EKI RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS
The Expanding Knowledge Initiative is designed to enrich the reach of the College's curriculum and intellectual focus by exposing students to emerging areas of knowledge beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries and increasing opportunities for integrative, capstone, and inquiry-based learning. The opportunities mapped on this website exist to help you draw connections across the wide range of your studies, what you learn in and out of the classroom, while in Grinnell and abroad.
First Year Tutorials
Every entering student explores in some depth a topic of interest to the student and the instructor, in a small group and an informal setting. Topics range widely from deforestation in the Amazonia to story-telling in Marguerite of Navarre's Heptameron. Although not all Tutorial sections progress in exactly the same way, most include an introduction to college-level writing, oral presentation and discussion, critical analysis, and information literacy. Many of the tutorials take an interdisciplinary approach to a question, problem, or point of interest. Some, like "Paper-making a Studio Approach" and "Studio Art: a Chemistry Approach" share a theme and organize occasional joint meetings.
Interdisciplinary Courses of Study
Interdisciplinary Courses and Concentrations
There are several different routes that students interested in pursuing interdisciplinary study can take. Students can supplement a major disciplinary field of study with work in one of the concentrations; take courses in a wide-range of interdisciplinary courses as a part of a Plan of Study constructed with an adviser; or, again working with an adviser and the Dean, design an independent major that combines study in two disciplinary fields, or creates a course of study based on a theme or question that crosses fields or majors. The course of study must be planned with and approved by the student's adviser and the Dean's Office.
One of the goals of interdisciplinary education is to provide some methods and occasions to integrate the wide-range of learning and experiential education that takes place out of the classroom or in non-traditional classrooms. Talk with your adviser about how off-campus study, internships, and social commitments could complement traditional academic studies at Grinnell and contribute crucial interdisciplinary and integrative elements. Grinnell's interdisciplinary Center (International Studies, Prairie Studies, and Humanities), programs (Rosenfield, Peace Studies), and the Faulconer Gallery organize speakers and events that cross disciplines to explore particular subjects.
Second Year Retreat
This retreat for second year students provides an opportunity to reflect on your academic and life goals, to review what you are doing and to think about what you want to do next, to reconnect with each other, professors and staff members, and to make some new connections too. It will encourage you to think about how the things that you do in college-studies, extra-curricular activities (from sports to music to community service), off-campus study and internships, and summer jobs-can build on each other. We hope that you will find it fun, useful, a little bit unsettling, and energizing.