ENGAGING WITH THE COMMUNITY HAS THE GREATEST IMPACT ON THE STUDENTS. The experience enhances their learning, development and leadership skills. As a public liberal arts university, Georgia College is dedicated to providing the nation and the world with future professionals who will play critical leadership roles in our global society. At Georgia College, the opportunities for students to meaningfully engage with community organizations and develop professional leadership skills are a veritable cornucopia.
- The Nonprofit Management certification program requires a 300-hour internship with a nonprofit organization, where students acquire real field competencies as they shadow executive directors and other staff, work as assistants, and develop leadership and professional competencies. The program culminates in a capstone course where students demonstrate those skills.
- The Georgia Education Mentorship (GEM) program—a yearlong apprenticeship for Georgia College students to hone their leadership and professional skills by shadowing selected leaders in business, politics, education law, health care and industry. Georgia College senior Meredith Carpenter is mentee to Alex Gregory, Georgia College alumnus and president and CEO of YKK Corp. of America.
- A Leadership Certification program embraces a social change model of learning development, says Director John Bowen, with problem-based leadership courses involving partnering community agencies. Each student engages in reflective activities throughout a project, which concludes a capstone presentation.
- Through Academic Outreach, students “get to fulfill their passions,” says Director Ruth Eilers. Begun in 1968 and with funding support from Kaolin Industries of Georgia, Academic Outreach involves about 80 students each year, primarily working with youth groups or schools. “They learn leadership skills, group dynamics and, most importantly, confidence in leading groups, organizing activities and completing projects,” said Eilers.
- An American Democracy Project included working with the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forum to create a public policy center where students, faculty and citizens deliberate key issues that affect the local community as well as the nation.