Education Through Skills and Perspectives (ESP)

Hollins University is a liberal arts institution. As such, it offers a general education program titled Education through Skills and Perspectives (ESP) that focuses on breadth and depth across the curriculum. For a complete description of the ESP and its various components, please refer to the Academic Catalog (PDF). This unique program is comprised of a series of perspectives and skills, each of which has an abbreviated designation on the right hand side of the Schedule of Classes and at the end of course descriptions in the Academic Catalog.

There are eight perspectives:

  • Aesthetic Analysis "AES"
  • Creative Expression "CRE"
  • Premodern Worlds "PRE"
  • Modern and/or Contemporary Worlds "MOD"
  • Social and Cultural Diversities "DIV"
  • Global Systems "GLO"
  • Language Requirement "LAN"
  • Scientific Inquiry "SCI"

The eight perspectives must represent at least seven different disciplines (for example, if an English course is used to satisfy "AES," then a different English course can be used to satisfy "CRE" but then no more English courses may count toward the perspectives and each of the remaining perspectives must be satisfied by a different discipline).

There are also a number of skill requirements:

  • Writing: There are two writing requirements at Hollins. One writing course must be completed in the first year. These courses are designated by the code "f." This course can be either expository "x" or non-expository "w" in nature. One of your two writing requirement courses must be expository in nature.
  • Oral Communication "o"
  • Applied Research Techniques "r"
  • Basic Quantitative Reasoning "q"
  • Applied Quantitative Reasoning "Q"

A course can count for up to one perspective and two skills at the same time. For instance, if you take ENG 141, you will have completed CRE, f-w, and o.

If you have questions about ESP before arriving on campus, please do not hesitate to contact Rebecca Beach, dean of academic services, at rbeach@hollins.edu.