Sep 28, 2021  
Whittier College Catalog 2021-2022 
    
Whittier College Catalog 2021-2022

Whittier Scholars Program


Curriculum

Whittier Scholars Program

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Program Purpose and Values                                                                                                       0

Program Description                                                                                                                         1

Program Goal                                                                                                                                   2

Program Objectives                                                                                                                          2

Whittier Scholars Courses                                                                                                                2

Curricular Map                                                                                                                                3

Course Descriptions                                                                                                                      4

WSP 101 – Individual, Identity, Community 3 credits                                                                4

WSP 201 – Designing Your Education 1 credit                                                                         4

WSP 299 – Internship Reflection 1-3 credits                                                                             4

WSP 301 – Project and Portfolio Design 1 credit                                                                      4

WSP 399 – Praxis Reflection 1 credit                                                                                        5

WSP 401 - Senior Project Workshop 1 credit                                                                            5

WSP 495 - Interdisciplinary Independent Study 1-4 credit                                                        5

WSP 499 - Senior Symposium 1 credit                                                                                      5

Course Frequency                                                                                                                            6

 

 

Program Purpose and Values

The Whittier Scholars Program helps students

  • Discern their academic focus and purpose by learning about how academic preparation relates to life goals
  • Define and communicate their academic choices to themselves and others
  • Facilitate cross-cohort connections between alumni, students, and prospective students.
  • The Program’s focus on discernment, communication, and connecting academics to life goals increases equity of student success as it demystifies the processes and expectations of college life.
  • Whittier Scholars courses scaffold integrative learning skills throughout the full undergraduate experience of our students, and provide evidence of the development of those skills in student ePortfolios.
  • Whittier Scholars students may design their own majors and/or minors, or they may pursue any major offered at the College.
  • Self-designed majors and/or minors must be developmental and interdisciplinary (connecting courses from at least two different departments).
  • All Whittier Scholars Educational Designs must identify at least one methodological course that provides coherence to the design and grounds a long-term research-based creative, scholarly, or applied project.
  • All Whittier Scholars student-designed pathways will integrate each of the following: off-campus experience, long term research-based project, course-based learning experiences, and may include co-curricular learning, and group projects.
  • Students may include co-curricular experiences among students’ educational choices when they support curricular learning.

Program Description

The Whittier Scholars Program offers students the opportunity to pursue a self-designed education at Whittier College. The Program embodies Whittier College’s mission and values through an individualized set of requirements tailored to each student. Students in the Whittier Scholars Program integrate all aspects of their college experience into individualized “Educational Designs,” which are customized educational pathways designed to actualize personal aptitudes and ambitions. These pathways may include any of the majors or minors offered at Whittier or self-designed majors or minors. In a series of small seminars, students synthesize learning experiences across a spectrum of fields, discern their academic focus, and work together with others to connect their co-curricular engagements with their aspirations and burgeoning skills.

 

An iterative design process affords students opportunities to imagine, plan, practice, and reflect on their learning, their goals, and their educational choices. Students create their Educational Designs with close mentorship from members of the Whittier Scholars Council and other faculty. Educational Designs incorporate 4-6 courses (8-13 credits) in the Whittier Scholars Program, a carefully curated selection of courses from all divisions of the College, at least one off-campus learning experience, a mentored capstone project, and a digital portfolio that reflects each student’s goals and growing proficiencies.

Program Goal

The Whittier Scholars curriculum is designed to foster effective expression in multiple modes and media, cultivate community engagement and a habit of self-reflection, and instantiate practical and scholarly skills appropriate to students’ academic and professional goals.

Program Objectives

  1. (PURPOSE) Whittier Scholars develop, refine, and pursue their own educational goals. 
  2. (INTEGRATION) Whittier Scholars synthesize their achievements and reflect on their learning process in a portfolio of work in multiple modes adapted to various audiences. 
  3. (BREADTH) Whittier Scholars attain foundational knowledge in a variety of methodologies or theoretical perspectives.
  4. (DEPTH) Whittier Scholars demonstrate the development of proficiencies relevant to their self-designed education through the completion of original work. 
  5. (PRAXIS) Whittier Scholars integrate academic competencies with co-curricular and off-campus learning experiences involving research, study abroad, internships, or service learning.

Whittier Scholars Courses

Minimum eight credits; maximum thirteen credits.

WSP 101                                                                                             Individual, Identity, Community          3 credits

WSP 201                                                                                             Designing Your Education      1 credit

WSP 299*                                                                                           Internship Reflection   1-3 credits (alternate for WSP399)
WSP 301                                                                                             Portfolio and Project Design   1 credit
WSP 399*                                                                                           Praxis Reflection        1 credit                                                                                                             (alternate for WSP 299)
WSP 401                                                                                             Senior Project Workshop        1 credit
WSP 495**                                                                                          Interdisciplinary Independent Study   1-4 credits (alternate for senior seminar)

WSP498***                                                                                         Workshop & Symposium        1-2 credits (for midyear graduates)
WSP 499                                                                                             Senior Symposium     1 credit

 

*Students are required to take either WSP 299 or WSP 399, or both with prior permission.

