Linda DeMeritt and Jane Ellen Nickell Describe “Allegheny Gateway”

Provost and Dean of the College Linda DeMeritt, ACE Fellow Lisa Henderson, and Chaplain Jane Ellen Nickell presented “A Gateway to Community, Cultures, and Careers” in March at the second national conference of the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), a network of 183 schools that provides resources for students to explore careers. NETVUE is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges with support from the Lilly Endowment.

The presentation described the Allegheny Gateway, which is expected to open in Fall 2014, and the opportunities it will provide for students to explore career choices. The Gateway also will integrate opportunities related to civic engagement, diversity, and internationalism to support an interdisciplinary education that fosters citizens of the world.

DeMeritt, Henderson, and Nickell used survey information to show that students who identify as nonreligious are concerned with questions of meaning, purpose, and values, and that these questions guide their career choices. One of the goals of the Gateway is to help students explore those questions through experiential learning opportunities such as study away and service learning. Another goal is to encourage both religious and nonreligious students to integrate their learning inside and outside the classroom and to consider the spiritual dimension of their lives.

Allegheny is one of the pioneers in the type of initiative that combines career resources with faculty involvement and experiential learning opportunities. Gateway pilot project initiatives will begin with the 2013-2014 academic year.