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Personal Development Portfolio (PDP)

The Personal Development Portfolio (PDP) program helps you synthesize into an integrated whole your studies, service and activities as a student. As you explore, you discover who you are and, most importantly, grow into maturity as the person you want to be. You develop your own view of the world and determine not only how you will live in it, but how you can shape it.

PDP is a comprehensive approach to critical reflection and self-knowledge, a process in which all aspects of a liberal arts education come together.

A liberal arts education is more than the broad skills and knowledge acquired from studying such areas as literature, history, philosophy and the arts.  On a deeper level, a liberal arts education refers to the development of critical thought, the ability (and desire) to question, to examine and to understand issues and ideas with increasing clarity and depth.  This process is reflection, and it is a process at the very heart of a liberal arts education.

This is part of what we mean when we speak of educating the whole person - acquiring these transformative skills and applying them to our lives as a whole.

PDP 150: Critical Inquiry and the Liberal Arts 

PDP 150: Critical Inquiry in the Liberal Arts is Bridgewater College’s first-year seminar, typically taken during the fall semester of your freshman year.

Course topics for PDP 150 are extremely varied and diverse, from sustainability to music, from zombies in culture to pet ownership. Scott Jost covers “Narrative Community Mapping,” while Brandon Marsh takes you “Into the Abyss: The World Crisis of the 1930s.” Transfer students have unique course topics to choose from as well, such as social media or the U.S. economy, and Flory Fellows can choose honors sections covering the Bill of Rights or the Coal Wars of Appalachia.

Note: Transfer students take PDP 350, and honors students in the Flory Fellows program have separate sections of PDP 150.

PDP 450: The PDP Senior E-Portfolio

During the freshman year, the emphasis is on introducing the fundamental concepts of the liberal arts and the skills needed for serious reflective thinking. Beyond the first semester, students will keep a record of their academic life, involvement in campus activities and engagement in the community.

During the senior year, students attend a special convocation and workshop in preparation for the senior e-portfolio. The final senior e-portfolio includes a record of your academic achievements and community engagement experiences, a current resume and cover letter, and most importantly, a reflective essay which articulates in a meaningful way your growth and development over the entire college experience. Satisfactory completion of PDP 450 is a graduation requirement and the crowning achievement of your four-year experience.

For more information on the PDP program, contact:

Dr. Edward W. Huffstetler
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs