Creating Your PLAN for Purpose, Leadership and Action
Simmons PLAN (Purpose Leadership ActioN) is a highly customizable, four-year academic pathway that is a key part of the Simmons undergraduate experience. The curriculum provides students with a highly-immersive experience and faculty mentorship each year to graduation.
The Simmons PLAN: A four-year journey that prepares you to succeed academically and professionally
Combining academics with professional preparation, PLAN equips you with the communication, critical thinking, integrative thinking, and inclusive leadership skills that are so valuable to employers. Students engage in experiential learning and are exposed to new ways of thinking in and out of the classroom, while also developing a sense of belonging and connectedness to Simmons and to the City of Boston.
PLAN prepares students who enter Simmons with a variety of diverse experiences and backgrounds that enable them to work and engage with confidence and success at the university level. PLAN helps students develop college-level writing skills, and it provides the intellectual foundation that will allow students to thrive in any undergraduate major.
This dynamic program prepares students for lifelong success and empowers them to leverage their passions, excel early in their careers, and be leaders in their communities. Each required PLAN course develops one or more essential capabilities – skills including communication, data analysis, ethical leadership, and creative problem solving – that are highly desired by employers and are critical to success in careers or post-graduate education in any major or field of study.
“It is an amazing feeling to watch students’ aha moments in class - when it all clicks. They start to realize that no matter the topic, critical thinking is always going to be an important tool that they can use throughout their entire academic career, no matter the major.”
– Leanne Doherty, Chair of Political Science and International Relations
How PLAN Works
Each year of PLAN provides students with intellectually challenging, meaningful, and project-oriented learning.How PLAN Works
What makes PLAN unique?
PLAN is highly customizable
Unlike most other general education curricula, PLAN is highly customizable, with courses in a wide variety of disciplines and professions. Students engage in experiential learning that aligns with their interests and passions.
PLAN centers on professional preparation
Based on national surveys of employers and graduate schools, the Simmons University faculty determined a set of skills critical for undergraduate students to achieve proficiency by the time they complete their Simmons University degree.
PLAN focuses on leadership and purpose
The Leadership Courses enables you to examine what kind of leader you already are and the kind of leader you’d like to become and to develop the critical leadership skills of public speaking and working as part of a team. Students can choose from Leadership courses on topics such as Leading Quietly (or Leadership for Introverts) and Enterprising Women. In addition, diversity, equity, and inclusion is woven into the PLAN curriculum so that students can learn how to lead inclusively and harness their unique strengths to find their purpose and help others thrive.
You’ll also be introduced to the Passionate Leaders Project in your Leadership course. The Passionate Leaders Project, or PLP, funds learning opportunities beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom. You can request up to $4,000 through the PLP for things like global experiences, research, internships, service projects, and creative projects. In your Leadership class, you’ll begin formulating ideas for a PLP proposal through an exercise that will be reviewed by the same team that reviews formal PLP proposals.
PLAN has measurable outcomes
Through this distinctive and customized experience, students learn how to approach complex societal issues while building essential career readiness and community engagement skills.
- During your first year, you develop critical writing and leadership skills through Boston and Leadership courses.
- During your second year, you are challenged to study an issue from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
- During your third year, in Simmons Excel, you will develop a variety of real-world skills through career and life planning and planning for financial independence.
- During the fourth year, you embark on a Capstone Experience, which allows you to demonstrate mastery in your major through a thesis, internship, or final project.
Our PLAN Students
What does Estela Raya-Fouts '24 love about being a political science major? The supportive faculty! Check out how Raya-Fouts is combining the political science, Spanish and migration studies programs to pursue a career with immigrant populations.
While most colleges have a general education program, Simmons University's PLAN goes above and beyond. Interim Dean Kelly Hager illustrates the valuable experiences PLAN offers students and the professional skills graduates will take away.
For Emma Harrison '22, the lessons she gained through her PLAN courses are endless. From gaining a deeper understanding of Boston to informing her career path, Emma is excited to take these lessons and make a positive impact.
The Passionate Leaders Project supports undergraduate students seeking to enrich their academic and professional interests by funding learning opportunities beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom. Learn what the Spring 2021 cohort is up to!
Charepoo's project, “Understanding How The Ruhi Institute Can Advance in The Boston Area,” will focus on the Institute's successes in communities around the world in the hopes of contributing to the growth of local programs in Boston.
The COVID-19 pandemic didn't stop Katie Mansour '21 from interning in a Boston Children's Hospital lab. Read more about her experience working during the pandemic and what skills she learned in addition to essential laboratory techniques.
Assistant Professor Lydia G. Fash shares details about the "On the High Seas" course which combines literature and the history of piracy.
Passionate Leaders Project
The Passionate Leaders Project supports undergraduate students seeking to enrich their academic and professional interests by funding learning opportunities beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom.Learn more