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The Next Chapter for Gordon: A New Academic Model

As Gordon takes proactive steps to ensure its longevity, three key values drive our decisions: making a Gordon education more affordable and adaptable while staying firmly anchored in Christ. Our vision for an updated academic model will soon offer options for shorter completion times, concurrent education, more flexible global experiences and expanded digital opportunities, and strengthen certain areas of study by integrating some majors—all of which will retain Gordon’s commitment to the core values of a Christian liberal arts education while making it more accessible to more students. Learn more about Gordon’s commitment to the liberal arts ➔

Here's what's changing.

Building on the interdisciplinary strength of a liberal arts education, select majors will be bundled into joint departments. This keeps Gordon’s academic resources from being spread too thin across too many individual majors and supports the cross-disciplinary nature of the liberal arts. Regardless of modifications, all current students—those who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors as of fall 2019—will be able to graduate in their major (or any major/minor that was offered when they began at Gordon). Any major of study that may not be offered in the same format to future students will still be able to be completed by current students over the next three years. If changes are made to their fall schedules, students will be contacted after June 1, 2019—when the fall schedule will be revised—to make necessary adjustments. 

Read the detailed summary of changes in the academic division ➔

Here's where we're heading.

Our three key values—affordable, adaptable, anchored—have guided the formation of a vision for three distinct educational tracks, which will expand the accessibility of a Gordon education for more students in the future and represents a significant step forward for the College as a liberal arts institution in the 21st century. Think of these tracks as three different modes or means of accessing a Gordon education:

  • Traditional—still the definitive way to obtain a Gordon education, this is Gordon as you know it: a four-year, residential college with a core liberal arts foundation and campus experience. 
  • Essential—by breaking out of the traditional model, a fast-track pathway will allow for three-year completion, saving time and money and launching students into their careers or graduate programs sooner. 
  • Global—moving beyond a mainly undergraduate model, this will expand graduate programs and introduce more flexible options, like certificates and stackable credentials.

Learn more about the "three tracks" concept ➔

Here's what we've already been doing.

These new opportunities will expand on recent innovative programs that have already begun breaking out of the mold and adding value to a Gordon education.

  • Career and Connection Institute: In 2018, Gordon launched the Career and Connection Institute to guide students through a holistic process of professional development.
  • Nursing partnership: Gordon announced a new partnership with Curry College in 2019 to offer a dual-degree nursing program that pairs the best of a liberal arts education with technical training for the healthcare field.
  • Gordon Plus: Introduced in 2017, Gordon Plus allows students to take master’s level courses as undergraduates in order to save on Gordon graduate degrees. 
  • GoCo Labs: An innovative, practical opportunity for computer science students to imagine and deliver technology solutions to improve aspects of their college experience.
  • GCTS partnership: Beginning in 2017, Gordon built on a longstanding partnership with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary to offer an accelerated Master of Divinity track for biblical studies and Christian ministries majors. This partnership will be expanded in the coming year to offer Gordon undergraduates advanced standing for Gordon-Conwell’s Master of Arts in Global Leadership and Master of Arts (Christian Studies).
  • Work Ahead: Launched in 2019, Work Ahead: Ready for 2030 leverages the expertise of thought leaders to envision the workplace of the future and ensure that students are prepared for the changing landscape.

And here’s where it fits in the big picture of Gordon.

This isn’t the first time Gordon has opened a new chapter. Over the past 130 years, the College has strategically made big changes to respond to or get ahead of challenges.

  • One of the more significant shifts occurred just 15 years after the school’s founding. In the early 1900s, the original vision of a missionary training institute had run its course, and the school’s mission was re-envisioned to better align with the times. As more young people were opting to pursue post-secondary education, free-form institutions were compelled to reconfigure and standardize in order to remain relevant. For a short time, Gordon aligned with Newton Theological Seminary as it expanded its vision and moved toward a more articulated curriculum and credit system. 
  • Decades later, after continuing to adjust along the way, Gordon transitioned from a Bible college to a liberal arts college. This move expanded Gordon’s view of Christian vocation and set the trajectory for the College’s next chapter. 
  • Gordon is once again making necessary adjustments to respond to the market realities of today that demand greater affordability and adaptability. The next chapter not only retains the core Christian liberal arts foundation, but makes it more accessible and relevant for what students and families want from college and what employers want from graduates.

Learn more about the changing market for higher education ➔

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