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Southwestern University Launches Paideia Program

One hundred Southwestern sophomores make up the inaugural class enrolled in the University’s new Paideia Program, which officially launched in early September.

“There has been great energy put into the preparation of the program,” says Stephanie Fabritius, associate provost and director of the Paideia Program. “The anticipation is high from both Paideia Scholars and Paideia Professors.”

As a key element of Southwestern’s Strategic Plan for 2010, the “Paideia” (pronounced pie-DAY-uh) Program–a Greek word that means the sum total of one’s educational experience–will provide Southwestern students, dubbed Paideia Scholars, with the opportunity to enhance their academic study through the incorporation and interconnection of experiences in four areas. These include an intercultural experience, a leadership experience, a service learning experience and a collaborative learning experience. Students will work closely with “Paideia Professors” to map out their academic plan.

Says Professor of Art and Paideia Professor Patrick Veerkamp, “I think this is the most ambitious project we as faculty have attempted at Southwestern University in the last 20 years, and one with the most potential for making a substantive change in our academic program.”

In the next few months, students in cohorts of 10 will participate in their seminars, meet with their Paideia Professors, and read selections on leadership, collaboration, reflection, intercultural experiences and service. Over the semester, the Paideia Scholars will investigate some of the service needs throughout Central Texas.

The Paideia Program was envisioned by Southwestern University Provost and Dean of the Faculty James W. Hunt, with support from a variety of faculty and staff. For more information on Paideia, visit the Paideia web site.

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