Match your passions with your career pursuits as part of Wooster’s Pathways program. Gain the skills sought after by employers and grad schools through authentic career experiences and career-specific conversations and self-reflections, while earning credit towards graduation and a Pathways certificate.

The Pathways program at the College of Wooster offers students a flexibly structured approach to career exploration, tailored to their chosen path, whether closely related to their major or more
of an “academic side quest.”

Through 3-4 related courses, authentic career experiences such as internships or volunteer work, and guided self-reflection, students are able to really explore a career path but without the level
of commitment necessary for a major or minor. Networking with their Pathways peers, faculty, and staff allows students to foster connections that may benefit them even beyond graduation.
The Pathways certificate is noted on transcripts, codifying the student’s career-related experiences.

Not only does participation in Pathways enhance applications for further education and employment, but it also provides clarity on career and graduate school goals. Through their experiences in the Pathways program, Wooster students gain valuable insight into career alignment with their values and aspirations, empowering informed decisions and meaningful persuits.

Each Pathway includes:

  • Guided self-reflections & career planning – exercises that help students make valuable
    connections between courses, experiences, personal interests and values, and their long- term goals
  • Experiential learning (EL) opportunities – typically 1-2 experiences, such as an internship, off-campus study, campus job, or service project
  • Coursework – 3-4 topical courses (depending on the Pathway)
  • Occasional events for students in the Pathway to connect with each other, gain advising from faculty & staff on that Pathway’s team, and sometimes hear from guest speakers in that career field.

Upon completion of a Pathways
program, students will be able to:

  • Articulate the knowledge and skills they’ve accumulated in the Pathway
  • Articulate how their experiences in the Pathways have allowed them to further refine their interests, strengths, and values
  • Articulate how their experiences in Pathways might impact their career choices.

It typically requires three or four (non-consecutive) semesters for students to complete the requirements of a Pathway. Students are encouraged to enroll during their first or second year at the College and no later than the first semester of their third year. Participation in the Pathways program is optional.

Learn More

For more information about the Pathways program at the College of Wooster, please take a look at the Pathways website. You are also welcome to email Pathways@wooster.edu with any additional questions.

Follow the link  FAQs to learn more about the various Pathway Programs. Read the Pathways FAQs below for important details.

About Pathways

What are Pathway programs?

  • Pathway programs are interdisciplinary programs that allow you to pursue your academic interests, gain valuable experience, and explore potential careers.

What commitments does Pathway require from me?

  • Each Pathway program is distinct. Typically, a Pathway requires the completion of 1-2 experiential learning opportunities (such as internships, off-campus study programs, campus leadership positions, volunteer work, and more, a series of reflection exercises, and 3-4 courses. You can learn more about program-specific requirements by visiting each Pathway’s webpage.

Who is eligible to start a Pathway?

  • Only first-year and second-year students and first-semester juniors are eligible to declare a Pathway. Some Pathways may have additional opportunities for second-semester juniors and senior students who are not enrolled in a Pathway. You may contact a representative of your Pathway Team or the Pathways Coordinator for more details.

What certification do I receive after completing a Pathway?

  • You will receive a certification that is noted on your transcript, e.g., “Pathway: Museum & Archival Studies.”

How long does it take to complete a Pathway?

  • Pathway programs typically require four semesters of work. Students may complete experiential learning components during summer recesses.

Are Pathways required of all students?

  • They are optional.

Can I do more than one Pathway program?

  • You won’t need to. Pathways are specifically built to help you think deeply about your interests and connect your academic work to potential careers.

Do Pathways have to be related to my major or minor?

  • For some students, the Pathway program will be closely connected to the work of a major or minor. For others, they will be completely distinct. There is no requirement to connect them.

Can I double count courses toward my major or minor and my Pathway?

  • Yes.

Can I double count courses toward general education requirements and my Pathway?

  • Yes.

Is there an additional cost to complete a Pathway?

  • Not usually. There is no additional cost for enrolling in a Pathway program. Students may encounter additional expenses related to their chosen experiential learning opportunities, such as housing and transportation for unpaid internships or study-abroad programs. Some sources of funding are available, including competitive grants and fellowships through APEX and the Global Engagement Office.
Getting Started

How do I decide on a Pathway program?

  • There are many ways to learn more about Pathways. You can:
    • Attend an information session
    • Talk with the Pathways Coordinator
    • Talk with a Pathway Peer Advisor
    • Talk with one of the faculty or staff members on your Pathway Team
  • You should also review your four-year academic plan with your academic advisor or staff in APEX to determine whether a Pathway will fit into your academic plan. Use the Colleague Self-Service “What if?” advising tool to map out the requirements of the pathway.

How do I start a Pathway program?

  • When you are ready to begin, simply complete the “Pathways Launch” form on the Student Academic Forms page at the Registrar’s office webpage.

What happens after I declare my pathway?

  • You will be enrolled in a Moodle course devoted to the Pathway – and receive a set of instructions on the first steps. The Moodle course will be the central guide and repository for your work in the Pathway .

What is the deadline for declaring a pathway?

  •  Students must declare their Pathway no later than the fall semester of their junior year.
Completing a Pathway

How can I track my progress within a Pathway?

  • You can track your progress within the Pathway on the pathway Moodle page and using the “Degree Progress” tool on Colleague Self-Service

I’m interested in a course that I think relates to my Pathway. Can I count it toward my Pathway’s coursework requirement?

  • First, check your Pathway’s list of pre-approved courses. If the course is not included here, you may request that a course be reviewed for a requirement by contacting the Pathways Coordinator or a member of yourPathway Final decisions on course substitutions rests with your Pathway team.

I’m interested in an experiential learning opportunity that I think relates to my Pathway. Can I count it toward my Pathway’s experiential learning requirements if it is not already approved?

  • See the details on your Pathway’s Moodle page or contact the Pathways Coordinator for instructions.

What happens if I don’t complete the requirements of the Pathway?

  • You won’t receive the notation on your transcript that you’ve completed the Pathway.

Can I change Pathways after I have begun?

  • Contact the Pathways Coordinator to discuss your situation. The Pathways Program Committee and your Pathway Team have ultimate authority on this question.