Civic Engagement Pathway Program

Join Pathways in learning about issues of systemic injustice in Tacoma and beyond. Your cohort will provide opportunities for challenge and growth, as well as a supportive community that is backed by one-on-one peer mentorship.  We work with each cohort member to help you design a unique Pathway built just for you. Get to know your new home through course-based civic engagement, field trips, and academic analysis. The Pathway Program is a two-year, cohort-based, academic and co-curricular program for first- and second-year students.  Students must apply to be part of the program.

In the Civic Engagement Pathway Program, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of self, identity, positionality, and ethical civic engagement.
  • Connect with the Tacoma community through civic opportunities, service-learning, and Local Logger events.
  • Engage topics of race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, etc. 
  • Attend on- and off-campus lectures and participate in conversation with your cohort.
  • Use the Collins Library Markerspace to create artistic, visual representations of your learning and experience.
  • Be mentored by older students to support you through the program.
  • Apply your learning to a career path through a summer internship following sophomore year.
  • Develop friendships with a cohort of students with similar interests.
  • Practice civic discourse.
  • Receive a total of 0.25 academic and .75 activity credit.

When selected for the Pathway Program, students will automatically be enrolled in the first-year, quarter credit course, Community and the Self (EXLN 106).  Cohort students will complete a total of four quarter-credit classes together over their first two years, culminating with the RISE summer internship program at the end of their sophomore year.

Student Experiences

“I felt like it would be a great way for me to become engaged with the broader Tacoma community at the very onset of my college career. Moreover, I thought this would be a good opportunity to meet other people who are
interested in social justice and thoughtful civic engagement.” - Maya Horten '22

“I like community organizing and I think identity groups are really important to me in my life; having a space for activism and learning about activism is important.”​ - Adreanna Thompson-Paschetto, '21

“I would say I learned the most about exploring my biases from where I stand in the world and also exploring my identity more in the class; where I fall in society and how I can improve the way I act in situations of bias and discrimination.  I learned about how I can try to help in situations where [bias] is happening." - Tessa Paulson-Palmer, '21

How to Apply

Incoming first-year students may apply to the Civic Engagement Pathway Program as part of the application to attend the University of Puget Sound with their Common App.  Students of color, first-generation college students (students whose parents or guardians did not attend and complete college at a 4-year college), students from low-income backgrounds, members of the LGBTQIA communities, and students who grew up in the Foster Care System are encouraged to apply.  You can find the application here.