Traveling south on Claremont Boulevard, make a right on Ninth Street, and you will see a beautiful garden of cactus and drought resistant plants. You may not realize it, but this is your first visible sign of learning at Pitzer College. Professor Melinda Herrold-Menzies taught a course titled “Doing Natural History,” for which one of the assignments involved working with students and our grounds staff to create a new garden space on campus in agreement with the College’s master plan for landscaping.
After parking and venturing toward the center of campus, if it is a sunny day (and naturally most of them are in Claremont), chances are there will be a class sitting on the Mounds engaged in an avid discussion with their professor. During the class break, students might opt for a quick trip to our citrus grove north of the Grove House to pick an orange for a snack. Of course more traditional classroom locations can be found in our academic buildings, although the kind of pedagogical styles practiced there will range from lecture to seminar format, to student-led discussions and lab research.
Now I’ve just described what you will find on the Pitzer campus; combine these experiences with action research projects and films that students produce with their professors in the cities of Ontario and Pomona as well as downtown Los Angeles and our learning has a regional emphasis. On an international level, Pitzer students are conducting community and independent student projects and acquiring language proficiency through immersion and practice.
In all, whether it is indoors or outdoors, local or global, Pitzer students are part of a rich educational environment that is designed to both challenge and inspire them, and that is always conducted in partnership with superbly talented faculty. Enjoy this issue of The Participant in which students, current and former, share their experiences with you.