Distinctions and Benefits
Distinctions and Benefits
- The Westminster Scholars program takes the problem based learning model and synthesizes it into a liberal education core curriculum. It is one of the only programs of its kind in the country.
- Examining complex, real world problems provides a foundation for synthesizing information and dealing with the types of problems students will encounter in the work place and as future leaders.
- Courses will be intensive and student-centered, allowing students the chance to take active roles in the assimilation and use of knowledge. Since students will be writing and presenting their work often, they will have the chance to continually develop their writing and communication skills.
- Westminster Scholars will receive special designation on their transcripts showing graduate schools and employers that they have successfully completed a challenging and rigorous curriculum.
- The small class size and unique structure of problem based learning ensures that students will be active participants in their education. The program promotes critical thinking, quality writing, and effective collaboration and teamwork skills.
Due to the complex nature of real world problems, the courses will be interdisciplinary and allow students to explore innovative approaches to solutions.
- Every class will involve the students in extensive independent research—both field research and traditional scholarly research. Learning will begin in the classroom but will also extend to community and national experts. Students will be encouraged to be innovative, revolutionary, and nontraditional.
- Westminster Scholars will be grouped with peer mentors to help with the transition to college life. The cohort creates a community of scholars who learn together and work closely with faculty and the Westminster Scholars director, both inside and outside the classroom. The problem based nature of the curriculum and close interaction with faculty will provide invaluable examples and anecdotes as professors write letters of recommendation for graduate school and employment.
- Extra curricular activities will provide more cohesion as students work, research and travel together as part of their problem solving. Students will be actively involved in creating those opportunities; in identifying problems to work on, creating action plans, researching methodology and traveling to work on solutions.
- May Term will be a time for service related travel and there will be research opportunities in the summer.