University students in this post-COVID era face unique challenges when making the transition from high school to adulthood. They seek to cultivate a set of moral virtues and practical skills that can prepare them for life at Catholic University and beyond. This is a challenging proposition, and the School of Arts and Sciences is supporting our students as they address it with the “Bridge to Adulthood” program. The program consists of three one-credit co-curricular courses that begin in students’ freshman year and continue through their senior year.
Arts and Sciences successfully piloted the first course in the program, SAS 101: Shaping a College Life, last year with faculty and students from the Psychology Department. The course assists students as they adjust to college life by offering them space each week to get to know themselves, one another, and Catholic University. Students gave rave reviews to the course, saying that they loved the ability to meet staff from offices around campus, learn strategies that would help them succeed in college, discuss common challenges with their classmates and faculty, and think about what they want from their time at Catholic University.
Due to the course’s success, Arts and Sciences was able to expand SAS 101 from 39 students across three sections last year to 148 students across ten sections this year. This year’s students benefit from collaboration between Arts and Sciences faculty and staff from Center for Cultural Engagement, Center for Academic and Career Success, and Student Life in teaching the course.
Spring 2024 will see the launch of the pilot course SAS 102: Shaping a Work Life. The course will give Arts and Sciences students the tools to successfully navigate their future career paths by teaching networking, resume building, and interview skills. It will also provide space for students to ask bigger questions about meaningful work and their contribution to society.
The final course in the Bridge Program, SAS 103: Shaping an Adult Life, will launch in Fall 2025 and ask students to look forward to life after college, considering such issues as friendship and dating after college, work/life balance, and finding one’s vocation.