The Goucher College 3Rs

Relationships, Resilience, Reflection.

Goucher College's dynamic president José Antonio Bowen, Ph.D, has come up with three new Rs that are crucial to students' learning and success in both college and beyond. In developing this new paradigm for higher education, Dr. Bowen draws upon recent research that indicates the best predictors of academic success, student learning, and even life happiness are personal connections, grit, and self-awareness. 

So move over, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Here at Goucher we are focused on: relationships, resilience, and reflection. Our community values, pursues, and develops the 3Rs through our academics, extracurriculars, study abroad, community service, and other student experiences. Focusing on these new 3Rs is fundamental to student learning, success, and retention.

When people ask us about the 3Rs, we explain:


At Goucher, community matters. We know students learn more when faculty and staff care about their success. Relationships are a prerequisite for learning, the central motivators of the student experience, and often the most treasured results of college, so we emphasize mentoring and peer-led tutoring, and we offer a holistic approach in the Academic Center for Excellence to increase learning everywhere.


Grit, or persistence, has been shown to be a much stronger predictor of success than intelligence. Goucher encourages resilience through rigorous academics, a supportive community, a vibrant campus life, and challenging co-curricular activities that enhance learning everywhere.


Understanding how to learn best, seeing failure as an opportunity, and being self-aware of strengths and weaknesses are all further predictors of academic and life success. Goucher provides students with opportunities to reflect on what they are learning in and out of the classroom, how it might be integrated with other knowledge, and who might benefit from its application, to improve learning everywhere.

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    President Bowen explains the 3Rs.