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Pathways

Personalized and transformational, a Furman education now includes the Pathways program. This set of four required one-credit courses teaches every student how to take full advantage of their Furman experience and ultimately graduate ready for successful and meaningful careers and lives.

Study away students

Graduate ready for successful and meaningful careers and lives.

What is the Pathways program?

The backbone of The Furman Advantage is the four-year pathway which begins with Pathways, a unique 2-year program required for first-year students and sophomores. Students take a one-credit hour course each semester they are on campus for their first two years at Furman.

In the first year

Students meet with their Pathways class, their advisor, and a peer mentor each week for 50 minutes. The curriculum focuses on successfully transitioning to college by not only focusing on skills such as time management, effective study strategies and stress management, but also by building a foundation of self-awareness and reflection, helping students learn who they are, what they value and where their interests lie.

In the second year

The Pathways course encourages students to think about how to integrate their academics, their engaged learning experiences such as study away, research and internships, and their career goals. They build a resume, have an informational interview with an alumnus and learn other basic career skills. Students also discuss leadership and learn how to tell their story.

After these first two years, juniors and seniors continue their pathway at the department level, where information builds on what students learn in years one and two, tailored to their specific majors.

In the major, students will have the opportunity to reflect on what they’re learning through their major classes and related experiences and how this learning prepares them for opportunities after Furman.

They will also learn what careers or graduate school options are available to them, whether they’re majoring in chemistry or theatre, economics or health sciences, or any other field.

Bell tower, aerial view

“Exposing students to possibilities while they are undergraduates gives them a more concrete idea of what they want to do. At graduation they have a better sense of how what they have learned at Furman informs what they want to do next, and the steps they need to take to get there.”

Michelle Horhota
Associate Dean for Mentoring and Advising
Professor of Psychology

What makes Pathways unique?

Many universities offer opportunities for engaged learning – internships, research and study away – and an opportunity to meet with a career counselor. At Furman, we have created a unique structure and integrated approach that guides students intentionally in the first two years through a common curriculum so that students are prepared to make the best choices for themselves and their futures.

  • Pathways integrates advising and mentoring with a comprehensive curriculum that shares key information and resources to students at the right time.
  • The Pathways program lays the foundation for making intentional choices about what comes next and ensures that all students are aware of the possibilities available to them.
  • When students move into the departmental programming in their majors, they already have started thinking about what matters to them and what their strengths are.
  • Major-specific experiences in the third and fourth year help students prepare for careers or graduate school options in their chosen discipline.

Female student at graduation

The result: Confidence as students and graduates

Students in the Year 1 and 2 Pathways Pilot reported higher satisfaction scores for advising than students who did not participate. The data also show that Pathways erases gaps between majority students and students from low-income families, first-generation college students and students of color in terms of:

  • increased advising satisfaction,
  • increased participation in engaged learning experiences, and
  • earlier and more frequent appointments with career counseling.

DELILAH EVELYN ’23

 

“Pathways and my Pathways mentor taught me how to be a student and build good study habits, and encouraged me to reach my full potential. I feel confident and prepared to take on any challenge and make the most of my education.”

Delilah Evelyn ’23, Education major

Pathways Course Information

Read more about Pathways courses below

Pathways 101

This course is designed to help students transition to college and begin creating their individualized pathway with guidance from an academic advisor and a peer mentor. Students will engage in regular reflection and guided discussion about topics relevant to the first-semester experience.

Pathways 102

This course is designed to help students continue to develop their individualized pathway with guidance from an academic advisor and a peer mentor. Students will engage in regular reflection and guided discussion about topics relevant to the second-semester experience.

Pathways 201

In this course, students will refine their individualized pathway and explore their long-term goals with guidance from an advisor. Students will engage in regular reflection and guided discussion about engaged learning opportunities, career exploration and other topics relevant to the sophomore experience.

Pathways 202

In this course, students will continue to refine their pathway with guidance from an advisor. Students will engage in regular reflection and guided discussion about their long-term goals, their impact on others, and will develop and practice sharing their stories, in addition to reflecting on other topics relevant to the sophomore experience.

Pathways 103 for Transfer Students

This course is designed to help transfer students transition to college and begin creating their individualized pathway with guidance from an academic advisor and a peer mentor. Students will engage in regular reflection and guided discussion about topics relevant to the first-semester experience.

Pathways 203 for Transfer Students

In this course, transfer students will continue to refine their pathway with guidance from an advisor. Students will engage in regular reflection and guided discussion about career exploration, setting long-term goals, their impact on others, and will develop and practice sharing their stories, in addition to reflecting on other topics relevant to their Furman experience.

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Student Pathways - Lauren Jones

Pathways student collection of items
Pathways student Lauren smiling
Lauren’s four-year pathway

Lauren Jones ’22
Major: Neuroscience
Tucker, Georgia

“Furman wasn’t always easy, and on my journey of branching out, I learned what was and what was not meant for me,” Jones says. “It took time, but I believe I found my purpose at Furman. Furman has a lot to offer; you just have to put yourself out there and find it. And I believe that is The Furman Advantage.

  • Joined the Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection, which taught her more about herself and helped her find her place at Furman.
  • Was identified as a standout student in an introductory chemistry class.
  • Played club soccer for four years.
  • Played intramural soccer for three years.
  • Sophomore year was a first-year advisor on the housing staff.
  • Junior year was an RA on the housing staff.
  • Summer after sophomore year was a research fellow in computational chemistry.
  • Worked in the library’s digital collection center.
  • Joined the NAACP.
  • Joined the Collaborative Neuroscience Society and managed its Instagram page.
  • Junior year was named a Goldwater Scholar, the top honor in the sciences for undergraduates.
  • Summer before senior year continued to do computational chemistry research.
  • Going to Harvard as a post-baccalaureate researcher in neuroscience.

For a more in-depth understanding of the Furman Advantage, download the guide below!

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