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Agnes Scott College to launch new experiential learning course in spring 2020

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Agnes Scott College to launch new experiential learning course in spring 2020

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Image provided by Agnes Scott.


Agnes Scott college is launching the Sophomore Class Atlanta Leadership Experience (SCALE) program for students to take next semester.

It’s a 1-credit hour course offered each spring, designed to parallel the college’s SUMMIT core course, Journeys, which is a requirement for all freshmen.

SUMMIT courses are implemented at Agnes Scott to achieve “global learning and leadership development.” The required courses are offered through both academic and hands-on classes.

So, what does SCALE entail?

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Students enrolled in the course will be on-site for four days at an organization in Atlanta that has partnered with SCALE, learning to identify and reflect on the challenges of that organization. There are a wide variety of SCALE placement sites available for students to go to for this course, including AT&T, Atlanta Dream, the Friends School of Atlanta, Decatur Housing Authority, Zoo Atlanta, and more.

For spring 2020, SCALE has 22 partners with organizations in Decatur and Atlanta.

Associate Vice President for Global Learning and Leadership Development Elaine Meyer-Lee leads Agnes Scott’s SUMMIT Initiative that launched in 2015. SCALE is the most recent development in the SUMMIT program, which Meyer-Lee calls a “period of innovation.”

While there are opportunities in place for students to take academic-style SUMMIT courses each year of their undergraduate years, SCALE was created to extend the experiential-aimed courses past the freshman year requirements.

Harold Thorsrud, a Faculty Coordinator for Leadership Development and Professor of Philosophy, works toward developing academic content for SCALE. Thorsrud currently is collaborating with colleagues to fine-tune the details of the program in its early stages.

Thorsrud said that with the requisite of SCALE for all sophomores, students will be “better able to find meaningful work after they graduate,” while preparing students to visualize job opportunities starting at an earlier point in their college career.

One of the goals of SCALE is to provide students with the knowledge and toolset to better apply their fine arts degree in the working world.

“It’s a good experience because they can figure something out about themselves and about what their future might look like,” Thorsrud said.

For both spring 2020 and 2021, sophomores, juniors, and seniors at Agnes Scott are invited to enroll in SCALE, kickstarting the program. Starting in 2022, all sophomores will be required to enroll in SCALE.

In addition, SCALE is launching an incorporation of juniors and seniors as SCALE leaders, giving them a role of facilitation and mentorship on-site for sophomores. These leaders are in place to serve as a liaison between the community partners and the team of students as well as to help sophomores reflect on the meaning of their experience.

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Honi Migdol is the Associate Dean for Integrative Leadership and SUMMIT Co-Curricular Programs. As part of her job, Migdol oversees the Gué Pardue Hudson Center for Leadership and Service. As part of SCALE, this office supports the logistical side of things, such as the placement process of students, the line of communication between the college and SCALE community partners, and transportation to and from local placement sites.

“[It] really brings to life all of the concepts around global learning and leadership development that students are learning about in the classroom,” Migdol said. “Our department is charged with the task of creating experiential opportunities that allow them to further develop their skills and their knowledge in really practical ways.”

To learn more about SCALE and its community partners, click here.

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