The First-Year Experience: Building the Brotherhood

The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is part of our institution's accreditation process with SACS-COC and is designed to enhance our academic program in a way consistent with the College's mission and goals. Starting in Fall 2016, the Hampden-Sydney College QEP will emphasize The First-Year Experience.

The First-Year Experience QEP will involve three major enhancements:  


Based on the assumption that a "good man and good citizen" is self-aware and able to relate empathically to the diverse experiences of others, the First-Year Experience engages students in ongoing reflection regarding their personal experiences and the experiences of others as they relate to the themes of honor, citizenship, service, purpose, and masculinity.  


The First-Year Experience introduces students to the process of scholarly inquiry as a means of enhancing reasoning skills, emphasizing the value of informed, civil discourse, and increasing students' engagement in their own educations.  

To this end, starting in 2016, the College will offer a growing number of freshman-only, inquiry-based learning courses. In these courses, students will learn to to generate feasible questions, to gather and vet sources, and to present the results of their research.


Because understanding how to communicate effectively and professionally with others is a necessary skill for workplace success, the First-Year Experience connects students with alumni mentors who will foster students' professional communication skills and model the applicability of a liberal arts education to the working world.

Beginning in 2016, the College will develop a structured alumni mentoring program that will pair interested freshmen with alumni mentors to provide students with the opportunity to network with alumni and to develop further their professional communication skills.