Tagaste Program

What is Tagaste?

Tagaste, North Africa, is the birthplace of St. Augustine, one of the most important figures in the development of Western thought. Augustine returned to Tagaste in 388 A.D. during a time of transition in his life. He established a community of friends who spent more than two years together reading, writing, reflecting, serving others, and sharing good meals and lively conversation.

As a college founded by the Augustinians of the Assumption, we found inspiration in Augustine’s time at Tagaste and have named our first-year experience in honor of it.

Your Place in Tagaste

Coming to college is exciting and challenging. New academic expectations, new people and new life responsibilities are part of your college experience at Assumption. The Tagaste Project provides a close-knit environment for you to make those transitions.

As a participant in the Tagaste Project, you’ll select a topic that links courses from two disciplines and join a group of 19 other first-year students who share that same interest. This group takes two courses in the fall and the spring that are led by the same two faculty members. Each student group also shares a residence hall and activities outside of class. Being in two classes with people you recognize and meeting them again in the residence hall and at events builds your network of friends quickly in your first year at Assumption College.

The Academic Advantage

The linking of two courses creates both a challenging and supportive community as you transition to college-level work. You’ll learn to integrate concepts from different classes so that both academic disciplines are enriched. During both semesters of your first year, you’ll work closely with two faculty members who can guide you in this discovery process. They’ll serve as your formal academic advisors as well.

The Tagaste Project courses satisfy general education or major/minor requirements, or are electives. You’ll have the opportunity to select from different course linkages to suit your academic interests. 

The Social Connection

Many college students can take five different classes and not recognize any familiar faces in those classes. Through participation in the Tagaste Project, you’ll immediately share two linked classes with the same 19 other first-year students. You’ll see your Tagaste classmates at dinner, in your residence hall, and at other sponsored events on campus.

In addition, the Tagaste Project faculty plan events where the members of each linkage have the opportunity to gather socially. These experiences create an environment where learning stretches far beyond the classroom, and fun and socializing are part of the learning.

Pursue Your Passion

The Tagaste Project pairs courses from different academic disciplines to help you discover connections that offer you new perspectives. Here are some examples of academic linkages.

  • Prophets and Profits: Parallels, Divergences and Conflicts in Theology and Business Studies
    Are work and faith compatible, or even necessary, to success and fulfillment as human beings? You’ll explore the connection through theology and management courses.
  • Identity, Ethnicity and Language
    How are global migrations shaping and challenging our notions of who we are as individuals, as local communities and as citizens of the U.S. and the world? Courses in English and Spanish delve into these concepts.
  • Journey into the Western Experience
    What are the foundational ideas and events that shaped the Western tradition? You’ll learn about them in your western civilization and history courses (for Honors students).
  • Know Thyself: Biology, Nature, and the Person
    How can we make sense of nature and make sense of ourselves as part of nature? Learn about that relationship in biology and philosophy courses.
  • Perspective and Perception
    How can two people look at the same thing and see two very different things? Art and history courses provide those perspectives.
  • The World that Trade Created
    Where did our current global marketplace come from and how does it function? You find those linkages in management and history courses.
  • Athens and Jerusalem: Reason and Revelation
    How far is it from Athens to Jerusalem, and what is the connection between the two different traditions associated with these places? You’ll study the bonds in philosophy and theology courses.

Activities After Class

Every Tagaste learning community shares experiences outside the classroom, including trips, films, events and meals. Tagaste students have:

  • Visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
  • Attended a Latin American film festival
  • Welcomed a Pulitzer-prize-winning guest to class
  • Visited a mosque
  • Toured the Worcester Art Museum
  • Shared pizza in the residence hall with faculty
  • Participated in a contest to design a Tagaste t-shirt
  • Traveled to the Lowell Mills National Historic Park to learn about mill management
  • Contributed to an exhibition of artwork.

Next Step 

If you are interested in participating in the Tagaste Project, you’ll have the opportunity to indicate your preference for a particular linkage on the “Academic Program and Housing Preference Survey” that is available online in May.