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Division II is the heart of a Hampshire education. In these middle two years, students articulate the questions they want to answer and develop goals for their own learning.
They work with a faculty committee to develop their own educational plan. Students and faculty work together to create a contract that guides them: helping to select or create the experiences that propel the student forward.
Students draft a Division II contract in which they lay out their ideas and questions as well as their goals for their own learning. They work with their committee to craft a plan for answering their questions and meeting their goals. These goals might be about the development of different capacities or they might be about planning for particular kinds of experiences.
The contract also includes a statement of how the student's work relates to the Multiple Cultural Perspectives requirement and any ideas about how the student plans to fulfill the Community Engagement and Learning requirement.
The Div II process entails the creation and presentation of a portfolio consisting of papers written for courses or independent projects, course and fieldwork or internship evaluations, artistic products, and other evidence that the terms of the Division II form have been fulfilled. Students are essentially curating their work and reflecting on its meaning as well as on their own learning.
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.
When determining whether a student's Division II is ready to be passed, the faculty committee takes into consideration: whether the student has met the goals set out in the contract, the number and type of courses and other learning activities in the portfolio and whether they form a comprehensive body of work; the student's proficiency with writing and other modes of expression and presentation; the student's readiness, in terms of requisite knowledge and skills, to embark on the proposed Division III project; and the student’s demonstrated ability to carry out independent work. All work completed on field study or exchange must be evaluated, documented, and recorded by the central records office.
Many students begin to formulate preliminary ideas their Division II course of study towards the end of their first year and form their committee early in their third semester (and no later than the beginning of the fourth semester). The committee consists of two Hampshire College faculty: one to act as chair and a second to act as the committee member.
Courses taken during the first Division I that are not used to fulfill Division I requirements may be applied to the Division II if relevant. The the third semester is considered a Division II semester even if a student is using one or more course to fulfill a Division I requirement.
Committee members electronically sign the contract, which files it with central records. Division II is a four-semester undertaking, with at least three semesters completed after filing the Division II contract. The portfolio of work submitted to the Division II committee represents the equivalent of four semesters' worth of work in Division II. Generally, students complete four evaluated experiences each semester.
Division II Proposal and Committee Selection
Students work with their Division I advisors to craft their preliminary ideas for Division II on the Hub and to think about appropriate faculty to consider for their Division II committee. Students should make a point of meeting and talking with faculty with whom they would like to work.
Role of the Committee Chair
A member of the Division II committee is designated as the chairperson. The chairperson has the primary responsibility for monitoring the progress of the concentration, overseeing the final meeting, and writing the student's Division II evaluation. The Division II chair serves as the academic advisor, unless a student, by filing a form with the center for academic support and advising, requests that a different faculty member serve as the academic advisor.
Revising Your Contract
The initial Division II contract must be revised during the final semester of Division II to accurately portray the work that was completed in Division II and to reflect changes in focus. Many students revise the contract periodically. The revised concentration form must be signed by all members of the committee before it can be passed.
The student is responsible for fulfilling all the commitments detailed in the Division II contract.
Community Engagement and Learning Evaluation
Students must have a community sponsor verify the completion of their Community Engagement and Learning requirement on TheHub and complete a self-reflection on their experiences prior to passing their Division II.
Before a final meeting is scheduled, the student should contact the chairperson to verify that all of the materials to be submitted for evaluation as specified by the contract have been made available to each committee member.
At that point, the student should arrange the time of the final meeting with each of the members of the committee. The final meeting is normally an oral examination of the student's Division II work, which involves a discussion of the central questions addressed in the concentration. Students should include a statement about prospective Division III work as a part of the Division II portfolio submitted for evaluation.
Online Pass Form
All Hampshire faculty committee members must sign the online pass form. The pass date recorded will be the date the last committee member signs the pass online. The committee chairperson will then write a formal evaluation online in accordance with evaluation deadlines.
NOTE: Under exceptional circumstances, students who have made accelerated progress in their Division II studies may, with the support of their Division II committee, request to complete Division II at the end of five semesters of enrollment. To do so, students must complete the application form available at the center for academic support and advising and secure written support from both Division II committee members. The full application must be submitted to CASA no later than November 1 or April 1 of a student's fifth semester. The granting of such a request would allow the student to begin the Division III at the beginning of the sixth semester. Division III requires at least two full semesters of enrollment.