Every student is unique. Everyone brings their own personalities, goals, and talents to their college classes, and the new core at Naz works to recognize those individual assets by allowing students to personalize their education. From day one, students are engaged in their Perspectives-Enduring Questions courses to help them gain a broad understanding of the world around them and become critical thinkers. The eight categories you get to choose courses in are history, literature, mathematics, the natural sciences, the social sciences, philosophy, religious studies, and the visual and performing arts, serving as introductions to different types of thinking. The topics in these classes can be applied to the majors we already have, or for some, these classes might help them find the major they’ve been searching for.
But they are more than just “general ed” classes your friends at other schools talk about. They ask “enduring questions” that force you to think creatively. Because these questions are not straightforward, yes-or-no questions, your answers are completely unique. You might, and very likely will, develop ideas that are contrary to the person next to you, what you hear on the news, or even your professor- and that’s the beautiful thing. I walked away from these classes knowing how to professionally talk about my opinions and consider the perspectives of others, how to have tough conversations. Gaining perspectives on different cultures and backgrounds has prepared me to work with any population as an occupational therapist, and left me with the understanding that I can always learn from others.
As an OT major, I was able to complete my Experiential Learning requirement through my Freshman Observation Course. EL requirements can be met through several hands-on service learning, internship, co-curricular, or study abroad experiences to meet everyone’s unique interests and schedules.
After finishing some PEQs, you will most likely have your major picked out, and you will have found some topics that are interesting to you. That’s when you pick your next three courses for your core- your IS, or Integrative Studies cluster: Irish Music, Geography, Acid Rain, Stock Markets…wherever your interests lie. You can choose to align your cluster with your major as closely or as marginally as you want.
Keeping in mind that I wanted to ask a big question about sports or physical activity, I chose Kinesiology, Physics, and a course in Psychology for my IS cluster. After meeting with my adviser about my courses, I couldn’t believe that I was being empowered to pick what I wanted for the sake of exploring my interest.
With these classes, I was able to formulate the question ‘What is the relationship between movement and identity?’ for my culminating project. By consulting with my adviser and various faculty members from my IS courses and the media department, I made a movie project that helped me answer this question in a unique way. It was a fantastic experience and I loved the process. It was all about me and my interests. Going through the process with other students was also eye-opening and preparatory for my future as an OT.
Every class I’ve taken at Nazareth College has felt like an investment in my future. I don’t feel I’ve wasted my time in a class that doesn’t matter. I see how every class can benefit me as an Occupational Therapist some day through my Core Milestone Experience. My experience has been unifying, and I tell that to anyone who asks. I am always happy to talk about my CME, and while this has only been my perspective, I hope that everyone can experience a similar feeling during their time at Naz.