For most students, going to college means taking courses in an institution of higher education, attending lectures on various academic subjects such as history, physics, or math; taking examinations on those subjects at the end of each term to receive credits for successfully completing courses, and graduating when a sufficient number of credits is achieved.
At Boricua College, lecture-discussion courses are an excellent way for college students to master some kinds of information. Lecture-discussions about “theoretical studies” however, are only one, of five distinct ways in which students are educated and receive academic instruction at the College. An explanation of each of these modes of instruction and of the way they are integrated into a singular program of student growth and development, follows.
At the core of Boricua College’s academic programs is a distinctive way of learning called Individualized Instruction. For this unique part of the College’s program each student meets individually with a Faculty Facilitator for one hour each week of every learning term, to plan, implement and evaluate an individualized program of learning designed to meet the particular student’s educational needs and career aspirations.
During the student’s first two years of enrollment at Boricua, individualized instruction courses focus on a set of critical, intellectual skills: comprehension, application of theories and concepts, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
The College believes that these “mental processes” are required for the mastery of substantive academic knowledge. Employing a system of instructional modules, a Faculty Facilitator carefully guides the student through a self-paced program designed to equip the student with the necessary intellectual skills and competencies for life-long learning as well as introducing them to the subject matter of the inter-disciplinary liberal arts and sciences.
During the junior and senior years of study, while still emphasizing the mastery of intellectual skills, individualized instruction takes on a more focused disciplinary character as the student is guided through the breadth and depth of the concepts and literature of their chosen field of specialization such as business administration, education, human services or liberal arts and sciences.
A second way of learning at Boricua College is the weekly Colloquium. A focused group on the development of affective skills and acquisition of knowledge, whereby eight to ten students meet each week with their Faculty Facilitator to exchange, share, discuss and evaluate issues and problems related to their learning program. Each student has an opportunity to provide knowledge and receive knowledge, and is required to share their perceptions, opinions, skills and values. The student progresses each term through various levels from an introductory understanding of the affective dimensions of the learning process, to group learning skills, to assuming greater leadership and providing deeper comprehension and analysis of the subject matter addressed in each course. A successful colloquium requires full participation by each student in setting the weekly learning agenda based on an established syllabus.
In the first two years, the purpose of the small group colloquia is to develop a series of affective competencies through discussions of increasingly higher levels of inter-disciplinary liberal arts and sciences.
In the final two years, while still emphasizing the affective competencies, a colloquium takes on a more disciplinary character as students discuss the values, skills and knowledge of their major area of study and their profession.
A third way of learning in which all Boricua students participate throughout their college career involves structured experiences designed to bring the students to a high level of practice in the world of work. During the freshmen year the focus is on broadening the experience of the student by sharpening their sensory and perceptual capabilities and awareness with a focus on the arts and sciences.
Through a series of planned field experiences and simulation workshops the student will sharpen his or her ability to observe, record and study how the artist, social scientist and natural scientist works, and their settings of practice, products and findings. The student is also required to get in touch with the status of their health through courses in physical awareness and development such as Yoga, martial arts, aerobics or other guided exercises or nutrition workshops.
In the sophomore year opportunities to experience higher level, complex skill behaviors are provided through courses in science lab, computers, music, fine arts and performing arts.
The junior and senior year of the experiential studies program are devoted to pre-internship workshops and direct practice in a professional setting. Central to these workshops, internships and apprenticeships, called practicum, is an understanding between the College and the host agency as partners in the training of the intern.
As part of the understanding, the College and host agency designate a Field Supervisor from the professional staff who assigns specific tasks and guides the intern to readings and other information relevant to the tasks, and participates with the student’s Faculty Facilitator in evaluating the student’s products.
Each cycle or academic term, Boricua College offers a wide array of academic courses called Theoretical Studies. Each course employs the customary techniques of lecture, discussions, written examinations and research papers, and is designed to lead the student systematically through a topic or body of instrumental knowledge of mathematics, social sciences and natural sciences. A strategy of Boricua’s educational model is the interaction between the intellectual and affective skills, developed in the other courses, and the subject matter contents of the theoretical studies courses.
