Trek is a graduation requirement encompassing exploration of CAREER, COMMUNITY, and CULTURE.

Trek is designed to help our students learn important skills and sharpen ones they already have to use beyond their time at Centenary. All three components of Trek connect back to our students' academic majors and help to enhance and support the academic mission of the College.

The mission of Trek is to incorporate into the required curriculum distinctive, experience-based programs for students to enhance their self-knowledge and social awareness through career/graduate school preparation, intercultural engagement, and civic involvement.

The Office of Global Engagement facilitates the CULTURE and COMMUNITY components. The Office of Professional Discernment facilitates the CAREER component.

 

Career

The CAREER component of Trek helps students gain critical career-related skills and also helps them explore and analyze careers that they find interesting. Students may satisfy the CAREER requirement through one of several options to achieve Trek's mission for students to gain enhanced self-knowledge and social awareness through career and graduate school preparation.

Students may earn CAREER (CA) Credit through any of the following ways:

  1. Career Strategies (CA 253) This semester-long, two-hour credit course will increase student awareness of the career decision-making process. Students will engage in self-assessment and in the development of job search strategies which will expand their understanding of the relationship between their education and the world of work.
  2. CAREER Independent Internships (CA 251) Through internships, students can gain short-term professional work experiences that allow them to determine if that career field is right for them. Students can also acquire valuable skills and gain a competitive edge when applying for future jobs or for graduate or professional schools.
  3. CAREER Credit Courses (CA 250) Some courses in the academic catalog meet the criteria for CAREER credit. — for example, professional internships, student teaching, and mentored research activities that receive academic credit. In general, such Courses combine substantive academic content with significant career-related experiences and serve as a bridge between workplace expectations and the liberal arts education students receive at Centenary.
  4. CAREER Guided Research (CA 251) Most guided research at Centenary occurs under the supervision of a professor, providing excellent preparation for graduate or professional study. Students engaged in advanced research are normally highly motivated and have a firm grasp on their personal and professional goals.

 

Culture

The CULTURE component of the Trek program provides opportunities for students to gain insights about themselves through direct interaction with people of a different culture. These experiences enable students to more fully understand how their own culture’s values, beliefs, heritage, and history shape their view of the people they encounter whether here in the United States or abroad. Ultimately, participation in intercultural programs strengthens students’ ability to communicate, work, and live with others.

 

Students may earn CULTURE credit though any of the following ways:

  1. International Exchange Partnerships & Study Abroad Programs (CU 300) Centenary students are given the opportunity to study abroad through our exchange partnerships around the globe. Students participating in a Centenary exchange program are enrolled both at Centenary and at the partner institution abroad, simplifying the admission, scholarship, and credit transfer process.
  2. Independent CULTURE Projects or Modules (CU 351) Independent CULTURE Projects allow students to study any culture that peeks their interest. Students will select a culture to study and then work with a faculty adviser to create their own personal itinerary to interact with that culture for an appropriate period of time. An Independent CULTURE Project may stand on its own or be combined with an Independent Module.
  3. Advanced Language Study Students taking foreign language courses can receive their CULTURE credit by successfully completing two or more of these courses at the 300 level or above.
  4. May Module In order to enrich Centenary’s curriculum, we offer a variety of short, intensive courses each May. These courses explore topics of general or specialized interest not normally offered in Centenary’s semester and Summer courses. Module courses are two to four week courses that are offered both on and off campus. These courses fulfill the CULTURE requirement of the Trek Experience

 

COMMUNITY

The COMMUNITY component of the TREK program re-envisions service-learning at Centenary to achieve an experiential liberal arts education that will make our students better global citizens.

 

Students may earn COMMUNITY credit through any of the following ways:

  1. Learning Through Community Course (CO 153) Many students choose to complete their COMMUNITY requirement through CO 153. This course is designed for students to have the opportunity to choose a Community Partner and participate in an independent Service-Learning project during any given semester.
  2. COMMUNITY Credit Academic Courses & Projects (CO 151) Students may fulfill their COMMUNITY requirement through a number of academic courses by being concurrently enrolled in the course and CO 151. In this option, students participate in Service-Learning projects that are relevant to their area of study and what they are learning in the course.
  3. COMMUNITY Internship Program Students will be able to receive both their CAREER and COMMUNITY graduation requirements simultaneously for successful participation and completion in formal internships with local Non-Profit Organizations. The NPO Internship Program is a collaboration between the Office of Global Engagement and the Office of Career Services & Placement.
  4. COMMUNITY Credit May Modules Each May students have the option of participating in May Modules that have been approved for COMMUNITY credit, thereby fulfilling both their CULTURE and COMMUNITY requirements at the same time. Future May Module offerings may differ from year to year. Please contact us with any questions about the Service-Learning or COMMUNITY component in any our modules, or click here to read more about the May Module requirement.

Recommended Timeline for Completing Trek

In order to receive the maximum benefit from the Trek Components while connecting those opportunities to the academic curriculum, the Trek Committee recommends that students attempt to complete the Trek Components according to the time table below.

Recommended Completion Timeline for Trek Components:

  • COMMUNITY (CO) 45th credit hour | beginning of Sophomore year
  • CAREER (CA) 90th credit hour | end of Sophomore year
  • CULTURE (CU) 105th credit hour | end of Junior year

Completing CO credit early in the college career facilitates an understanding of experiential learning into an academic curriculum and serves as an introduction into merging scholarship and community.

Completing CA credit by the end of the sophomore year allows students to explore careers with enough time to make curricular changes according to their professional goals.

Completing CU credit by the end of the junior year exposes students to global communities beyond local experiences. This deepens understandings of different cultures and prepares students to enter a global context upon graduating.

Deadlines for Independent Proposals

Students choosing to create and propose independent experiences that include Trek Components must do so the semester before they attempt to complete the experience. Below is a list of the deadlines by which students must submit their Independent Project to the Trek Committee for consideration. The Trek Committee will NOT accept late or retroactive proposals.

Semester of Project Deadlines:

Spring Semester - November 1st
Summer Semester - April 1st
Fall Semester - April 1st

Student Handbook

The Trek Handbook for Students is the comprehensive resource for our students to use when seeking to learn more about earning all 3 Trek credits for graduation. The handbook gives a complete overview of the Trek program, each individual Trek component, and the assessment and evaluation process for each opportunity offered through Trek.