“Gateway” Programs Continue to Attract Top Students

The group of incoming first-year students enrolled in the College’s so-called gateway programs next fall will be taking part in a curricular initiative that welcomes talented students who want to challenge themselves intellectually. Made up of four distinct avenues of academic exploration, these innovative, non-major programs include the Guided Studies Program: European Civilization, the Cities Program, the Interdisciplinary Science Program, and the InterArts Program. Each program is academically rigorous, limited in size, and designed to introduce new Trinity students to critical analysis, college-level writing, research and problem-solving skills, Trinity resources and facilities, and the city of Hartford.

First-year students gain admission to these programs through an application process separate from their application to Trinity. Each year, a select group of students is invited to apply for admission to each program. These applicants are chosen from the entire pool of College applicants based on their exceptional abilities and strong motivation, as well their potential to excel at demanding interdisciplinary study. Although the programs feature small classes that include close collaboration with faculty members, each program strives to accept as many students as possible.

As of Friday, May 13, the enrollment for fall 2005 stood at: InterArts Program 19; Interdisciplinary Science 29; Guided Studies 34; and the Cities Program 18. It is widely understood that, between now and September, those numbers might change as a result of a number of factors including students changing their interests and/or other students seeking admission. Each program’s curriculum includes four semesters of specialized study to complement the students’ normal coursework.

The Cities Program, established in 1996, examines cities—past, present, and future—in all their extraordinary variety and complexity. The program takes advantage of Trinity’s location by using Harford as a site for the close-up study of urban issues and by drawing on its rich array of intellectual and cultural resources. Students are given numerous opportunities to supplement their classroom learning by getting personally involved with the complex social and economic problems of this city, which in many respects is a microcosm of urban America.

The Guided Studies Program: European Civilization, established in 1979, focuses on the development of Western culture from ancient times to the 21st century. It was designed by faculty members in four humanities disciplines—English, history, philosophy, and religion—and reflects the College’s commitment to the ideals of broad, coherent liberal arts education. Both Guided Studies and the Cities Program are directed by Ron Spencer, associate academic dean.

The InterArts Progam, established in 1999, provides a special curriculum enabling first- and second-year students to study, practice, and discuss art in an arts-rich environment. Students work especially close with professors of creative writing, music, studio arts, and theater and dance; faculty members from other disciplines also teach in the program. Guest artists—from Trinity, Hartford, and beyond—participate as teachers, mentors, and models of artistic practices. Clare Rossini, visiting assistant professor of English and director of TCCTR, directs the InterArts Program.

The Interdisciplinary Science Program, established in 1986, is designed to broaden and enrich the study of science and mathematics by exploring both the links between the various scientific disciplines and their connections with the external world. The program engages students in challenging and important questions about the nature of scientific research, the role of science in modern societies, and current scientific debates. Designed and supported by faculty in from across the science, engineering, and mathematics disciplines, the core of the ISP consists of an interdisciplinary science seminar and a research apprenticeship, both in the first year, and a course investigating the impact of science and technology on public policy. The program is directed by Allison Draper, lecturer in interdisciplinary sciences.

For further information, please go to: www.trincoll.edu/Academics/SpecialPrograms/.


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