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Educate the Whole Student

concert in the ampitheater

Jump to section: Develop skills that will support student growthIntegrate advising that connects students’ curricular and co-curricular experiences

Institutions like Swarthmore are obligated not only to explain and demonstrate the value of the residential liberal arts model, but also to prepare students to adapt to an uncertain future. Education that reaches beyond the rigors of the classroom will enable students to develop competencies in areas such as civic engagement, emotional intelligence, and resilience.

Goal 2.1: Develop skills that will support students’ individual growth, ability to live well in community with others, and capacity to create change in the world

To lay a strong foundation for living and learning in the Swarthmore community, we will provide opportunities for students to build on skills introduced in new student orientation and to apply them to their lives within and beyond the classroom.

  • Reimagine the first-year experience in a way that extends the core principles of orientation — such as adaptability, self-care, and reflection — throughout the year. 
  • Consider creating a required first-semester, first-year seminar that introduces students to the College; strengthens first-year advising; provides guidance on navigating curricular opportunities, locating available resources, and connecting with campus community members; and creates a cohort of the whole among first-year students. Taught by members of the faculty, these seminars would also engage members of staff as mentors and campus partners.
  • Foster skills such as cultivating meaningful relationships, embracing differences, and engaging meaningfully with those with differing viewpoints and perspectives. 
  • Provide opportunities to learn about our individual, community, and global impacts, including strategies for living responsibly and sustainably.

Goal 2.2: Integrate advising that connects students’ curricular and co-curricular experiences

A successful Swarthmore education provides access to opportunities for all students, regardless of their socioeconomic background. By removing barriers and ensuring access to curricular and co-curricular opportunities, Swarthmore will educate the whole student, enabling students to graduate with a major, a career path, and the tools and experiences needed to lead fulfilling lives after college. 

  • Expand the advising role in partnership with the faculty to engage multiple offices and channels and connect inside and beyond-the-classroom experiences.
  • Integrate career development into the Swarthmore experience through early engagement, competency development, and purposeful employer connections.