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Dedicated Hour

Dedicated Hour, which takes place each Wednesday from 1:15-2:15 pm, is a period of time set aside to facilitate academic advising.

Aside from Work Day, no academic courses or community events are held during this time.

As long as the time is utilized in a constructive manner, faculty and their advisees are free to use Dedicated Hour as they wish. Some advising groups meet all together each week to discuss a question or topic of their choosing, while other faculty choose to meet with students on an individual basis. Some groups use the time to take field trips or attend events. Faculty and their advisees are encouraged to make suggestions regarding the content and structure of their Dedicated Hour. For some potential topics, refer to the Topics for Advisors and Advisees as well as the ideas listed below.

Academic / Student Skills

  1. Reminder and review of deadlines, procedures and academic policies
  2. Group reading with a discussion
  3. Discussion on how various academic fields fit into the Marlboro curriculum
  4. Study skills workshop with the director of academic support services
  5. Library research session with a librarian
  6. Stress management workshop / discussion
  7. Sophomore Review preparation or discussion
  8. Discussion of the Plan process
  9. Work session on Final or Preliminary Plan Applications to familiarize students of all class standings with the process and structure
  10. Discussion on how tutorials work and how to build a good one—with all class standings
  11. Senior Plan presentations
  12. Dedicated Hour held in Plan Room of the library with discussion about some well-designed plans in the area of study
  13. Study abroad overview with the associate director of world studies
  14. Study abroad experiences—presentation and Q & A with students returning from world studies internships, study abroad or college-sponsored trips
  15. Alumni experiences—presentations or discussions with former students
  16. Foreign language immersion option for Dedicated Hour
  17. Session on finding summer jobs or internships with the director of career development
  18. Overview of process, timing and etiquette of letters of recommendation
  19. Discussions about graduate school options within the area of study
  20. Career exploration with the director of career development

Student Life and Student Health

  1. Emotional and physical health discussion/education session with Total Health Center staff
  2. Discussion/round-table on how to support friends or who are on Plan
  3. Check-in about dorm life or student experience off campus
  4. Frustration/venting/community-wide primal scream
  5. Discussion on relevant Town Meeting issues and upcoming votes

Staff / Faculty Features

  1. Faculty “How did I get here?” sessions—time for faculty to recount their own academic “journeys” as a way to help students understand the graduate school experience, the transition from student to teacher and the balance of a rounded life that reaches beyond academia.
  2. Meet the staff event—staff members visit Dedicated Hours to talk about what they do (academic technology coordinator, financial aid, academic records, etc.), how it impacts the student, and how they can best work together.
  3. Outdoor Program orientation—for new students, or those not familiar with the program; meet outdoor program staff, find out hours, learn about gear checkout and upcoming trips.

Trips / Events / Projects / Socialization

  1. Trips to art museums or other events
  2. Presentation of a science reading or a digital projection session exploring geography and mapping tools via Google Earth
  3. Watch a documentary
  4. Ice cream, trust games, origami, board games, chess, or Go
  5. Short student-taught projects: Button-making with the school’s button machine, small hand-made book projects, poster-making for an event
  6. Group participation in a senior’s study needing test subjects
  7. Hike together in the woods or visit the climbing wall
  8. Sports games between Dedicated Hour groups (a la the epic Meg Mott’s vs. John Sheehy’s Dedicated Hour volleyball game of 2007)
  9. Advisees’ dinners

Community Involvement and Activism

  1. Town Meeting/selectboard special sessions or discussions
  2. Special session on current event (e.g., international crises; elections)
  3. Fundraising, petition writing or letter writing
  4. Surveys or discussion on current campus issues (e.g., smoking language)
  5. Discussions on current campus initiatives (Community Court, restorative justice panels, assessment, etc.)

Dedicated Hour Structure

  1. Designate a different student to lead a Dedicated Hour each week
  2. Create a semester-long schedule of all Dedicated Hour discussions or activities
  3. Schedule group meetings early in the semester and individual meetings later
  4. Email out a reminder about Dedicated Hour on Tuesday
  5. Dedicated Hour “student exchange—either swap whole groups with another faculty member or have individual students visit a Dedicated Hour group they might join as a Plan student to gain new ideas and perspective
  6. Combine Dedicated Hour groups and schedule outdoor program session with director of outdoor program


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)