Whittier Scholars Program Mission and Goals

The Whittier Scholars Program offers students the opportunity to pursue a self-designed education at Whittier College. The Program embodies Whittier College’s mission and values through an individualized set of requirements tailored to each student. Students in the Whittier Scholars Program (Scholars) integrate all aspects of their college experience into individualized “Educational Designs,” which are customized educational pathways designed to actualize personal aptitudes and ambitions. These pathways may include any of the majors or minors offered at Whittier or self-designed majors or minors. In a series of small seminars, students synthesize learning experiences across a spectrum of fields, discern their academic focus, and work together with others to connect their co-curricular engagements with their aspirations and burgeoning skills.

An iterative design process affords students opportunities to imagine, plan, practice, and reflect on their learning, their goals, and their educational choices. Students create their Educational Designs with close mentorship from members of the Whittier Scholars Council and other faculty. Educational Designs incorporate 4-6 courses (8-13 credits) in the Whittier Scholars Program, a carefully curated selection of courses from all divisions of the College, at least one off-campus learning experience, a mentored capstone project, and a digital portfolio that reflects each student’s goals and growing proficiencies.

Program Goal 

The Whittier Scholars curriculum is designed to foster effective expression in multiple modes and media, cultivate community engagement and a habit of self-reflection, and instantiate practical and scholarly skills appropriate to students’ academic and professional goals.

Program Objectives

  1. PURPOSE: Whittier Scholars develop, refine, and pursue their own educational goals.   
  2. INTEGRATION: Whittier Scholars synthesize their achievements and reflect on their learning process in a portfolio of work in multiple modes adapted to various audiences.   
  3. BREADTH: Whittier Scholars attain foundational knowledge in a variety of methodologies or theoretical perspectives. 
  4. DEPTH: Whittier Scholars demonstrate the development of proficiencies relevant to their self-designed education through the completion of original work.   
  5. PRAXIS: Whittier Scholars integrate academic competencies with co-curricular and off-campus learning experiences involving research, study abroad, internships, or service learning.