Pathways Program

The Pathways Program is a strategic initiative of the College of Arts and Sciences directed toward better achieving the College’s mission: create critical thinkers who become life-long learners who can make informed decisions and valuable contributions to society and the world. The Pathways Program will promote the College mission through enhanced advising, integration of existing programs, and curricular innovations and outcomes.

Pathways is inspired by a vision of graduating seniors who have successfully demonstrated they

  • Have gained the skills and knowledge required for significant life activities, such as appropriate work and community service, civic involvement, creative expression, communication, interpersonal relationships, and lifelong learning.
  • Are equipped with a plan for their next steps upon graduation—and have the confidence and competence to pursue their plan.
  • Understand the freedoms, responsibilities, and opportunities associated with being educated broadly in the liberal arts—and can respond appropriately to this understanding.
  • Appreciate and can articulate the value of their Pacific education.
  • Are self-aware with respect to their intellectual skills, knowledge, interests, strengths, ambitions, and growth opportunities—and are capable of acting effectively on this awareness in applying their education.

Experiential Education

Discover four important experiential education elements of the Pathways Program:

Civic Engagement

Pacific University shares a long and positive relationship with the community of Forest Grove and the surrounding area. These relationships continue to grow and prosper with the involvement of Pacific students in a myriad of local programs and organizations.

Since Pacific University participates in the Federal Work-Study program, it is possible for student recipients of Federal Work-Study to earn their awards in approved community service agencies.

Categories in which community partners are selected include

  • Arts and Environment
  • Government
  • Health and Science
  • K-12 Education
  • Mathematics
  • Reading and Literacy

The McCall Center for Civic Engagement connects Pacific students, faculty, and staff with the community to serve the common good and facilitate learning through volunteer work and service-learning. A student may become involved with any one of the sponsored programs available through Center for Civic Engagement.

Popular programs include the following

  • Mentoring and tutoring elementary through high school students
  • Serving the homeless
  • Teaching literacy in English to non-native speakers
  • Construction and fundraising with Habitat for Humanity
  • Cleaning up rivers and beaches
  • Visiting with the elderly
  • Service-learning on the Navajo Nation

Contact the Director, Stephanie Stokamer, for more information at


An internship is a supervised, purposely educational and sustained work experience that supports career development by providing the opportunity for the following

  • Applied Learning
  • Career Exploration
  • Skill Development
  • Personal Development
  • Professional Mentorship
  • Resume Building
  • Career Networking
  • Job Upon Graduation

An internship may be full-time or part-time and either during the academic semester or during the summer. The experience may involve academic credit. The Career Development Center has two full-time staff members devoted to guiding students through the process and developing opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally.

Opportunities exist within a range of industries in each of the non-profit, for-profit, and governmental sectors.

Contact our Career Center staff at Also be sure to check our Internship Program.

International and Diverse Perspectives

Pacific University students are highly encouraged to engage in intercultural experiences. Offered at Pacific are opportunities for both study abroad and domestic travel with an intercultural emphasis. These activities take students out of their comfort zone, expose them to the richness of another culture, teach them intercultural communication skills, promote adaptability, and build self-confidence.

Study Abroad

Pacific University offers students the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or academic year. Several short-term programs are also offered, mostly during the Winter III term in January or in early summer.

Nearly 50 percent of our students study abroad – with a choice between 50 sites in 16 countries.

Domestic Travel with an Intercultural Emphasis

Various intercultural experiences can be obtained in local communities as well as in neighboring states.

Students have opportunities to travel to Arizona as part of the Navajo Service Learning sponsored program, to Hawaii for a three-week intensive course studying the history and culture, and to San Francisco to volunteer in homeless shelters as part of a part of the Alternative Spring Break sponsored program.

In addition, students have volunteered locally with organizations such as Adelante Mujeres, Centro Cultural, and many more, continuing to learn and grow as individuals, while providing valuable services to the community.

Research and Creative Achievement

As a part of the Pacific University education, an independent research or creative project is required for graduation. Typically, these projects comprise the departmental capstone experience. Most often the product consists of a research paper, thesis, or creative work, which is formally presented to the Pacific community. Sometimes students present this work at national or regional conferences.

In the laboratory sciences, including psychology, Pacific University supports an active summer research program. In the Summer of 2007, 22 students conducted independent research under undergraduate and School of Pharmacy faculty mentorship. Students receive $3,800 stipends to conduct this research.

While students may successfully enter health professions graduate programs from a variety of disciplines, from philosophy to physics, many do so from the sciences. Taking advantage of summer research opportunities can provide helpful experience for a career in the health sciences.

Advantage Scholars Program

The Advantage Scholars Program offers students rigorous preparation for careers in the health professions through a combination of coursework, advising, observational hours, experiential learning opportunities, and assistance with the application process. In addition, students in the Advantage Program may apply for an early decision for admission to Pacific’s health professions programs during the spring of their junior year. Successful early-decision applicants will thus be able to complete their senior year with the knowledge that they have a space held for them in one of Pacific’s graduate or professional programs, provided they continue to perform well in their coursework and meet standards.

Learn more about the Advantage Scholars Program.

Contact Us

Career Development Center
Phone: 503-352-2877 | Fax: 503-352-3164 | | Chapman Hall