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    Jun 15, 2024  
2024-2025 Working Catalog [DRAFT] 
    
2024-2025 Working Catalog [DRAFT]

Anchor Plan and Curriculum Objectives



Anchor Plan

The Anchor Plan is the heart of a Hope education in which students explore fundamental and emerging questions about humanity, the natural world and God.

They seek answers through humanistic, artistic, mathematical, scientific, social scientific, behavioral and religious modes of inquiry. Grounded in the traditions of the liberal arts and the historic Christian faith, the Anchor Plan calls students to cultivate curiosity, pursue truth and knowledge, care about the world around them, communicate with clarity and grace, and bridge boundaries that divide communities. 

Through Hope College’s Anchor Plan, students will: 

  1. Examine fundamental or emerging questions about humanity, the natural world, or God by seeking answers through different modes of inquiry.
  2. Reflect on the diverse perspectives, cultures and historical experiences of people in the United States and the world.
  3. Practice Hope College’s Virtues of Public Discourse: humility to listen, hospitality to welcome, patience to understand, courage to challenge, honesty to speak the truth in love.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to communicate to a specific audience by employing multiple approaches, media or languages.
  5. Analyze evidence or data to solve problems, reach informed conclusions or make sound judgements.
  6. Understand key tenets of the historic Christian faith.
  7. Explain their own values, commitments and convictions.

There is no required sequencing of courses, except for the First Year Seminar, Senior Seminar, the different levels of Perspectives courses in conjunction with Expository Writing, and other courses that require specific prerequisites.

First Year Seminar

The purpose of the First Year Seminar is to introduce students to the liberal arts tradition and provide an intellectual transition into Hope College.

In the seminar, each section with a unique topic, students will explore fundamental or emerging questions that they answer through multiple modes of inquiry and through listening to and understanding diverse perspectives. Thus, the seminar will serve as a critical first step in preparing students for lives of leadership and service in a global society.

Associated Student Learning Outcomes

The Seminar will introduce the following learning outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Examine fundamental or emerging questions about humanity, the natural world, or God by seeking answers through different modes of inquiry.
  • Outcome 2: Reflect on the diverse perspectives, cultures, and historical experiences of people in the United States and the world.
  • Outcome 3: Practice Hope College’s Virtues of Public Discourse: humility to listen, hospitality to welcome, patience to understand, courage to challenge, honesty to speak the truth in love.

IDS 100: First Year Seminar (3 credits)

FYS is an interdisciplinary introduction to the liberal arts and to college-level ways of learning. This three-credit course will be taught topically and will engage fundamental or emerging questions on topics such as humanity, the natural world, and God that are broadly explored through the liberal arts. While each section will cover a unique topic and have additional specific learning objectives, all sections will include instruction and activities related to the three broad student learning outcomes listed above.

The instructor of the First Year Seminar will also be the student’s academic advisor. This will allow the student and advisor an opportunity to get to know each other in an academic setting. Conversations about other courses, grades, adjustment to college, personal interests, career goals, and campus involvements will occur more naturally in this setting.

Each FYS section will include instructional sessions introducing students to content that is critical to the course including the Library, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Boerigter Center, the Registrar’s Office and other campus partners.

The First Year Seminar must be taken in the first semester (fall semester) of a first-year student’s academic program. The seminar may not be repeated in subsequent semesters. Transfer students are exempted from this course.

The director of the First Year Seminar Program is Dr. Ryan White.

Expository Writing

The primary purpose of this component of the general education program is to equip Hope College students with essential writing and associated research skills and practices for education and life.

ENGL 113 serves as a foundation for additional writing instruction that occurs in subsequent writing-intensive general education courses and courses in the majors.

Associated Student Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes will be introduced:

  • Outcome 4: Demonstrate an ability to communicate to a specific audience by employing multiple approaches, media, or languages.
  • Outcome 5: Analyze evidence or data to solve problems, reach informed conclusions or make sound judgements.

ENGL 113: Expository Writing (3 credits)

This course is normally completed during the first year of a student’s academic program. Emphasis in the course will be on the student’s ability to express thoughts clearly in writing. The course also stresses the development of critical thinking skills with an emphasis on information literacy and library research. Generally, the course is taught topically, leaving the area of exploration to the discretion to the individual instructor. All sections of the course focus on the writing process, and all instructors shape their courses with writing objectives constantly in mind.

