The academic structure at Hope allows students to immerse in multiple academic disciplines, engage with an array of people, and stretch their minds in new ways.

Here at Hope, I’m double majoring in Communications and Spanish with a minor in Social Witness Ministry.  I’m hoping to work in a nonprofit or ministry setting post grad.  The liberal arts structure of Hope stretches students in new ways through its requirement of General Education courses from various disciplines.  Because of this liberal arts set up, many students are also able to add an extra major or minor and still finish within four years.

Typically, a Hope student will take 15 credits a semester.  For me, that looks like five 3 credit classes.  My friends with majors such as music or nursing take the same amount of credits, but these split into a different amount of classes due to labs or other 1 or 2 credit classes that they have.

In high school, I completed the rigorous IB Diploma program.  I was nervous about how my college course load would measure up to what I had become used to in high school.  Would I be bored in my intro classes?  How would my workload compare to what I was used to in high school?

While experience certainly varies by academic discipline, over the past three semesters I have found that my classes stretch me in ways I’ve never experienced before.  I am learning, but not just in a manner that forces me to regurgitate information onto tests.  My classes push me to think critically and engage with perspectives different than my own in order to become a better person.  Last year, I had to write a reflection essay about how the Liberal Arts Education style was impacting me so far. I said:

I have found this version of education much more beneficial: I can remember countless hard days studying for my IB classes, but little to none of the content therein […] I was incentivized to memorize information rather than apply and learn it.  Now, my classes are designed in such a way that I am able to learn and apply what is taught.

I truly enjoy my classes and the liberal arts structure of academics at Hope.  This semester, I go to Statistics, Ministry, and Spanish Literature all over the course of a few hours.  Such a variety allows me to engage with diverse students of many different disciplines and pushes me to be better all around.

some of my best friends at Hope, pursuing all different majors

In high school, I dreaded going to class. I would count down the days until each upcoming break, keeping tallies in my planner. It’s such a blessing to be challenged and shaped by academics at Hope. I can honestly say I love going to class and feel I’m better because of it.

Published by Audrey Wells

Class of 2026 Hometown: Portage, MI Majors: Communications & Spanish Minor: Social Witness Ministry & Global Health

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