2012 - 2013 Westminster Scholars Program
Director: Tim Dolan
The Westminster Scholars program allows students to complete their liberal education courses in problem based learning environments that are challenging, hands-on, and collaborative; designed to develop critical, creative, and analytical thinking.
These Scholars-designated LE courses explore real-world problems and challenge students to apply their knowledge to develop solutions. In the courses, faculty serve as mentors and facilitators and assist students as they work toward solutions independently and in teams.
- Students will develop critical thinking and problem solving skills and develop the confidence to understand and apply the problem-based learning pedagogies to a variety of real world problems and situations.
- Students will develop their field and scholarly research skills in meaningful ways that will help them succeed in their professional lives following college.
- Students will strengthen their written and oral communication skills.
- Students will master an ability to work effectively in groups of diverse people.
Incoming freshmen students who apply for the Westminster Scholars program will be ranked according to the following criteria: ACT or SAT scores, high school GPA, and the quality of a written statement or the success of their participation in a problem-based learning exercise on Admitted Student Day. The top twenty students will be invited to join the Westminster Scholars program. In addition, applications for the Scholars program will be accepted in mid October and February of each year. Continuing Westminster students and transfer students who are interested in joining the program are welcome to submit applications at those times. Questions concerning the application process should be directed to the Westminster Scholars program director.
Distinctions and Benefits
- Applies problem-based learning to a liberal education core curriculum in a unique way
- Limited class size and enrollment allows for students to be part of an inclusive cohort of active and engaged learners
- Provides a foundation for synthesizing information and dealing with the types of problems encountered by professionals and in the work place
- Offers intensive student-centered courses, with students in active roles
- Provides real-world forums for writing and presentations, which facilitates the development of writing and communication skills
- Offers a challenging and rigorous curriculum and a transcript designation upon completion of the program
- Problem-based learning promotes critical thinking, quality writing, and effective collaboration and teamwork skills
- Opportunities for independent field and scholarly research in and outside of courses
- Access to peer mentors
- Paid summer research opportunities working one-on-one with faculty mentors
- Access to local, national, and international service opportunities and travel
Criterion For Earning a Westminster Scholars Designation on Transcript
Students must successfully complete five of the required LE courses in Westminster Scholars designated courses. These courses may not be taken credit/no credit.
Westminster Scholars Designated LE Courses and Suggested Course Trajectory
|Fall Semester||Spring Semester|
|Freshman Year||Learning Community
|Sophomore Year||REL 101
|Junior Year||WSCH 300||WSCH 300|
|Senior Year||WSCH 400||WSCH 400|
|Westminster Scholars Special Topics||(1-4)|
|A changing topics course offering special areas of interest not covered in regular courses. Topics will build upon themes and subjects introduced in LE courses.|