Some sections of this course may emphasize global learning; these sections may also satisfy the global learning component of the general education program.

Health Dynamics

The purpose of Health Dynamics is to help students understand the principles of exercise, proper diet, stress management, and to establish habits and skills that will enable them to reach and maintain good health and fitness for life.

This requirement addresses the behavioral way of knowing about one’s body and one’s health.

Associated Student Learning Outcomes

Health Dynamics will introduce the following learning outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Examine fundamental or emerging questions about humanity, the natural world, or God by seeking answers through different modes of inquiry.
  • Outcome 5: Analyze evidence or data to solve problems, reach informed conclusions or make sound judgements.

KIN 140: Health Dynamics (2 credits)

This course will emphasize the importance of good health, a healthy diet, the value of exercise, and the ability to manage stress, thus seeking to develop patterns that will serve each student for life. Health Dynamics should be taken in the first year of a student’s academic program.

Mathematics and Natural Science

Mathematics

The purpose of the mathematics component is to deepen the student’s understanding of mathematical reasoning, address some of the prevalent misconceptions of mathematics, and demonstrate both the usefulness and limitations of mathematical models in a variety of applications. This requirement addresses mathematical thinking and skills; written and oral communication; and analytical, synthetic and systematic thinking.

Natural Science

The purpose of the natural and applied science component is to deepen the student’s understanding of the processes of science and the way in which science interprets the world. The science component focuses both on “doing” science, and on the influence of science and technology on both society and the environment.

Courses will emphasize the hands-on nature of science. This requirement pushes students to explore questions about what it means to be physical beings in a physical world and how to live in a changing world. In addition, it enables them to understand and constructively engage technology.

Associated Student Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes will be introduced in all mathematics and natural and applied sciences courses:

  • Outcome 1: Examine fundamental or emerging questions about humanity, the natural world, or God by seeking answers through different modes of inquiry.
  • Outcome 5: Analyze evidence or data to solve problems, reach informed conclusions or make sound judgements.

In addition, Natural Science and Applied lab course will introduce this outcome: Demonstrate an ability to communicate to a specific audience by employing multiple approaches, media, or languages.

Mathematics and Natural Science Courses (10 credits)

The total mathematics and natural science requirement is ten credits. There are a variety of ways in which this requirement can be satisfied; the options differ depending on whether the student is a science or non-science major.

For non-science majors: Take any combination of ten credits in the natural and applied sciences division, with the stipulation that two credits be in mathematics and that one course include a lab (NSL). The remaining credits may be a combination of GEMS, mathematics courses or science disciplinary courses (biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geological and environmental sciences, physics).

For science majors: Courses already required in the sciences and mathematics for natural and applied science division majors will satisfy this requirement, however, at least two disciplines must be represented.

Religion

The mission of the college is “to offer, with recognized excellence, academic programs in the liberal arts… in the context of the historic Christian faith.” The general education requirement in religion is related to the mission of the college in two ways.

First, religion is one of the liberal arts central to questions of human identity; therefore, an academic program in religion takes its place among the other academic programs in the liberal arts.

Second, the general education requirement in religion provides students with a college-level understanding of “the historic Christian faith,” the context for education at Hope College.

Associated Student Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes will be introduced:

REL 100-Level: Outcome 7: Explain their own values, commitments, and convictions.

REL 200-Level:

  • Outcome 1: Examine fundamental or emerging questions about humanity, the natural world, or God by seeking answers through different modes of inquiry.
  • Outcome 5: Analyze evidence or data to solve problems, reach informed conclusions or make sound judgements.

Christian Tenets: All students will be required to take one course with a Christian Tenets attribute, which fulfills Objective 6: Understanding the key tenets of the historic Christian faith. This could be in a REL 100-level or REL 200-level course.

Religion Courses (6 credits)

Two courses totaling six credits are necessary to satisfy this requirement. With Student Learning Objective 6, “Understand key tenets of the historic Christian faith,” every student will take a course in the Department of Religion that aligns directly with this part of the mission of Hope College. Students will be required to take a Religion 100 or 200 level class marked with a “Christian Tenet” attribute. 

Arts and Humanities

The arts and humanities enrich and ennoble the human spirit. In this area of the Anchor Plan, students explore enduring and contemporary questions of what it means to be human.

Immersed in these modes of inquiry, students will observe the world around them, listen to and engage diverse perspectives, draw conclusions, and spark communication and dialogue through the creative process.

