The goal of the Hutchins Program is to challenge students to launch extraordinary lives. We do this by providing exceptional classes, advising, and enrichment opportunities to academically talented undergraduates at Sonoma State University. From convocation to commencement, we strive to foster a transformational community of critical thinkers.
The Hutchins Program is an inclusive community of engaged learners, working together to expand knowledge and put it into action for the common good. We strive to equip our students with the creativity, adaptability, and understanding required to thrive in an interconnected world.
Hutchins is committed to seminar-based teaching with an emphasis on writing, critical thinking and self-expression. We aim to create lifelong learners who will successfully contribute to the greater social good. The Hutchins pedagogy focuses on:
- Showing students how to participate in and become motivated to pursue their own learning
- Using small seminar-based courses to foster discussion, critical thinking, and analysis
- Providing strong background and practice in multiple forms of writing
- Providing a viable learning community among students and faculty
- Organizing learning around broad interdisciplinary themes rather than narrow disciplinary focus
- Integrating independent learning and community service into the curricula
In order to achieve these goals, we have established the following Student Learning Outcomes that are introduced, developed, and assessed in the core Hutchins curriculum:
integrative ability: students make developed connections across the boundaries of disciplinary knowledge
- Depth of understanding & use of materials: students are adept at using a variety of sources, both scholarly and popular, and bring a level of sophistication and depth to their analytical abilities and critical perspectives.
- Ability to see multiple perspectives: students show a developed awareness of viewpoints that may differ from their own.
- Creativity & higher-level synthesis: students display innovative and creative thinking in their work.
- Developed written & oral communication skills: students achieve clarity and cogency in their communication through a variety of media.
- Developed seminar ability: Students approach seminar as a complex interaction requiring a balance of listening and speaking roles.
The Benefits of Hutchins
Class Size: Many of your classes will be specifically part of the Hutchins program. These classes tend to be 15 students, and more intensive. This allows more time with professors and other students that may help you truly master the material being presented.
Class Structure: In Hutchins programs, often there is more discussion and debate than lecture. This means that you will read assigned material before class. This creates a situation that is almost the opposite of a traditional classroom, where you study the material before-hand, rather than sitting through a lecture, and then spend class time working with other students on the analysis of the lecture that would typically be done as homework.
GE Requirements: The Lower Division Program of Hutchins School, with the exception of Mathematics, Fulfills all Sonoma State University lower-division General Education Requirements.
LIBS 101: The Human Enigma (Freshman class; offered in Fall semesters)
LIBS 102: In Search of Self (Freshman class; offered in Spring semesters)
LIBS 201: Exploring the Unknown (Sophomore class; offered in Fall semesters)
LIBS 202: Challenge and Response (Sophomore class; offered in Spring semesters)
Elementary Teaching Pre-Credential Preparation: Students in this track will not only earn a degree in Liberal Studies by completing Hutchins coursework, but will also fulfill all prerequisites to enter the SSU School of Education's Multiple Subject and Special Education Credential Programs.
Blended Program: This accelerated track allows students entering as First Time Freshmen to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies as well as fulfill requirements for a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in four years. This credential allows graduates to immediately begin teaching in California public elementary schools upon graduation.