requirement will be described and assessed as part of the Division II evaluation.
Critical Issues for Multiple Cultural Perspectives Requirement
In satisfying this requirement, students can choose to address one or more of the following critical issues. However, students are encouraged to integrate all three issues into their Division II:
- Non-Western perspectives: Study of non-Western peoples and cultures helps students to understand better the cultural diversity of the interconnected world at large. An intellectually vigorous engagement with non-Western perspectives expands the way one comprehends the world. To achieve this goal, students must incorporate study of non-Western peoples and cultures into their Division II.
- Race in the United States: Study of the history, politics, and culture of race in the United States and elsewhere will enable our students to understand better the conditions that underlie discrepancies of power that often fall along racial lines. Serious academic study of theories and analyses pertaining to “race” offers a more critical approach to students’ education. To achieve this goal, students must incorporate study of the roles that race and racism play in American culture and society into their Division II.
- Knowledge and power: The influence of discrepancies in power and privilege is hidden from most scholarly discourse, where the canons of academic disciplines are apt to be presented as neutral and universal. Study of how academic knowledge may be shaped by relations of power and difference will help our students think more critically about the processes under which intellectual or artistic perspectives can be either privileged or marginalized. To achieve this goal, students must incorporate study of the relations between power and knowledge, in regard to either non-Western perspectives or race, into their Division II.
Community Engaged Learning CEL-2
Hampshire’s pedagogy stresses the importance of critical inquiry and the development of knowledge that enables students to participate responsibly in a complex world. Students integrate the knowledge gained from beyond the classroom into their academic work through documentation and reflection.
The Community Engaged Learning - 2 (CEL-2) requirement encourages students to build community on and off campus in order to help address critical needs, as defined by communities and organizations while advancing their own learning.
- Students demonstrate social responsibility by meeting agreed upon goals defined by an organization, person, or community on or, more typically, off campus.
- Students deepen their communication, collaboration, and ethical engagement skills.
- Students meet their own goals for learning connected to the CEL-2 experience.
- Students engage in reflection on the meaning of their out-of-classroom learning experiences, perhaps integrating their learning of theory and practice.
Working closely with their academic advisors, Hampshire students design and fulfill a meaningful experience of 40 hours or more of community engagement during their Division II. Students document their CEL-2 activities on TheHub, where they are verified and evaluated by a supervisor. In addition, by the end of Division II students are required to complete a reflective self-evaluation of their learning and their contributions to the specific community during their CEL-2.
Examples of CEL-2 experiences include:
- Internships (in local, national, or international settings) that are arranged through a course, through a Hampshire program, or independently
- Various forms of mentoring in one’s area of growing expertise (e.g., teaching assistant position, ESL, or other types of tutoring)
- Other types of applied work that require students to utilize and build upon skills and expertise related to their divisional work (e.g., campus organizations, apprenticeships with NGOs, museums, or schools)