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Pathways: Creating Meaningful Connections

Students who take courses such as those in writing, science, and other subjects in a grouped theme, or pathway, will begin to see the links between learning experiences in one course and those in another. Readings, assignments, and conversations become meaningful together – not just as pieces of separate academic knowledge and background students are required to obtain.

Students are expected to have multiple opportunities to draw connections between courses and content. For example, insights gained while discussing a text used in a Physical & Natural World course may suggest a theme for a project a student undertakes in a Community, Culture, & Citizenship course. Such connections become more likely when the two courses share certain emphases from a given pathway, such as a focus on issues of sustainability.

All students will take at least 3 courses in the same Pathway.

Pathway 1: Civic & Community Engagement

Civic & Community Engagement (CCE) Pathway courses approach civic and community engagement from diverse academic perspectives. Students will develop intellectual and practical skills to engage as effective citizens in their communities and to become thoughtful, responsible members of society. Topics may include community diversity, involvement in the local, regional, national, and/or global communities, community programming, environmental or economic impacts, access to resources, and differing motivations for civic and community engagement (e.g., economic, political, social, cultural, environmental, etc.). Courses approved for the CCE Pathway must meet at least two of the criteria below:

  • Civic & Community Engagement Pathway Criteria

    Courses must meet at least two of the following criteria:

    1. Identify factors that define community and effective citizenship.
    2. Apply theory and research knowledge to personal experiences in civic or community engagement activities.
    3. Develop strategies to address civic and community issues.
    4. Assess a community along multiple facets to identify its needs.
    5. Compare multiple solutions for a community need and identify benefits and costs for the stakeholders impacted.
    6. Demonstrate oral communication skills in effective expression and listening to advocate for issues of personal and public concern.
    7. Develop connections between concepts and skills learned in an academic setting and out in the community
    8. Apply what has been learned in class to address a civic or community issue.

Pathway 2: Health & Well-being

Health & Well-being (HWB) Pathway courses will focus on multiple perspectives related to individual and societal health and well-being. Courses may address a variety of types of health/wellbeing: intellectual, environmental, creative/artistic, spiritual, social, economic, financial, emotional, physical, etc. Courses approved for the HWB Pathway must meet at least two of the criteria below:

  • Health & Well-being Pathway Criteria

    Courses must meet at least two of the following criteria:

    1. Develop the ability to find and evaluate health-related information.
    2. Critically analyze issues of individual health in real-life problems.
    3. Critically analyze issues related to public health and societal wellbeing.
    4. Develop approaches to address individual and/or societal health and well-being issues.
    5. Recognize the relationship between personal, social, professional, and economic well-being.
    6. Appraise key factors and strategies that propagate an individual's personal, social, and professional future well-being.

Pathway 3: Perspectives on Current Issues

Perspectives on Current Issues (PCI) Pathway courses will use a variety of perspectives to explore and engage pressing issues of our world. Issues may be local, regional, national, and international in scope. Courses approved for the PCI Pathway must meet at least two of the criteria below:

  • Perspectives on Current Issues Pathway Criteria

    Courses must meet at least two of the following criteria:

    1. Develop ability to identify, evaluate, and articulate underlying global, national, local, and personal issues.
    2. Explore and analyze local-to-global dynamics and interdependent global systems as they relate to the contemporary world.
    3. Develop the ability to articulate issues and processes that cross international boundaries.
    4. Apply critical thinking in analyzing social, economic, and/or political, issues and processes.
    5. Demonstrate an understanding of conceptual models reflecting complex challenges and real-world issues.
    6. Determine credibility of information sources and understand elements that might temper this credibility.

Pathway 4: Social Justice

Social Justice (SJ) Pathway courses examine issues surrounding and influencing social justice. Students will be exposed to complex social issues and concerns related to power, diversity, justice, and equity in society. Courses may address equity in a variety of areas: social, cultural, historical, environmental, economic, legal, political, etc. Courses approved for the SJ Pathway must meet at least two of the criteria below:

  • Social Justice Pathway Criteria

    Courses must meet at least two of the following criteria:

    1. Discuss social justice from multiple perspectives.
    2. Explain the importance of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and class in relation to social justice.
    3. Identify methods people use to advocate for social justice at local, national, and international levels.
    4. Recognize cultural and cognitive phenomena leading to social injustice
    5. Analyze the ways equality and inequality are institutionalized in social, political, economic, and/or organizational structures.
    6. Summarize the value of social justice and factors that make it difficult to maintain.
    7. Connect their personal experiences to issues of social justice.

Pathway 5: Sustainability

Sustainability (S) Pathway courses address issues relating to sustainability, including social, cultural, economic, and environmental concerns. Course topics may include environmental issues, population studies, food security, economics, globalization, sustainable materials and practices, etc. Courses approved for the Sustainability Pathway must meet at least two of the criteria below:

  • Sustainability Pathway Criteria

    Courses must meet at least two of the following criteria:

    1. Define sustainability and explain how sustainability topics (e.g. energy, ecology, environmental justice, economic development) can be approached from different perspectives and require input from different disciplines.
    2. Explain how sustainability relates to our lives and values.
    3. Explain how our actions impact issues of sustainability at individual, community, organizational, and societal levels.
    4. Demonstrate proficiency with sustainability assessment tools (e.g. life cycle analysis, energy return on energy invested, carbon and ecological footprinting) and their application.
    5. Demonstrate knowledge of how factors like energy, ecology, and the economy affect our ability to live in balance with our environment.
    6. Use available information to create sustainable solutions for desired future conditions.

Pathway 6: Ways of Knowing

Ways of Knowing (WK) Pathway courses consider diverse ways of thinking about and understanding the world. A variety of subject areas introduce students to multiple academic methods and approaches to analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating, and interpreting. Courses approved for the WK Pathway must meet at least two of the criteria below:

  • Ways of Knowing Pathway Criteria

    Courses must meet at least two of the following criteria:

    1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of fundamental concepts within an academic field.
    2. Demonstrate knowledge of scholarly and creative methods used within an academic field.
    3. Explore ways in which an academic field evaluates the validity of arguments and research.
    4. Apply methods of inquiry and identify their value to a particular subject area.
    5. Explore research methods and information resources applicable to a subject area.