Boricua College believes that the educated man or woman is not only a person of broad learning, who can integrate skills, values and knowledge in the service of effective action, but a person who can express aesthetic perceptions of the world. The College perpetuates one of the deepest values in Boricua culture in the importance it attaches to the study of the artistic or expressive side of human nature. Therefore, every academic term the College offers students learning opportunities in the humanities with particular attention on the unique experiences, language and history of Puerto Rico, and other Spanish-speaking regions of the Western Hemisphere.
Independent Study is a unique opportunity available to students who have indicated by prior achievement the capacity to do so. A clear understanding and competency with the intellectual and affective skills is an important criterion.
A student must consult with an receive the support of their Faculty Facilitator before initiating the procedure for approval.
Approval of an Independent Study activity requires a Work Plan with a timetable for completion and the number of credits available for the particular activity. The Work Plan must:
- Receive prior approval of the academic Vice President or Deans.
- Submitted to the Director of Registration and Assessments via the President’s Office.
- Independent Study course number indicated on the Registration form for that term.
- Copy of Work Plan attached to the Student’s Learning Contract.
- No credit will be awarded without a completed assessment.
Integration of Learning Experiences
Student success in integrating the five ways of learning into a coherent pattern of educational growth and personal development is Boricua College's most important goal. Three features of the College’s programs are directed toward that goal:
Neither detailed planning nor comprehensive documentation and assessment can insure the integration of a student’s learning experience at Boricua without the work of the Faculty Facilitator — the key figure in the College’s educational program. Performing a faculty role virtually unknown in traditional institutions, Boricua’s Facilitators are responsible for the educational development of twenty to twenty-two (20-22) students with whom they meet individually (Individualized Instruction), and in small groups (Colloquium), each week of the learning term. In a transactional process, the Faculty Facilitator and students work to achieve a synthesis, or gestalt, of the skills, knowledge, values and experiences the student encounters at Boricua. As the following diagram shows (See below) the Student-Facilitator partnership becomes the interpersonal focus of integrated learning at the College.
Learning begins with an integrated individualized plan that takes shape in the student’s Learning Contract. At the beginning of every academic term, each student, with the assistance of a Faculty Facilitator, plans a personalized Learning Contract for the term. The contract specifies the student’s educational goals for the term, how the five ways of learning will be utilized to achieve those goals, and how the student’s progress will be evaluated at the end of the term.
The assessment portfolio contains the student’s learning contract, all exercises, Instructional Modules work, examinations, other work produced, faculty evaluations and assessments of student achievements for the term. This portfolio serves as documentation for both the student and the college by which to determine a student’s educational progress at Boricua and the efficacy of the curriculum.
Ways of Learning | The Educational Model | Academic Programs
Boricua’s system of instruction is based on a fundamental humanistic principle of educating the whole person to become a self-motivated, independent, life-long learner, with awareness and commitment to maintain a healthy symbiotic relationship with their environment.
To develop in students selected clusters of generic cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills and values necessary for understanding the knowledge of the environment as manifested in the disciplines of the liberal arts and sciences.
- The CORE Curriculum
- The Associate of Arts Degree
Realizing the importance of human service institutions, agencies and professionals in facilitating a quality of life for all the City’s residents.
- Bachelor of Science in Human Services
- Master of Science in Human Services
The Childhood Education program is designed to address the need for elementary school teachers who are bilingual.
- Bachelor of Science in Childhood Education (1-6)
- Bilingual Education Extension Certificate (1-6)
- Master of Science in TESOL Education (K-12)
- Bilingual Education Extension Certificate (K-12)
To address the needs in the City for Puerto Rican, Latino and other business managers and decision makers who can function in the bilingual, multi-cultural environment of New York City.
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
To examine the human condition through a concentrated, interdisciplinary approach the liberal arts and sciences.
- Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences
To examine the relationships of the peoples and nations of North, Central and South America and the Caribbean with respect to politics, economics and culture.
- Bachelor of Arts in Inter-American Studies
- Master of Arts in Latin American and Caribbean Studies