Q: What is the Kinder Institute Residential College?
A: Conceived and launched in collaboration with the College of Arts & Science and MU Residential Life, it is Mizzou’s first undergraduate residential college, providing unrivaled opportunities for first-year students interested in American history and politics to live and learn together in historic Wolpers Hall. Members of the Kinder Institute Residential College will take classes together during the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters on the founding and early history of the United States, build a community through the residential college’s academic and extracurricular programs, receive valuable mentorship from the college’s in-house R.A. and faculty member-in-residence, and be introduced to the Kinder Institute’s world-class faculty and the full breadth of our undergraduate programming.
Q: How do I sign up?
A: It’s as easy as checking the “Kinder Institute Residential College” box when you’re filling out your online housing form at Mizzou. Once you do that, you’ll secure your room in Wolpers and be pre-enrolled in the two fall seminars that all college residents take together.
Q: Where is Wolpers?
A: A recently renovated, community-style dorm conveniently located in the heart of campus, Wolpers is right across the street from the Rec and the MU Student Center and a ten-minute walk from the Kinder Institute’s offices in Jesse Hall.
Q: What are the courses I’ll be taking with other college residents?
A: During the fall, you’ll take “Intellectual World of the American Founders” and “The Revolutionary Transformation of Early America,” and you’ll resume this exploration of the intellectual and historical origins of the United States in the spring with “Constitutional Debates” and “The Young Republic.” These are all three-credit-hour seminars of 20 students each that are cross-listed with either History or Political Science and that put college residents in a great position to continue examining the ideas and events that have shaped American history and politics from the mid-19th century, where “The Young Republic” leaves off, into the present day. You can read more about the four classes here, and once you complete them, you will have already earned a Certificate in American Constitutional Democracy, which will appear on your transcript.
In addition to the three-credit hour classes, you’ll enroll during the fall semester in a one-credit-hour seminar designed specifically for residents by the college’s R.A. and in-house faculty member that consists of guest lectures, group discussions, introductions to other Kinder Institute programs, and excursions in and around Columbia.
Q: What happens after my first year?
A: Anything, really. The residential college is designed for students of all backgrounds and academic pursuits who are interested in learning about the complex origins of constitutional democracy in the United States and in building a close-knit, scholarly community right when they get to campus. Our hope is that it prepares undergrads to be successful in whatever path they choose at Mizzou and beyond.
That said, after their first year, college residents will have completed one-third of the required 36 credits for the Kinder Institute’s proposed B.A. in Constitutional Democracy and established a base of knowledge that is particularly well suited for further study in the MU Departments of History and Political Science.
Q: Does the residential college cost more than regular Mizzou enrollment?
A: Not at all. There’s no cost associated with the residential college other than standard tuition, fees, and room and board costs.
Q: Can I stay connected with the residential college after my first year?
A: Absolutely! You can continue to live in the dorm. You can apply to be a residential college R.A. You can keep taking classes in the Constitutional Democracy B.A. curriculum whether you’re pursuing the major or not. And you can just stop by Wolpers for the various student-developed extracurricular programs and activities that we imagine will start taking shape with our first class of college residents.
Plus, we hope you’ll take advantage of some of the other unique undergraduate opportunities at the Kinder Institute. Our programs are open to all students on campus and include a summer program in Washington, D.C., a yearlong on-campus fellowship program, and opportunities to spend a week or a full semester studying abroad at University of Oxford’s Corpus Christi College. In other words, we envision the residential college not as a one-year but as a four-year experience.
Q: I forgot to ask, what’s the Kinder Institute?
A: We’re a new signature academic center at Mizzou that brings faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and members of the community together to explore ideas and events related to the creation of the United States and to trace their reverberations over time and around the globe. We teach classes; we host lectures; we publish books; and most of all, we support a wide variety of programs for undergraduates who want to learn more about the complicated story of constitutional democracy in the United States.