Associated Student Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes will be introduced:

Arts in Practice: Outcome 4: Demonstrate an ability to communicate to a specific audience by employing multiple approaches, media, or languages.

Philosophical Perspectives: Outcome 3: Practice Hope College’s Virtues of Public Discourse: humility to listen, hospitality to welcome, patience to understand, courage to challenge, honesty to speak the truth in love.

100-Level Perspectives: Outcome 1: Examine fundamental or emerging questions about humanity, the natural world, or God by seeking answers through different modes of inquiry.

200-Level Perspectives:

  • Outcome 4: Demonstrate an ability to communicate to a specific audience by employing multiple approaches, media, or languages.
  • Outcome 5: Analyze evidence or data to solve problems, reach informed conclusions or make sound judgements.

Arts and Humanities Courses (11-12 credits)

Arts in Practice courses (2-3 credits)

In this area of the Anchor Plan, students explore enduring and contemporary questions of what it means to be human. Immersed in these modes of inquiry, students will observe the world around them, listen to and engage diverse perspectives, draw conclusions, and spark communication and dialogue through the creative process.

Humanistic and Artistic Perspectives courses (9 credits)

These are courses where students examine artistic and humanistic approaches to knowledge, the first of which must be at the 100 level, and the other two at the 200 and above level. The three required areas are:

  • Human Creative Perspectives: These courses will explore the creative endeavor, past and present, within the visual, performing and literary arts. Students will encounter the myriad ways in which people across time and cultures have used creative expression for unlocking humanity’s greatest potential for love, beauty and wonder, as well as documenting the human capacity for destruction and folly. Students will learn strategies for interpreting the arts and related primary sources, while also building empathy and a deeper understanding of the human condition.
  • Philosophical Perspectives: These courses will explore the ways people ask and answer questions fundamental to understanding humanity, the natural world, and God. Students will explore these questions through deep reading as well as written and oral argument. In these courses students cultivate skills of intelligent inquiry and practice the virtues of public discourse.
  • Historical Perspectives: These courses will explore the ways in which people in the past imagined, understood, and lived in societies, as well as the social, political, and cultural contexts in which societies changed over time. Students will engage in historical interpretation by examining multiple perspectives , using a variety of written, visual, oral, and/or musical primary sources, and employing strategies for interpreting them.

100-Level course requirements

  • A focus on reading, viewing, listening to, discussing, and analyzing original or primary sources
  • Close reading, viewing or listening to of texts and objects
  • Introduction to approaches to knowledge from a specific disciplinary perspective in the arts and humanities
  • Reflective and/or analytical writing to develop a deeper understanding of human thoughts, experiences and creations.

200-Level (or above) course requirements

  • Prerequisites: ENGL 113 and one introductory Arts and Humanities course
  • More advanced/focused approaches to knowledge from a specific disciplinary perspective in the arts and humanities
  • Two or more academic writing assignments that total at least 20 pages (This is a course page total, not necessarily a total for one assignment. One could, for example, assign four 5-page essays that total about twenty pages).
  • At least one of these is a thesis-driven assignment that integrates research an demonstrates information literacy.
  • The courses will have writing process activities in the syllabus that include feedback from peers and the instructor. These processes will include the opportunity for students to revise their writing based on critiques of their written work.
  • One of the significant writing assignments will go through a revision process - a substantial work that participates in process writing.

Social Sciences

The purpose of the social science requirement is to provide students with social scientific perspectives on human, social and institutional behavior.

The social sciences provide a unique perspective for enabling students to explore and understand central questions of human identity. This requirement addresses the Anchor Plan vision of various modes of inquiry concerning knowing about humanity. These courses explore what it means to be social beings who shape, and are shaped, by each other and by cultures.

They help prepare students to live in a changing world, enabling them to understand and constructively engage their heritage, community, nation and world and to deal with technology, social complexity and cultural diversity.

Associated Student Learning Outcomes

The Social Science requirement will introduce the following learning outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Examine fundamental or emerging questions about humanity, the natural world, or God by seeking answers through different modes of inquiry.
  • Outcome 5: Analyze evidence or data to solve problems, reach informed conclusions or make sound judgements.

