About Purposeful Work

(From left to right) Daniel Oyolu, Amanda Moore and Matt Neckes at Kerry Park in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle on July 15, 2014. (Photo by Patrick Hagerty)

Preparing students for lives of meaningful work lies at the heart of the liberal arts mission. Purposeful Work represents a radical departure from traditional approaches to preparing students for life after college. It is grounded in our mission, has curricular and co-curricular aspects, and takes a four-year, developmental approach to working with students.

Purposeful Work helps students, over the arc of their college years, identify and cultivate their interests and strengths and provides opportunities for them to acquire the knowledge, experiences and relationships necessary to pursue their aspirations with imagination and integrity. Students experience the possibilities of Purposeful Work across campus and throughout the Bates curriculum, programming, and events. Through funded internships, practitioner-taught courses, a speaker series, and other opportunities, Purposeful Work promotes greater agency in students’ approach to their college years and a stronger bridge to life after college. (more on Programs)

What sort of work is purposeful?

Work is purposeful when it contributes meaning to an individual’s life and has relevance to the greater community. Work that is meaningful for one person might not be for someone else. Through Purposeful Work, students are equipped with the skills, mindsets and mentors to help them make their own determinations about what will bring meaning to their lives.

Fulfilling our equity promise

For students from families without strong professional networks, Purposeful Work is especially important in furthering Bates’ equity promise. Through financial aid we provide access to a Bates education; we support all students for success once they are on campus; and Purposeful Work helps to bridge students to life after college.

Financing Purposeful Work at Bates

Launched with seed funding, Purposeful Work has become a recognized part of the student experience at Bates and a distinguishing feature of a Bates education. It has continued to be financed through the generous philanthropy of Bates families. As a priority of the The Bates Campaign, we now seek to ensure its future by securing the funds to make it a permanent program.