Fall Course: First-Year Seminar
All Hope College students enroll in a First-Year Seminar (FYS) during the fall semester of their freshman year. The purpose of FYS is to introduce students to college-level ways of learning, to discuss primary texts in a discussion format, and to offer support as students transition into college. Phelps Scholars take an FYS called Creating Community Together that emphasizes cross-cultural understanding and completes the college’s requirement for International Global Learning.
Each Phelps Scholar spends 18 hours throughout the semester serving in a local organization dedicated to creating community in the central city of Holland.
Phelps Scholars work in groups of three to research a topic related to creating community across differences. The students then give poster presentations at a campus event at the end of the term, and the top five are selected to present at the Celebration of Undergraduate Research in the spring.
Hope students benefit from academic advising that begins as early as Orientation weekend and then continues throughout their career until graduation. First-year students are advised by their FYS professor. In the Phelps Scholars Program, we take advising very seriously. Students spend a great deal of time talking with the faculty about how to succeed in college and in life.
Meeting with students outside of class offers a prime opportunity for development. This may include collaboration and discussion about current progress, goals and strategies for success in college and beyond. Conversations are intentional and may explore questions such as “What is your present situation?”, “What are your possible choices?” and “What is the likely outcome of each choice?” Students are then encouraged and challenged to move forward by the choices to which they commit while still considering the connections between the here and now and their futures. Advising is a team effort!
— Yolanda Vega, Director, Phelps Scholars Program
Spring Semester Course
Phelps Scholars also register for one of two additional courses in the spring semester of their freshman year: Encounter with Cultures or Introduction to American Ethnic Studies. These courses continue to promote a shared vocabulary and understanding as it relates to issues of cultural diversity, with a focus on contemporary issues of race and culture in the United States. Both of these courses complete Hope’s requirement for Global Learning in the United States.