Social Science courses (6 credits)

The Social Science requirement is met with two courses (a minimum of six credits), from two different social science departments (communication, economics, political science, psychology, sociology). These courses engage students in the given discipline’s “mode of inquiry” about important questions related to human, social and institutional behavior. Students experience how the given social science discipline asks questions, gathers information, critically evaluates the method and results to make informed answers and/or conclusions. Social Science classes emphasize ways of knowing in the social sciences, which include principles of quantitative thinking.

Human Diversities

To become effective leaders who serve in a global society, you are called to develop knowledge and skill in your chosen field(s) as well as self-awareness, curiosity, responsibility and empathy.

In order to lead or serve in a global society, students need self-knowledge and an understanding of how they and their communities shape and are shaped by social systems. This component of the curriculum consists of Global Language (3-6 credits, depending on whether students come in with language credit), Global Perspectives, and United States Diversities.

FYS and Senior Seminar often emphasize self-knowledge and therefore are particularly well suited to have students reflect on understanding themselves in relation to others. The other requirements attend to helping students understand issues of diversity in different political, economic, social, cultural, religious, scientific, and/or artistic contexts

Our plan deemphasizes a checklist approach and instead allows students to engage with issues of diversity and inclusion throughout their education at Hope.

Human Diversities components throughout the curriculum:

  • FYS component on intercultural competence
  • Global Languages
  • U.S. Diversities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Senior Seminar component on intercultural competence; assessment of intercultural competence

Courses and/or sections of courses satisfying the U.S. Diversities and Global Perspectives requirement are offered throughout the curriculum, both in the general education program and within major programs and will be flagged as such in the class schedule.

Associated Student Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes will be introduced:

Global Language:

  • Outcome 1: Examine fundamental or emerging questions about humanity, the natural world, or God by seeking answers through different modes of inquiry.
  • Outcome 2: Reflect on the diverse perspectives, cultures, and historical experiences of people in the United States and the world.
  • Outcome 4: Demonstrate an ability to communicate to a specific audience by employing multiple approaches, media, or languages.

U.S. Diversities: Outcome 2: Reflect on the diverse perspectives, cultures, and historical experiences of people in the United States and the world.

Global Perspectives: Outcome 2: Reflect on the diverse perspectives, cultures, and historical experiences of people in the United States and the world.

Human Diversities Courses (9-12 credits)

Global Language courses (3-6 credits)

The Global Language component centers on achieving a deeper understanding of the culture(s) of countries or communities through the study of language. Language study addresses what it means to be creators and users of language and prepares students to live in a global society. These courses will help students:

  • Develop competence in reading comprehension and written expression in a second language, as well as listening and oral communication for modern languages
  • Develop a deeper appreciation for worldviews different from their own through knowledge of the history, politics, religion, literature and the arts that shape cultures and societies in the past or present
  • For modern languages, gain empathy and learn to respect and understand personal cultural differences
  • Enhance their understanding of their native language

U.S. Diversities (3 credits)

The primary focus of the U.S. Diversities component centers on the diverse perspectives, cultures, and/or historical experiences of historically marginalized groups in the United States. with a focus on race as well as other categories such as ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, socioeconomic class, disability and/or environmental conditions.

  • The majority (more than 50%) of the course content is authored by or from the perspective of historically marginalized groups.
  • The course explores how communities and individuals within the United States shape and are impacted by ideas, institutions and systems. This includes a focus on issues such as equality, equity, access, justice, resilience, creative expression, and belonging.
  • These can be offered from many departments and could be part of or outside of a student’s major.

Global Perspectives (3 credits)

  • The primary focus of the Global Perspectives component centers on the diverse perspectives, cultures, and/or historical experiences of the people and communities in nations or regions outside of the United States.
  • These courses will help students to understand connections between communities, nations and/or environmental conditions.
  • The majority (more than 50%) of content authored by or from the perspective of the people of that nation or region.
  • The course explores how communities and individuals within the nation or region shape and are impacted by ideas, institutions and systems. This includes a focus on issues such as equality, equity, access, justice, resilience, creative expression, and belonging.
  • These can be offered from many departments and could be part of or outside of a student’s major.

Senior Seminar

As the milestone of graduation approaches, senior students gather in seminars to forge communities and again explore big questions about humanity, the natural world, and God through different modes of inquiry.

They will also ask questions that help them reflect on their liberal arts education such as: What does it mean to be a lifelong learner? What are my abiding beliefs and convictions and how can I live them out? What is my worldview? How can I make a difference in the world?

