Hilbert ‘Blueprint’ Promotes Well-Rounded Student Experience And Learning

Release Date:
September 4, 2013
Matt Heidt,

HAMBURG, N.Y. – Over the last six years, Hilbert College has crafted a plan promoting a four-year college experience that will bolster student involvement and leadership potential – The Hilbert Blueprint.

The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years. The ‘blueprint’ begins with the Foundations Seminar – a key piece to the First-Year Experience, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and concludes with the Senior Capstone. 

The latest addition to complete the Hilbert Blueprint is the component of a service-learning requirement within Hilbert’s curriculum. The Hilbert Blueprint, as a whole, supports Hilbert’s mission of embracing its Catholic Franciscan heritage and values and educating diverse students to become informed citizens committed to serving and strengthening their communities. 

“Service is indeed at the heart and soul of Franciscan values and the Franciscan intellectual tradition,” Hilbert President Cynthia Zane said. “The power of service learning comes from its nexus of classroom learning and the application of knowledge.”

“Building service learning into the curriculum is consistent with the data that shows experiential learning of all sorts is retained better,” Hilbert Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Christopher Holoman said. 

Hilbert prides itself on promoting experiential learning through an engaging, student-centered campus community and providing leadership, internship, and service-learning opportunities.


First-Year Experience/Foundations Seminar

All incoming freshman are required to participate in the First-Year Experience and the Foundations Seminar. This is designed to get all students acquainted with the college experience and includes participation in a minimum of four ‘passport’ activities on campus. All first year students will participate in the Hilbert College Reads program. Each student will receive a complimentary copy of the year’s selected text and potentially have an opportunity to meet the author.  

Sophomore Service
Students are obligated to take one course with a service-learning requirement. Service-learning requirements are unique to each class. In some classes, the entire class may work together on one single project that benefits the community and meets a community need. In other courses, students may be provided the opportunity to complete a service-learning activity by selecting an organization or project from a list of pre-approved community partners and activities. These activities are linked to the classroom curriculum and help meet a need in the community. 

Junior Symposium
Three professors from different disciplines teach the mandatory Junior Symposium course, which encourages students to follow current events and introduces The New York Times as daily reading. Juniors engage in active debates and student-led discussions, which encourage participants to disagree civilly. 

Senior Capstone
The Hilbert College Blueprint culminates with the Senior Capstone. Unique to each department, the capstone could be – but is not limited to – a project, internship, or research paper. The Senior Capstone is designed to synthesize the student’s four-year educational experience and support the college’s mission to produce ‘informed citizens committed to serving and strengthening their communities.’

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.