The first stage of a Hampshire education, meant to expose students to at least one course (or other supervised learning activity) in four out of five distribution areas to fulfill their distribution requirements. These areas are Arts, Design, and Media (ADM); Culture, Humanities, and Languages (CHL); Mind, Brain, and Information (MBI); Physical and Biological Sciences (PBS); and Power, Community, and Social Justice (PCSJ).
To complete Div I, students must finish seven courses (or supervised learning activities): one tutorial, one 100-level or specially designated 200-level course in four out of five distribution areas (which includes the tutorial) and three electives, which can be any course or supervised learning activity in any school.
In addition to the seven courses, students must complete one or more campus-engaged learning activities (CEL-1) totaling a minimum of 40 hours, approximately equal to course contact hours. The appropriate CEL-1 will be determined in consultation with the tutorial advisor and activity sponsor. The student will document the fulfillment of the CEL-1 and include a reflection on it in the Division I retrospective essay.
After completing all the necessary courses as well as fulfilling the CEL-1, students pass Div I by: 1) writing a retrospective essay that describes their intellectual development during Div I, and 2) handing in a portfolio of selected Div I work. The tutorial teacher, who is also the student’s advisor, can set the specific conditions for the retrospective and portfolio (number of pages, format, etc.). Once the advisor receives them (usually early in the fall of the second year, unless the student still needs to finish one or more of the eight requirements), s/he will schedule a final meeting with the student to discuss Div I, and then pass the student on the Hub and write an evaluation of the student’s Div I performance.