As the historic Christian faith is central to the mission of Hope College, Senior Seminar explores how Christianity engages with the broader world. The examination and discussion of both Christian and diverse viewpoints helps students to refine their own convictions even as they learn to comprehend, consider and evaluate perspectives different from their own. This is accomplished by engaging in activities that allow students to practice Hope’s Virtues of Public Discourse.

Associated Student Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes will be reinforced:

  • Outcome 1: Examine fundamental or emerging questions about humanity, the natural world, or God by seeking answers through different modes of inquiry.
  • Outcome 3: Practice Hope College’s Virtues of Public Discourse: humility to listen; hospitality to welcome; patience to understand; courage to challenge; honesty to speak the truth in love.
  • Outcome 7: Explain their own values, commitments, and convictions.

IDS 452: Education & Christian Ways of Living (3 credits); and IDS 492: The Senior Seminar (3 credits)

The specific purpose of the senior seminar is to ensure that before students graduate from Hope College, they have explicitly confronted questions of value and belief in a practical and concrete way. These courses will deliberately examine “Big Questions” by seeking answers through multiple disciplines, practice Hope College’s Virtues of Public Discourse, demonstrate an ability to communicate clearly, explore Christian ways of knowing, and explain what they believe and why.

Students will develop an understanding of the diverse and life-giving purposes and perspectives by which people live. They will also deepen their ability to discuss differences sensitively, reasonably, and honestly.

Because this course serves as the capstone to a student’s liberal arts education, this course should be taken no earlier than the May Term of a student’s junior year.

 

Objectives of the Curriculum

Hope College Common Learning Outcomes, updated 11/1/22

Common Learning Outcome #1

Think critically and communicate clearly. Hope graduates make critical judgements across differing ways of knowing; discern assumptions and premises; examine and evaluate arguments, generalizations, hypotheses and methods; identify biases and contradictions; assess the validity of conclusions drawn from qualitative and quantitative information and assumptions; and recognize and make appropriate distinctions among aesthetic experiences and responses in clear written and oral communication.

Common Learning Outcome #2

Approach knowledge with a liberal arts foundation. Hope graduates engage with aesthetic, historical, theoretical, technological, scientific, cultural and religious approaches to knowledge.

Common Learning Outcome #3

Demonstrate cultural awareness and competency. Hope graduates value the diversity of our society and world, demonstrate cultural competency, and identify issues requiring social justice.

Common Learning Outcome #4

Engage in intensive study. Hope graduates contribute as lifelong learners to their fields of study through continued creation and evaluation of their disciplines’ major discoveries, significant thought, methodologies, technical procedures, current practices, and challenges.

Common Learning Outcome #5

Integrate knowledge, experience, and purpose. Hope graduates, informed by a Christian world-view, integrate the human experience, knowledge, and responsibility, and create from this their personal philosophy for a purposeful life.

 

Philosophy of Education

The philosophy of education at Hope College is summarized by the phrase “Liberal Education within the Christian Tradition.” Liberal education seeks to create an appreciative awareness of human achievements and potentialities and to evaluate conceptions of human existence. It strives to provide, in the words of the Covenant of Mutual Responsibilities between the Reformed Church of America and its colleges, “an atmosphere of search and confrontation that will liberate the minds, enhance the discernment, enlarge the sympathies, and encourage the commitments of all students entrusted to (it).” It also provides those intellectual skills which will prepare students for their responsibilities as informed, sensitive, competent members of the global community.

As an academic community, the liberal arts college fosters free, sustained, disciplined inquiry with informed, critical understanding as its goal. This type of education provides the foundation for deeper inquiry into any given field. Depth of knowledge in a specialty, however, should be pursued, not as an end in itself, but as an expression of one’s intellectual and moral aims.

A liberal education within the Christian tradition also seeks to develop the whole person by infusing education with purpose and direction. Hope’s Christian heritage provides a foundation for defining moral values and making moral judgements. Reverent obedience to God, as revealed in Christ and through Scripture, provides one with a theological framework for self-understanding and social concern. Having an ultimate allegiance to the Creator of all truth frees and motivates scholarly pursuits.

A Hope College education challenges students to develop an understanding of the Christian faith as a basis for academic excellence and the fulfillment of human potential. The goal of this education, therefore, is to provide students with the intellectual and ethical foundations for lifelong learning and a life of service to others.