Students begin to formulate a preliminary course of study for Division II during the third semester. By the middle of the term, students post a preliminary Division II proposal and request potential committee members online. By the end of the third semester (and no later than the beginning of the fourth semester) a Division II committee is formed, consisting of two Hampshire College faculty who, together with the student, discuss how the student's interests and goals might best be addressed. The student drafts a Division II statement: a description of various learning activities to be completed over the span of Division II that reflects the student's interests and goals as well as the concern for breadth and intellectual rigor.
As each student carries out Division II, the faculty committee provides criticism, advice, and ongoing evaluation. The process culminates in the presentation of a portfolio consisting of papers written for courses or independent projects, course and field work or internship evaluations, artistic products, or other evidence that the terms of the Division II form have been fulfilled. The student and the committee members discuss the material, and if the student is judged to have passed the Division II, the Division II committee prepares a Division II evaluation that will be recorded in the student's online academic file.
Division II Requirements For Students Who Entered Prior to Fall 2011
In addition to carrying out the work defined by the Division II contract, every Hampshire student must also complete two additional academic requirements prior to completing Division II work: multiple cultural perspectives, and community service.
Multiple Cultural Perspectives Requirement
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 proposal) 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 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.
In satisfying this requirement, students can choose one or more of the following critical issues. However, students are encouraged to integrate all three issues into their Division II:
A. Non-Western Perspectives
Study of non-Western peoples and cultures will help our 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.
B. 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.
C. 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 A (non-Western perspectives) or B (race) into their Division II.
Community Service Requirement
Hampshire's commitment to community-based learning and service emerges in part from the obligation that all institutions of higher learning have to serve the larger communities of which they are a part. This commitment also emerges from Hampshire's distinctive pedagogy, which stresses engaged scholarship and development of the critical inquiry and leadership skills necessary to enable students to participate responsibly in a complex world. The fulfillment of the community service requirement should provide the student with the opportunity to contribute in a substantial manner to the college and/or to meeting critical needs as defined by community-based organizations outside the college. The nature of the service provided should complement students' individualized academic programs and encourage them to collaborate in helping communities to address important needs. To the extent possible, Hampshire encourages students to integrate their community-based service learning experiences into their academic work and to document this work through reflective writing in the Division II portfolio. To satisfy the community service requirement the student must satisfactorily complete substantial service opportunities that have been approved by the Division II committee.
Evaluations of community service must be submitted to and recorded by the central records office prior to passing the Division II concentration.