School navigation

Exploration and Discovery

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Exploration and Discovery?

Exploration and Discovery is a seminar style, yearlong core course required for all first-year students. It brings to life Lewis & Clark’s motto: Explorare, Discere, Sociare (to explore, to learn, to work together). This course will ground you in humanity’s most enduring questions and prepare you to journey outward into today’s diverse world of ideas. In addition to becoming acquainted with great ideas and texts, you’ll discover the value of a liberal arts education.  (Watch a video of Paul Powers as he discusses E&D.)

What will I learn in Exploration and Discovery?
Over two semesters, you’ll engage a diverse array of textual materials—including pieces as diverse as the Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Plato’s Five Dialogues, Galileo’s Starry Messenger, and Karl Marx’ and Friedrich Engels’ The Communist Manifesto —intended to challenge your critical thinking and reading skills. You’ll also build upon your strengths as a writer through regular, guided practice and as a discussion participant, improving as both a listener and a speaker in command of rhetorical choices and strategies.

What are Exploration and Discovery classes like?
Your class will include up to 19 students and be led by one of our faculty members—never by a teaching assistant. Because faculty members from a broad range of backgrounds teach Exploration and Discovery, classes are conducted in the style of a seminar. Learning in Exploration and Discovery is a shared responsibility, a collaborative process. You, your classmates, and your professor will together undertake the meaningful pursuit of evolving knowledge and understanding through your readings and discussions.

Who needs to enroll in E&D?
All first-year students, including qualifying International and transfer students, are required to complete two semesters of E&D during their first year at Lewis & Clark College.

How do I register for E&D?
Each semester you will be given the opportunity to select six preferences from the sections/faculty listed on the E&D website.The preference form is located on the E&D website and once you submit the from the information is electronically sent to the Program Coordinator who will process the information.

  • In June, you will submit a preference form selecting six (6) sections you are interested in taking for the upcoming fall semester.
  • In October, you will submit a preference form selecting six (6) sections you are interested in taking for the upcoming spring semester.

This helpful video will provide further details on how to submit an E&D preference form. Some of the information has changed (who the Director & Program Coodinator are, courses offered, etc.) but the basic flow of how to find and complete the form are still accurate.

Why is my section of E&D assigned?
We think it is important to give you the very best chance of being placed in one of your preferred sections.  By assigning your section based on your preference submission the Exploration and Discovery administrative coordinator balances requests, ensuring you get the best opportunity to be placed in one of your top choices.

I missed the due date to submit my preference form for E&D, what do I do now?
You will need to contact the Program Coordinator to discover which section(s) still have available space.

Will I definitely get one of my preferences?
99% percent of students who submit their preferences forms by the dates indicated are placed in one of their six preferences. If, for any reason, all of your preferences are filled, you will be contacted by email to review alternative options.

What happens if I don’t submit a preference registration form?
You will be placed randomly in any section that has available space. Please remember it is in your best interest to submit a registration form with six (6) preferences to ensure you have the best opportunity to be placed in a section of your choosing.

Since the fall E&D course has a common theme and texts, how do I determine which section I would really prefer?
In making your selection, you might choose a faculty member in a discipline of particular interest to you, including one that is new to you. Use the E&D website to research the faculty teaching E&D that semester and explore their academic backgrounds, disciplines, and research or other areas of interest, then you should carefully read the section description written by the faculty teaching a section. Another resource is to see what texts (in addition to the common works) each section is using.  You can find this information on the College Bookstore website.  Select the term (CAS 2015 Fall Session), the Department (Core), the Course (106), and then a Section (Professor’s name is listed).  Note: Some professors use selections of materials made available in electronic format which will not be listed with the Bookstore.  

Do the same faculty teach in spring and do the sections follow a common theme?
Some of the E&D faculty teach both fall and spring semesters, but a few instructors teach only one semester of E&D. The spring semester section themes vary depending upon each instructor’s interest and expertise.

I was assigned to a section that was one of my preferences, but now I’d rather be in a different section. Can I change sections?
While every effort will be made to accommodate your request, each section is capped at just 19 students and there are additional factors that need to be considered and reviewed in re-assigning sections, therefore it is very important that you select your E&D section preferences carefully. All changes must be approved (and arranged) by the E&D Program Coordinator.  It is also important to note that switching sections will not be permitted after the third class session.

I really enjoyed the professor I had for my fall section. If he/she is teaching in spring, can I take that section?
You may not select the same professor for fall and spring sections. This policy encourages students to explore new disciplines and meet other faculty with different approaches and ideas.

I’m trying to plan my course schedule. When are E&D sections offered?
Most E&D sections meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1:50-2:50pm. The exception to this rule are several sections provided at different times on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for those cases when regular E&D section times either conflict with other course offerings or negatively affect students’ special needs.

How many students are permitted in each section of E&D?
Each section is capped at 19 students. No overloads are allowed.

How many credits is an E&D class?
E&D is a two-semester (4 credits per semester) course that is a general education requirement for graduation.

I really want to be in a certain section, but there are already 19 students enrolled, can I ask the professor to make an exception and allow me to join the class?
To be fair to all students and faculty, no E&D section is allowed to exceed 19 students. The faculty teaching has no authority or control over who is admitted to their section, therefore all class changes must be arranged by the E&D Program Coordinator.

Can I change my E&D section by completing an add/drop form?
If you find it necessary to request a change to your assigned E&D section, you will need to contact the E&D Program Coordinator.  While every effort will be made to accommodate your request, there are many factors that need to be considered and reviewed. It is therefore all the more important to select your section preferences carefully. It is also important to note that changes to sections will not be permitted after the third class session.

Can I drop or withdraw from my E&D section and take it in my sophomore year?
Students are not allowed to drop or withdraw* from E&D. It is part of the general education requirement for graduation and was designed specifically for students during their first year at Lewis & Clark College. *Exception: if a student has applied for a total withdraw (from all courses) or an extended leave of absence.

My instructor’s office hours conflict with my class schedule.  How can I arrange a time to meet with him/her to review my progress?
Faculty are always willing to schedule appointment times as needed, or Bon Appetit has a little-known policy that you can, once a month, invite a faculty member to lunch with you at no-charge.This is a wonderful opportunity to spend even more quality time with your favorite professor.

I still have questions. Whom can I contact?
Please feel free to call (503-768-7208) or email explore@lclark.edu anytime to discuss the Exploration and Discovery program.

Exploration and Discovery

Contact Us