**With permission, students may take an independent study course WSP495 in place of a disciplinary research seminar.

**With permission, students graduating midyear may take WSP498 to complete the senior requirements in a single semester.

Curricular Map

Students in the Program pursue the Program Learning Objectives throughout their entire Whittier College education. Through a mentored process of integrative learning (2) students plan their own learning goals to achieve the breadth (3) of a liberal education and the depth (4) of a major. They also plan courses, off-campus learning experiences (5), co-curricular activities, and research projects to attain each of their goals (1), and the resulting “Educational Designs” are reviewed and approved by members of the Scholars Council (acting as representatives of the faculty of Whittier College). Approved Educational Designs are tracked and administered by Scholars Program faculty and staff working in tandem with the Registrar’s office, and finalized plans become graduation requirements under the supervision of the Associate Dean of Whittier Scholars.

 

 

(1) PURPOSE

(2) INTEGRATIVE LEARNING

(3) BREADTH

(4) DEPTH

(5) PRAXIS

Integrative Courses

 

 

 

 

 

WSP101

3 cr

I

I

I

 

 

WSP201

1 cr

D

D

 

I

I

WSP299

1-3 cr*

D

D

 

 

D

WSP301

1 cr

D

D

D

D

 

WSP 399

1 cr*

 

D

 

 

D

WSP401

1 cr

R

D

 

D

R

WSP495

1-4**

 

 

 

R

 

WSP498

1-2***

R

R

R

R

 

WSP499

1 cr

R

R

R

R

 

Foundational Courses

 

 

 

 

Key:

Required for liberal arts

 

 

D, R

 

I= Introduced

Major(s) plus Minor(s)

 

 

 

 

D= Developed

30-60 cr per major, 16-29 cr per minor

 

 

 

D, R

R=Reinforced

Notes:

*  Most students will choose either WSP299 or WSP399; they may take both only with permission.

**Students may choose an independent study if an appropriate seminar is not available.

Andrea Rehn, Director of the Whittier Scholars Program and Digital Liberal Arts Program, Associate Academic Dean, and Associate Professor of English

Charles Eastman , Associate Director of the Whittier Scholars Program, Director of College Writing Program, and Senior Lecturer in Writing

The Whittier Scholars Council, consisting of appointed faculty members from across the College and elected student members, governs the Whittier Scholars Program (WSP).

The Whittier Scholars Program (WSP) is a rigorous, individualized program that offers a high quality, innovative path to a liberal arts degree. Working with faculty advisors and their peers, students in the Scholars Program construct curricular paths that support their unique educational goals while also achieving the crucial competencies of well-educated global citizens. Through interdisciplinary seminars, discussions with faculty and peers, and experiential learning opportunities, students explore fundamental questions that connect their educational experiences to their personal goals, and thereby help them define themselves within their various communities. At least one connected learning experience, such as study abroad, an off-campus internship, or a service learning program, helps students integrate their education into their lives beyond college.

Central to the Scholars Program is the Educational Design process. Through an interdisciplinary seminar and with the assistance of a faculty advisor, students design their own course of study. Each design must have coherence and purpose while supporting the goals of the individual student. All designs are presented to, defended before, and approved by faculty members of the Whittier Scholars Council. As they pursue their approved Educational Designs toward the BA degree, students continue to examine their goals, objectives and values through increasingly advanced, interdisciplinary Scholars seminars.

To offer students maximum flexibility in their design of their own course of study, the program has few specific requirements. A total of ten credits of coursework spread across the college years, the connected learning experience described above, and a Senior Project and public presentation of the project, are required to complete the program successfully. In addition, Scholars are required to meet the campus College Writing requirement. See the course descriptions below for detailed descriptions of each Scholars course.

The Senior Project is the culmination of the Whittier Scholars Program, and embodies long-term focused work on a project conceptualized, designed, and executed by the student, with the assistance of a faculty sponsor. The concept must be presented and defended to faculty members of the Whittier Scholars Program in the form of a proposal which frames the Project, places it in a disciplinary context, and provides a bibliography and timetable for completion. Each student works on the Project with a faculty Sponsor selected by the student who serves as a mentor and guide through the process. The Project may be a research paper, an art portfolio, a video game, the production of a play, or anything else that allows the student to demonstrate their scholarship and grows from the student’s approved Educational Design. The Senior Project offers students the opportunity to demonstrate that they can learn on their own, that they have attained a level of mastery appropriate to advanced undergraduate work, and that they are aware of the relationship of their work to others in their own and different disciplines. Students then share their Senior Projects with the larger Whittier College Community as part of a Scholar’s Senior Symposium series.

Admission for First-Year Students: Provisional acceptance to the Whittier Scholars Program requires admission to the College and completion of an application to the program concurrent with enrollment in one of the first two courses in the program. Full acceptance follows successful completion of the first seminar, the Educational Design course, and Whittier Scholars Council approval of the student’s unique Educational Design.

Admission for Advanced and/or Transfer Students: An accelerated path through the program is available for students with Sophomore or Junior standing. Contact the Director of the Program for details.

Whittier Scholars Program Requirements

  • Six credits of College Writing (College Writing Seminar or equivalent and a second 3-credit approved writing course).
  • An approved Educational Design with includes courses in each of the divisions of the college: Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences.
  • Whittier Scholars courses WSP 101  , WSP 201  , WSP 301  and WSP 401 .
  • A Senior Project and Senior Symposium
  • Completion of at least 120 college credits.

If a student transfers from the Whittier Scholars Program to the Liberal Education Program, the student must submit a formal letter signed by his/her advisor and the Director of the Whittier Scholars Program to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar will then evaluate the student’s academic record as though the student were a transfer student with regard to the Liberal Education requirements.

Courses