At Adelphi, from day one, our new PATH core curriculum—with its focus on Preparation, Awareness, Transformation and Hands-On Learning—points students in the right direction on their pathway to college and lifetime learning.
Adelphi faculty members have been trailblazing this PATH over the past five years. Jacqueline Johnson, PhD, associate professor of sociology and interim department chair, has been spearheading a faculty committee that has worked to revamp the University’s General Education, or Gen Ed, requirements.
“Overall, most faculty and students saw Gen Ed as a checklist of credits to satisfy in order to get a degree,” she explained. “Instead, we thought about ways to reenvision Gen Ed as a more immersive and engaged core curriculum that supercharges a major. We want students and parents to understand and recognize the college experience as a series of paths that highlight learning. PATH reimagines the core curriculum as a tool for advisers to help students curate an academic experience that best meets their interests.”
Salvatore Petrilli ’05, EdD, associate dean for academic operations and general education in the College of Arts and Sciences, agreed. “PATH speaks to students directly. It’s not an idea we are forcing onto the campus; we found that our faculty are already working diligently to ensure that students meet their learning goals and open their minds to different ways of thinking.”
Plotting the College Journey
Entirely designed by Adelphi faculty, PATH helps students succeed in their studies, discover their own strengths and passions, and be provided with the academic scaffolding for career success.
PATH is a journey of personal self-awareness and discovery that also fosters a keen awareness of today’s big challenges—from social justice to climate change. Recognizing that every student has different expectations, aspirations and goals, PATH is a gateway to transformative experiences and knowledge that encourages students to reimagine the possible. Classroom instruction is put into real-world practice with hands-on learning opportunities.
Milestones of Learning
The 30-credit PATH program meets the criteria for Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation by requiring students to fulfill the following requirements before they graduate:
- Two courses in the arts; two courses in the humanities; two courses in the social sciences; and one course each in natural science and mathematics, computing and logic
- A mandatory 4-credit First-Year Seminar course that reflects their individual interests, chosen from an expansive menu
- A 3-credit English Composition course to help first-year students develop and hone their writing skills
Required learning goal courses are milestones along the PATH to a broad-based liberal arts education, and include:
- Two communication courses—one in oral and one in written communication—to further clarity of expression
- Two courses in quantitative reasoning—which is so crucial in today’s data-driven world—are also required. “Think of these as noncomputational quantitative literacy courses that use data to make informed decisions,” Dr. Petrilli explained.
- An information literacy course teaches students to find and identify legitimate sources of information and dispute misinformation, according to Dr. Johnson.
- Students must also take two courses in global learning/civic engagement. “Global learning is about understanding the ways in which the U.S. and other countries are connected,” she said. “Civic engagement courses can include, but aren’t limited to, covering issues of social justice and how people and institutions participate in the social world.”
A PATH of Discovery
By helping students acquire the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in and contribute to a changing world, PATH is at the heart of Adelphi’s rich educational experience. “We want our students to reimagine their place within the community. What is possible for you? What is out there for you? We want you to discover new ways of thinking about yourself and the world,” said Dr. Johnson.