Student takes notes during outdoor class
4.14.2021
By Roanoke College News

New Explorations program allows students to explore new areas of interest

An education at Roanoke is about to become even more customizable.

In addition to offering majors, minors and concentrations, Roanoke College now offers explorations. An exploration is a designated cluster of courses organized around a common theme. Most explorations are three units in size and allow students to pursue areas of interest in a way that might fit into their busy academic schedules.

Dr. Jennifer K. Berenson, professor of religion and philosophy and coordinator of the Explorations program, said the idea of explorations fits into the overall mission of the College.

“Explorations are a great way for students to expand their educational profile, pursue their interests, and enrich their lives,” Berenson said.

An exploration can add depth or breadth to a student’s current courses of study and can contribute to career goals. For example, if a student enjoyed a class that met their language requirement, they can consider an exploration that builds upon that language experience. If they enjoyed taking an INQ course taught by a particular professor, that professor might be able to point them to an exploration that includes that course on its list of electives.

“Explorations are a great way for students to expand their educational profile, pursue their interests, and enrich their lives.”

Dr. Jennifer K. Berenson, professor of religion and philosophy and coordinator of the Explorations program.

Explorations currently offered include ethics, Germanic studies, history of Western philosophy, race and ethnicity, and religion, among others. You can see a list of existing explorations, as well as eligible courses, at this link.

Students who wish to be recognized for completion of an exploration must apply to the relevant department or program chair. Upon completion of requirements, the department/program will issue a formal recognition to the student.

Each exploration will require at least three units, and at least two of the units offered must be outside of the INQ or Honors curriculum and a student’s major, minor or concentration. This helps add meaning to a student’s electives, encouraging them to pursue genuine interests. It’s another addition for a student’s resume or cover letter as they apply for jobs.

More details and answers to frequently asked questions can be found here. Students can declare an exploration through filling out this form.