Old Main on the campus of Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College is launching two new centers aimed at providing students with programs tailored to ensure that they become ethical leaders who are well prepared for professional success in their chosen fields.

The centers emphasize continuous professional preparation within a comprehensive liberal arts curriculum that has built a reputation for producing successful graduates.

The Center for Ethical Leadership, which launches this fall, will develop students’ skills and commitments to leading with integrity – both personally and professionally – in a complex and rapidly changing world.

“Our promise to produce graduates of ‘uncommon integrity’ has long been enshrined in the mission statement of Washington & Jefferson College,” said President John C. Knapp. “With this new center, we will ensure that our students are known as leaders dedicated to upholding the highest ethical standards in their professions and communities.”

The Center for Ethical Leadership will serve as a hub for curricular and co-curricular programming and will be introduced to first-year students when they arrive at the college.

First-year students will be paired with faculty advisers and student success consultants. The center’s programming provides opportunities to develop skills for ethical reasoning and action in students’ academic study and through other activities throughout campus life.

Additionally, the new Center for Professional and Career Pathways will enable every student to design their own four-year plan for success beyond college.

Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Eva Chatterjee-Sutton said Pathways represents W&J’s commitment to aligning all aspects of the student experience with preparation for professional life or further study in graduate school.

“This process starts in the first year to equip every student with a road map to their successful future during and after W&J,” she said. “This is not an opt-in experience; every student benefits from these programs. This is integrated throughout their undergraduate experience, both academic and co-curricular, throughout their four years here.”

Key components of the Pathways program include quarterly workshops and regular interaction with alumni, who will share lessons from their own leadership journeys and act as mentors. The approach enables each W&J student to become familiar with their own aptitudes, interests and opportunities, while allowing the flexibility to explore broadly their areas of academic interest.

Also, a new requirement calls for all students to complete a supervised practical experience customized to their specific interests. All students will demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge and skills in relevant ways, such as through laboratory research, a professional internship, or other hands-on experiences.

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