Gettysburg College students are doers. They choose to get involved in a wide array of activities and experiences that shape them into the leaders and global citizens our society needs. It is this propensity for action that’s at the heart of our consequential education.
The value of our Gettysburg experience is realized by our alumni at every turn and in every pursuit. But as a student, what if you could see the big picture of your education as you were living it?
How would mapping your college activities to your career aspirations influence where you devoted your time, how you viewed yourself and what drives you, and even the ways you will contribute to the world?
And, what if you weren’t left to figure this out by yourself? What if you were surrounded by your own team of advisors who believed in you and was dedicated to your success?
It’s these questions that inspired Gettysburg College to develop the Gettysburg Approach—a renewed and intensive focus on how we deliver our signature undergraduate experience. The Gettysburg Approach is designed to equip every Gettysburg student with a breadth and depth of knowledge and set of enduring skills to prepare them for a lifetime of career advancement and personal success.
Beginning in Fall 2023, through the Gettysburg Approach, all incoming students will also have the opportunity to experience our new Guided Pathways and Personal Advising Teams. This innovative model for skill-building and self-reflection will provide you with the clarity you’ll need to create a future that is uniquely your own.
How do the Guided Pathways and Personal Advising Teams work?
“Students’ professional success is largely defined by the educational path they choose for themselves. At Gettysburg, they don’t have to make that choice alone,” said Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students Anne Ehrlich.
“With the support of a Personal Advising Team, students will intentionally select the out-of-class experiences that will equip them with the enduring skills that align with their passions and the expectations of tomorrow’s employers—experiences that will transform their minds, build their confidence, and position them to have a consequential impact on the world around them.”
Here are 10 things you can expect from Gettysburg College’s Guided Pathways and Personal Advising Teams:
1. Summer Registration: Once you enroll at Gettysburg College, every member of the incoming class will have the opportunity to opt in to the Guided Pathways during the summer. The Pathways provide thematic organization to your co-curricular experiences during your four years on campus, helping you to practice, absorb, and articulate the knowledge and enduring skills you have gained at Gettysburg College—a vital step toward appealing to the top graduate schools and landing the best career opportunities after graduation.
2. Guided Pathways Grant: Every student who participates in the Guided Pathways will have access to competitive grants ranging from $1,000 to $4,000. Guided Pathways grants will be awarded as early as the summer after your sophomore year. The grant will be applied to a Pathway experience that advances your career goals—from seed money to launch your own start-up, to funds to conduct research abroad, to travel dollars to attend a professional conference in your field, and more.
3. Personal Advising Team: Every student who participates in the Guided Pathways will be supported by their own Personal Advising Team. While many colleges and universities assign a faculty advisor to their students, Gettysburg College takes this a step farther to ensure our students receive 360 degrees of advising—in all facets of their college experience. Your team will include a faculty advisor, co-curricular advisor, and career advisor. Together, they will lean on their expertise to help you explore your interests and ambitions, and they will offer you guidance that is tailored to your unique needs and circumstances.
- Faculty Advisor – Helps evaluate your academic program selections.
- Co-Curricular Advisor – Offers guidance for you to pursue on-campus activities.
- Career Advisor – Provides opportunities for continuous reflection to connect the skills you gain to tangible outcomes.
4. Select Your Guided Pathways: In your earliest communication with your Personal Advising Team, you will discuss your out-of-class interests, such as study abroad, music, theatre, athletics, service, campus employment, or any number of co-curricular activities. Based off your many interests, and with the guidance of your co-curricular advisor, you will select one or more Pathways to pursue during your first year at Gettysburg College. The Guided Pathways include:
- Creativity, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation – You will learn how to make a creative contribution to society. This Pathway provides you with experiences to help you develop a novel or unique idea, creative work, or product, while practicing and deepening the enduring skills of teamwork, leadership, and creativity.
- Global Citizenship and Intercultural Fluency – You will learn how to address the complex problems of our world. This Pathway provides you with the experiences to learn about cultures different from one’s own and will teach you the skills of adaptability and how to communicate effectively across difference.
- Justice and Community Change – You will learn how to foster equity-minded change through community-based work. This Pathway provides you with experiences to discover and understand the innerworkings of local communities from the perspective of equity, action, and justice.
- Leadership, Teamwork, and Collaboration – You will learn how to inspire teams to achieve their goals. This Pathway provides you with experiences to practice and understand how to contribute to a team effectively.
5. Career Development Pathway: All students participating in the Guided Pathways will supplement their chosen Pathways with a four-year Career Development Pathway. This Pathway gives you the tools and strategies to create and pursue a meaningful future. Through this Pathway, and together with your career advisor and entire Personal Advising Team, you will gain a deeper understanding of your career interests and how they can align with your future endeavors.
As you progress in the Career Development Pathway, you will grow your own Gettysburg Network and partake in transformative career-related experiences, including internships, externships, and job shadowing opportunities. You will also learn how to effectively articulate your Gettysburg experience—both through your resume and orally—in ways that will resonate with graduate schools and employers.
6. Year 1: Exploration: You will be encouraged to take advantage of experiences within multiple Pathways. You will reflect with your Personal Advising Team to draw connections between your interests and ambitions. You’ll also have introductory experiences with the Center for Career Engagement, such as attending a January Term (J-Term) virtual session on self-assessment and career exploration and participating in an on-site job shadowing experience.
In addition, you will partake in our First-Year Seminar program, which is designed for you to partner closely with a faculty member and a small group of classmates to develop the skills that will benefit your academic career at Gettysburg.
7. Years 2 and 3: Engagement: Your Personal Advising Team will help you to hone your focus and interests. Your team will also prepare you to select a major and define campus experiences within the Guided Pathways that will complement your academic work.
By the end of your sophomore or junior year, with the guidance of your Personal Advising Team, you will select one Guided Pathway to pursue for the remainder of your Gettysburg experience.
8. Add an Alumni Mentor to your Personal Advising Team: At the conclusion of your sophomore year, you will have the option of adding an alumni mentor to your Personal Advising Team. The alumni mentor will assist you in defining your career goals and building your professional network.
9. Years 3 and 4: Application and Articulation: By your junior or senior year, you will now be actively engaged in one of the Guided Pathways that is of deep personal interest to you, and you will be actively demonstrating the knowledge and enduring skills that you have developed at Gettysburg College. Your Personal Advising Team will continue to partner with you to help draw connections between your campus experiences and your plans for life after graduation.
10. Receive a Guided Pathways Certificate: Upon completion of the Guided Pathways, you will earn a Guided Pathways Certificate at your Class of 2027 Commencement Ceremony, formally recognizing and celebrating the knowledge, enduring skills, and experiences you’ve gained during your tenure at Gettysburg College.
If you are a member of the Class of 2027 and interested in participating in the Guided Pathways, you will have the opportunity to opt in beginning in mid-May through the First-Year Dashboard. To learn more, visit our Gettysburg Approach website and the Guided Pathways FAQ.