Clark Honors Introductory Program

The Clark Honors Introductory Program (CHIP) is a one-credit pass/no pass course that every new Clark Honors College student enrolls in fall term. CHIP is designed to welcome you, and provide you with a mentor and community to help ensure your success during your first year here.

Through CHIP you will:

  • Explore a shared area of intellectual interest with other students.
  • Build Community by connecting with fellow CHC freshmen and a returning CHC student leader.
  • Go on Field Trips designed to introduce you to opportunities within the Clark Honors College, at the University of Oregon, and in the broader Eugene community.
  • Engage for one hour, once per week with your CHIP class. Many CHIPs offer enrichment opportunities outside of class.

CHIP Is Student-Run

Returning students lead the course in concert with, and mentored by, a faculty member who supports the student leader by advising them in the craft of teaching discussion-based classes. CHIP student leaders design the courses, create the syllabi, and lead class sessions, which involve learning inside and outside of the classroom.

Apply to be a CHIP Student Leader

Some CHIP leaders ask that their students read a particular text over the summer. Students can look forward to an email from their CHIP leader by August 15th outlining any reading requirements or other expectations for the CHIP prior to New Student Orientation.

Even though the goals of all CHIPs are the same, the subjects covered are wildly different. Courses are organized around a theme or common interest, and there are several sections to choose from. Be sure to read the course descriptions before signing up so you get a CHIP that suits your interests!

Previous courses include:

CHIP Courses

Meet Your CHIP Directors

In addition to students leading the individual CHIP sections, students also administer the program. Our 2017 CHIP Co-Directors are responsible for providing training, communication, and ongoing support to our 16 CHIP student leaders.

Mary Vertulfo and Kendra Siebert, Class of 2018

CHIP Co-Directors Mary Vertulfo and Kendra Seibert

Faculty Advisor

The professor assigned to your CHIP course freshman year is your formal CHC advisor. They are available to meet with you throughout the year to help you select courses that will allow you to graduate on time, connect with resources across campus, and discuss your post-graduation plans and steps you can take now to make those dreams come true. We encourage you to meet with your CHC advisor at least once a year.

Find your CHC faculty advisor »


The CHIP course replaces First-Year Interest Group (FIG) courses offered through the university. As an honors college student you will not enroll in a FIG, with one exception. If you want, you can enroll in the Carnegie Global Oregon FIG. Note that Carnegie Global Oregon is a residential FIG, meaning that students are required to live with their classmates in a residence hall that is NOT the Global Scholars Hall. If you choose to join this FIG then you will not be living with other honors college students at GSH.

What is a Residential CHIP?

Residential CHIPs expand the CHIP experience by extending the CHC community beyond the classroom and into the Global Scholars Hall, where students enrolled in the Residential CHIP live and learn together as part of a close-knit, interest-based community. For residential CHIPs your CHIP student leader will also serve as the resident assistant for your hall within Global Scholars Hall.

To participate in a Residential CHIP, you should register during one of the Clark Honors College IntroDUCKtion sessions on the University of Oregon campus in July. You must also update your university housing application with preference for the Global Scholars Hall.


Mary Vertulfo

Mary Vertulfo, Let’s Bike Eugene!

"We all get to bond over this shared experience in the honors college and our love of getting outside and biking. I found that some of my students have become my best friends."

This last fall was Mary’s third year teaching her biking CHIP. Throughout the term her students bike around Eugene finding unique shops, the best parks, and study spaces, all while learning the best ways to navigate Eugene. Mary has continued to teach her program because of her passion for bicycling and the unfailing community that grows among students over the term.

Briauna Jones, Eat Local

“Fall term is tough, especially if you get hard classes, maybe you’re going to get your first B ever and that’s a very important thing to discuss – it’s not the end of the world and here’s what you can do to move forward.”

While CHIP leaders are teachers, they are also mentors. Briauna recognizes that many incoming students are accustomed to always being at the top of their class, and college courses - and grading systems - may come as a shock. Fortunately, CHIP freshmen have access to older CHC students who have gone through the same experiences and can offer advice on how to adjust to college-level courses, and how to turn challenges into successes.

Briauna Jones

Jared Brandon

Jared Brandon, Rap and Hip Hop

“The first day I had my whole lesson plan laid out and I got through it all in about 30 minutes, so that was the first lesson I learned: always plan a lot more than you think you’re going to go through.”

While the CHIP program is intended to help incoming freshmen form a community and have access to older CHC students, CHIP student leaders also benefit from the experience. Jared isn’t interested in becoming a teacher, but teaching his Rap and Hip Hop CHIP has helped him improve his planning, organization, and leadership skills, all while discussing something he is passionate about.

Elle Sullivan, Environmentalism in Eugene

“I wanted to condense what I learned in three and a half years into a 10 week little teaser for freshmen.”

It took Elle some time to find her environmental studies major when she started at the university, but once she did, she felt like she had found her place. In an effort to help incoming freshman with their study decisions, she created her Environmentalism in Eugene CHIP. Elle knows what it’s like to be unsure if a major is right or not and wanted to help other students navigate a path that is right for them.

Elle Sullivan

Kendra Siebert

Kendra Siebert, Visual Storytelling

“…the CHIP, even though it's 10 weeks and 50 minutes, it can really become something bigger for students and has a lot of value.”

Kendra’s art-driven CHIP attracted students from all different majors and backgrounds, which created a diverse and dynamic classroom. While the students learned about the art of storytelling through various visual medias, they also created strong bonds through the residential CHIP—where the majority of the students live on the same floor throughout their freshman year with their CHIP leader as their Residential Assistant (RA).