Your courses at Hiram will help you develop intellectually, providing critical skills and information that will equip you for a career after college. They also will help you put your acquired knowledge in social perspective, asking you to consider how you might put your skills in the service of others.
Your graduation requirements include successful completion of Hiram's Core Curriculum, consisting of the first-year colloquium and seminar, eight "ways of knowing" and interdisciplinary requirements.
The First-Year Program
Your colloquium (fall 12-week term) and seminar (spring 12-week term) comprise the first-year program. Together, these two courses help you to improve your written and oral communication, to develop your library research skills and to enhance your capacity to critically read, analyze and discuss significant literature. In essence, they should be your first step at Hiram toward developing the intellectual capacities to critically engage your world.
These are not the only classes you will take during your first year, however. They are just your introductory courses. You'll typically take three classes during each 12-week session, and one class during each 3-week session. There are some exceptions, like if you take music lessons or student development courses. Your advisor will help you make sure you're registered for what you need.
Ways of Knowing
You'll take one course from each of the eight areas designated as core components of the Hiram College liberal arts education. These eight academic areas are:
- creative methods (CM)
- interpretive methods (IM)
- modeling methods (MM)
- experimental scientific methods (SM)
- social and cultural analysis (CA)
- experiencing the world (EW)
- understanding diversity at home (UD)
- ethics and social responsibility (ES)
Some of these categories represent "ways of knowing," that is, means by which we acquire and analyze information. In essence, they are geared toward developing your skills as a thinker. Other categories represent our goal of developing social awareness, attuning you to the ethical dimensions of interacting with others in society.
The interdisciplinary requirement is designed to help you learn how to analyze a topic from the perspectives of two or more disciplines and to recognize and integrate diverse viewpoints. Such classes deepen your skills as a thinker, for they will force you to entertain multiple perspectives on a topic at once.