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A. J. Gordon Scholars Program Curriculum

Program mission
The A. J. Gordon Scholars is a program of faithful personal and professional development for emerging scholars and leaders.

Program goals

  • Develop a sense of faithfulness in serving and leading, practiced by serving on campus, in the local community and in the communities to which they are called;
  • Nurture the talents and ambitions of students as scholars and leaders to prepare them for lives of service in the Church and in the world;
  • Ignite imagination for discovery and innovation, creating solutions, and leading change

Program features
The A. J. Gordon Scholars Program Curriculum explores and challenges growth in these areas, which develop uniquely for each student and their course of study:

  • Advancing personal strengths
  • Advancing scholarship
  • Developing and advancing effective learning relationships
  • Leading with understanding
  • Leading a life of faith

Seminar formats include an annual retreat, small-group learning experiences, topical dialog with educators and guests, film screenings, field experiences, and small projects for service and learning. Seminar sessions are once or twice a month; the seminar schedule usually fits easily into a student's semester schedule.

The Individualized Learning Plan is a narrative growth plan which asks the student to connect their faith with their scholarship and their leading, and to project areas where they will challenge themselves in the near future (annually, as an undergraduate scholar, and beyond). This formalized reflection and planning format is often a practical tool for setting a course and keeping it on track.

Some students use this to plan all four years of their College experience and track their personal or professional progress, other students use the plan to engage their newfound language for communicating about their faith and its role in deepening the meaning of their work and their course of learning. The Individualized Learning Plan also encourages scholars to refine and improve the method and impact of their writing and communication by asking for a narrative form of their reflection and planning.

Advanced advising is offered to all A. J. Gordon Scholars for coaching and encouragement in their personal, professional, and academic development plans. The Program Director is listed as an additional academic advisor for each student, in addition to those in their declared Major(s).

Access to one-on-one challenge and advising continues to be one of the highlights and strengths of the program. Students have used these sessions for improving their personal presence among others, selecting and changing majors, get coaching for life and professional skills, crafting individualized academic plans, preparing for the graduate school application process and refining their resumes and interviewing skills for professional advancement.

The Small Groups are smaller cohorts of ambitious peers—A. J. Gordon Scholars who join a lively cohort seeking to explore their own personal development and to encourage the discovery and development of equally eager fellow students. Small-group guided learning is a key feature of the Program and has been the most memorable one for students over the last 20 years.

Small-groups of four to six Scholars with one or two seasoned Scholars (upper-division students) meet 3–4 times a month, and join in topical discussion, social events and activities, and engage personal and group projects directed at extending learning and making a meaningful difference on campus or in the community. The heritage of Rev. A. J. Gordon's own critical influence in his church, in education, and his neighborhood propels our consideration of our own personal influence in the 21st century.

Becoming an A. J. Gordon Scholar
First-year A. J. Gordon Scholars are selected from among awarded recipients of the Founder's Scholarship during the Admissions process, and are welcomed in the Fall when they accept our offer of the College's A. J. Gordon Scholars Program invitation. Program costs are covered for participants in addition to providing each student a leadership stipend for participation. If you think you fit the profile of an ambitiously-curious and initiative-taking scholar seeking to further their undergraduate learning with the challenge and support of like-minded College peers and mentors, then contact the A. J. Gordon Scholars program staff.