The development of skills in reading and writing are fundamental to any liberally educated person. The Rhetoric Program at Hampden-Sydney College is one the crown jewels of the College's academic program, and has been central in giving our students skills in communication that are essential in their life outside the gates to the College. Our students are expected to read and comprehend what they read in all disciplines, and are challenged to write "across the curriculum," i.e., in courses at all levels and in all academic departments. The College grouped seven NSSE survey items into the Reading and Writing Benchmark.
The following NSSE results favorably compare Hampden-Sydney against two comparison groups.Summary: In the measures of reading and writing, Hampden-Sydney students rate more highly the amount of reading and writing they do than students from other baccalaureate-granting arts and sciences schools and considerably more than students from the entire population of NSSE respondent schools. Moreover, this occurs in both the first year and in the senior year, where the same pattern is found.