Core Curriculum

Student Experiences

Elizabeth Draeger

At a Glance:

Communication major finds a passion in the creative arts through her Pathway

For Lizzy Draeger, her Pathway was much more than solely an academic requirement. Through a combination of interdisciplinary courses and a focus on questions that encourage students to discover meaning in their work, the Vocation Pathway guided Draeger to her passion for the performing arts.

Finding Meaning in Academics and Beyond

Now a graduate of SCU, Draeger recalls the sense of uncertainty that surrounded the experience of transitioning to college during freshman year. "All through high school, you have one goal: to get into college. Once I got into college, I started asking myself, 'What's my path? Which direction do I go in now?' The description of the Vocation Pathway began with a question, too: 'What do you want to do with your life?' I was sold the second I read that line and chose the Vocation Pathway to help me figure out the answers to those questions."

Draeger stresses that she chose a Pathway that interested her, rather than one that integrated more of her coursework as a Communication major. She also deliberately enrolled in courses in departments that she otherwise would not have chosen, pushing herself to experience different and diverse academic interests. 

Discovering Creative Passions

Draeger’s decision made a significant impact on not only her academics but also her career path. A religion course, Literature and Religion: Your Personal Renaissance, that she took as part of the Vocation Pathway became one of her favorite courses at Santa Clara as it helped her analyze exactly what she was interested in. Advanced poetry, theater, and dance courses also provided Draeger the opportunity to explore her creative side, something she has wanted to do since she was a child.

"I liked that I had the chance to take English, Theater, and Dance Department classes.  Because they fulfilled my Pathway requirements, I could try out courses while having an academic reason to do so. These courses helped me genuinely reflect and figure out which direction I really want to head. And once I started to find the answers to all those questions I had coming in to college, I began to build confidence in myself and my goals. It sounds so cliché, but if I hadn't had the Vocation Pathway, I wouldn't be who I am today."

Following graduation, Draeger plans to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Her goal is to continue following her passions for the performing arts, and "have a positive impact on other people" through her work.