Real-Life Learning

At Pacific, our students don’t just sit in the classroom; they engage with the world. Each of our programs connects to the community through civic engagement opportunities, internships, or research, and all of our undergraduate students complete a senior capstone project representing the culmination of their academic studies.

Internships & Practica

Situated in the heart of Washington County, Oregon’s recognized economic engine, Pacific has relationships with countless businesses and agencies providing rich internship opportunities. In addition, a number of majors make clinical, professional, or research practica a hallmark of their curricula.

Civic Engagement

Every student puts knowledge and skills into action through a required civic engagement experience. Students partner with agencies beyond the campus, learning through real-world experience and applying classroom learning to authentic challenges. Through these experiences, many students discover lifelong passions as well as career directions.

Undergraduate Research

Students benefit from additional hands-on learning through faculty-mentored undergraduate research in the lab, in the library, and in the field. In addition to research integrated into the academic year, Pacific supports a robust summer research program providing paid, full-time professional research experiences. Faculty integrate students into their own research, providing students opportunities to co-author and co-publish with their professors.

Communication & Presentation Skills

Students develop fundamental writing and oral presentation skills in their First-Year Seminar and expository writing courses and hone those skills in courses across the curriculum. Faculty integrate disciplinary multimedia learning and presentation tools into their curricula, ensuring that students graduate ready to communicate effectively to multiple audiences in the media appropriate to their fields.

Leadership Development

In addition to leadership skills gained in such cocurricular areas as athletics and student government, students can take leadership roles in the support of cocurricular centers, such as the Center for Gender Equity and the Center for Civic Engagement. Students can also serve as tutors and mentors through those programs as well as through the Tutoring and Learning Center, the Pacific Leadership Academy, the First-Year Seminar peer mentor program, and other guided leadership development programs.

Senior Capstone Projects

Faculty regularly integrate real-world learning into their courses, as case studies and through community partnerships. Students furthermore practice integrating their learning across disciplines through our Focal Studies coursework. All students then demonstrate their ability to apply and integrate research, creative thinking, disciplinary knowledge, and effective communication in a year-long Senior Capstone project.