All students take three Shared Passage courses.
First-year Seminars constitute the gateway to the K-Plan and to college life for entering students, while also serving as the foundation of the Shared Passages Program. Offered in Fall quarter, First-Year Seminars are designed to orient students to college-level learning, with particular emphasis on critical thinking, writing, and speaking. In keeping with Kalamazoo College's emphasis on intercultural education, they aim to engage students in the study of significant social and historical differences. They integrate collaborative and group work, effective research strategies and discussions, all promoting active, engaged learning. They work to accustom students to modes of academic behavior likely to promote success in college, including class participation, productive approaches to assignments, visits to faculty members' offices, and awareness of support structures for K students.
First-Year Seminars are linked to academic advising, the First-Year Experience program, Upjohn Library, and the Writing Center. They create connections with the components of the K-Plan; depth and breadth in the liberal arts, learning through experience, international and intercultural engagement, and independent scholarship.
Transfer students and students who do not pass the First-Year Seminar must work with the Registrar's Office who will, in consultation with the Associate Provost and Dean of the First Year Class, determine how the First-Year Seminar requirement will be met.
Sophomore seminars build upon the learning goals of the First-Year Seminars, focusing on a particular topic or question viewed from multiple perspectives. Learning goals include intercultural proficiency and the ability to differentiate between observation and interpretation (both critical skills for study abroad and experiential education in general), as well as enhanced writing and oral presentation abilities. As in the First-Year Seminars, information literacy and enhanced research skills remain a key component of Shared Passages.
Students who transfer to the College after the sophomore year and students who do not pass the sophomore seminar must work with the Registrar's Office who will, in consultation with the Associate Provost and Dean of the Sophomore Class, identify an appropriate substitution.
Senior-level courses in the Shared Passages Program focus on integrating students' Kalamazoo College experiences and preparing them for lives beyond 'K.' Disciplinary senior seminars integrate students' experiences inside and outside a particular major, while interdisciplinary senior seminars provide a liberal arts capstone experience, allowing students from a variety of majors to apply diverse aspects of their Kalamazoo College education to a specific topic or problem.
Students who do not pass their senior seminar may find that completion of their degree is delayed. They must work with the Registrar's Office, in consultation with the Associate Provost and Dean of the Senior Class, to identify an appropriate substitution. If the senior seminar was also a requirement for the major, the student must work with the department chair to determine what is required to complete the major.
Students on approved 3/2 engineering or health professions early entry programs are required to meet the senior capstone requirement by working with the director of their program at Kalamazoo College to identify a single capstone course at the approved school that reasonably fits the published senior capstone guidelines. Upon transfer of the credit for this course back to Kalamazoo College, the student will have completed the senior capstone requirement.
An official catalog is produced each summer for the following academic year and stored in the Archives section of this site. These versions are used for degree audits. Throughout the year, approved changes are incorporated immediately. Updates that have been submitted and approved by early summer will be included in the archival catalog for the next academic year in mid-summer.