To create a more enriching environment for adult learners, CCU's College of Adult and Graduate Studies offers a cohort model of learning. Under this model, you join a group of students and journey together through your degree or certificate program. Your courses are offered one at a time in a pre-determined sequence, up until completion. Cohorts offer a stimulating and intellectually challenging environment, while promoting a sense of community. Research shows that students who participate in cohort groups have higher graduation rates, a greater sense of community with their peers, and the ability to better plan their degrees, due to the structured order of courses. The cohort model of learning has long been embraced within the Christian tradition. We see examples in the New Testament of believers gathering in communal settings for the purpose of study and fellowship (Acts 2). The writer of the Book of Hebrews encouraged this spirit of collaboration (Hebrews 10).
Just as Christians continue to meet for small-group Bible study, cohorts are a beneficial learning model in higher education as well. Cohort groups create an atmosphere of trust and intimacy among scholars, so they can journey together productively in the pursuit of knowledge.
When we ask our graduates what they most valued about their cohort experience, they share a range of responses:
As an adult undergraduate student, your cohort usually begins after you have fulfilled your general education and elective credits. (The timing can vary slightly by program.) Your cohort runs from the beginning of your "core course" curriculum through the end. Typically, these are the 300 to 400 level courses you take for your major. If you are a graduate student or you're pursuing a nursing or education degree, your cohort begins immediately upon starting your program. The cohort model applies to both in-seat and online classes. Taken one at a time, your cohort courses typically run five weeks for undergraduates or seven weeks for graduate students, with a few exceptions. The goal of a cohort is to start and end your sequence of courses together as a community. If, for some reason, you have to miss a course, your advisor can help you work through your situation and figure out whether you can rejoin your cohort. If you miss a number of courses, you'll likely need to join a new cohort to resume your educational sequence. Each situation is evaluated on a case by case basis, keeping your best interests — and those of your cohort — in mind.
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