the pathway program

At Colby-Sawyer, students develop the ability to integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines. Liberally educated individuals are those who demonstrate strong thinking skills, empowered learning, and intellectual curiosity. The Pathway Program is the foundation of our liberal education curriculum. It provides students with the model for successful college-level work and supports the foundation for learning in the major area of study.

Pathway course descriptions are available in the Pathway Program Guide.

Read about students' Pathway Experiences

First-Year Seminar

Students choose a Pathway Seminar in their first semester based on interest in the theme. This is a graded 3-credit course. The goals of the Pathway seminars are:

  • to introduce students to the demands and pleasures of rigorous intellectual endeavors and to develop good habits of the mind necessary for college-level work.

  • to help students construct their own knowledge.

  • to develop students' ability to work collaboratively in a community of learners.

  • to help students appreciate the interconnectedness of knowledge from disciplines across the breadth of human experience.

  • to help each student choose an area of concentration while gaining the tools and experience to carry out upper-level study.

Stepping Stones

Each Pathway has three required courses, which provide content important for development of knowledge and perspectives related to the Pathway topic. Students choose from up to 10 course options.

These courses represent different areas of the curriculum and count toward the liberal education "Exploration" requirement.

Sophomore Seminar

In their fourth semester of study, students take the Sophomore Seminar of the same Pathway. This graded, 3-credit course brings together the original Pathway faculty member and students. The goal is for students to demonstrate a deep understanding of the Pathway theme.