All entering students must complete the REACH Curriculum. In the case of students returning to the University after an interruption of study, these students also must complete this new REACH Curriculum.
Freshman Year Experience
The Freshman Year Experience is about helping students as they begin their journey of reaching toward success. These courses are intended to be an introduction to academic writing and thought, as well as college life. Each baccalaureate student will be required to take two courses as part of their Freshman Year Experience.
Liberal Arts Experience
In the Liberal Arts Experience, students continue to reach for their goals and have the opportunity to expand their understanding of knowledge, contexts, ideas, and disciplines. Each student will be required to take two courses at the 100 or 200 level from each of the following areas of the Liberal Arts Experience. Note that no two prefixes in the Liberal Arts Experience can be the same.
Within the REACH curriculum, each student will be required to take, as a part of their Senior Experience:
outREACH / Beyond the Gates (BTG)
The outREACH requirement for baccalaureate students extends Mercyhurst University’s Mission-driven commitment to community engagement and is part of a larger effort to enhance cross-cultural learning for all our undergraduate majors. The outREACH requirement within the liberal arts curriculum is fulfilled through the completion the 2-credit freshmen Introduction to Mercyhurst (iMU) requirement, the required 1-credit Beyond the Gates experience (usually completed in the sophomore year), and the 3-credit senior capstone ethics requirement. All three outREACH levels are integrated through continuously monitored portfolio assessment conducted through the university’s online portfolio platform.
The Beyond the Gates (BTG) experience is an approved course, course designation, placement, or other qualifying program participation. BTG experience sections are offered in the fall and spring terms, and students normally complete the requirement in the sophomore year after completing iMU but before enrolling in the senior capstone ethics course. Beyond the Gates (BTG) experiences enable students to participate in civic engagement and service learning through a variety of opportunities, including study away or study abroad. Learning through real-world, person-to-person engagement enables students to apply academic knowledge and critical-thinking skills in developing critical insights into self and others, gaining deeper understanding of the university Mission and Mercy heritage, and sharing in the critical work of civic responsibility and meeting community needs.
The Senior Experience is where baccalaureate students see their efforts realized as they take command of their futures. The Senior Experience is the culmination of academic knowledge and personal growth and allows students to intertwine their major and liberal arts curriculum in a way that demonstrates their transformational education.
Notes: ENG 098 and MATH 099 courses are not part of the REACH Curriculum. Although they earn university credits, these credits do not count toward graduation. A course cannot count for more than one REACH requirement.