2019 Heiskell Award Winner: Scholars as Drivers of Innovation
Agnes Scott College
Summit: Global Learning Across the Curriculum
Summit-Global Learning Across the Curriculum at Agnes Scott College is a faculty-designed and faculty-administered global learning curriculum that strives to offer all Agnes Scott students an innovative global education prior to graduation. The award, Scholars as Drivers of Innovation, recognizes the critical role that scholars and faculty play in advancing curriculum development, fostering international opportunities, integrating industry, and driving internationalization of the campus.
Guided by a set of college-wide global learning goals, faculty from across the disciplines collaborate to offer a program that combines required general education, elective global learning courses, and co-curricular programming to provide all students with the competencies and critical skills for thriving in a global environment. Agnes Scott, a private, liberal arts women’s college located in Atlanta, Georgia, serves a highly diverse student population. More than 60 percent of Agnes Scott are of color, and over 40 percent are Pell Grant recipients. The college has a strong tradition of supporting study abroad, supporting subsidies for students to attend faculty-led programs to destinations across the world.
Prior to implementing Summit curriculum, some 40 to 50 percent of Agnes Scott students studied abroad, for academic credit and otherwise. This record puts Agnes Scott well ahead of the curve nationally. According to the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, only one in ten of U.S. undergraduates have the chance to study abroad during the academic career.
Today, nearly all Agnes Scott students go abroad prior to graduation through Summit curriculum, which was introduced in 2014 - to transformative effect. Summit introduces Agnes Scott students to global learning in their very first year on campus, integrating international experience with traditional classroom learning. During their first semester, Agnes Scott students take a foundational global learning course, Gateways, which is followed by Global Journeys in the spring semester. Journeys builds on the lessons first introduced by Gateways, focusing on global structures, systems and patterns. Each section has a unique, faculty-led focus.
Students have a chance to apply these lessons during a week-long cultural immersion component of the Journeys course, during which students travel with the faculty to a destination abroad or within the United States. Since implementing the Summit, the share of Agnes Scott students who gain global experience jumped significantly. Approximately 85 to 90 percent of each freshman class visit foreign destinations, while the remaining 10 to 15 percent engage in a domestic global-local experience. In spring 2019, Agnes Scott students will travel to destinations external to the United States, including Peru, Ghana, Chile, Morocco. One section will travel to the home of the Navajo Nation in Arizona, where they will learn about how the music and arts impact the Navajo community.