|A PUBLICATION OF THE SEIDEL SCHOOL OF EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIES AT SALISBURY UNIVERSITY||Winter 2015|
Seidel Local/Community Connections
Presidential Citizen Scholars Program - Spring 2015
Seidel School faculty and students are forging new connections with the local community. This spring marks the first semester of the renewed Presidential Citizen Scholar program, a multi-faceted, civic engagement experience that prepares students to become community leaders now and in the future. The Scholars program offers students of all majors and levels of experience opportunities to become engaged in the political life of the community and to develop habits of democratic citizenship. Students who complete the requirements of this program receive distinctive recognition as Presidential Citizen Scholars.
Students are invited to apply for the competitive program by presidential invitation. Applicants from across the University were asked to submit essays responding to the question: “What would you like to change about the community?” The first cohort of 16 accepted students includes two students from Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies. Heather Kaercher and Kristin Miller, both majors in elementary education, are among those who have committed to the rigorous three-semester series of special topics courses, internships and various community works. Faculty from Seidel and Fulton schools selected Heather and Kristin from a pool of applicants around the University.
Heather, Kristin and their fellow Presidential Citizen Scholars begin their program with IDIS280, Civic Engagement: An Introduction for Presidential Citizen Scholars. The two-credit special topics course makes extensive use of the greater Salisbury community, including field trips and participation in community events. Scholars will explore the theory and practice of active and engaged citizenship. In doing so, they will collectively identify a contemporary community issue, explore the reasons and causes for that problem, and collaboratively develop an action plan for how to address it. Direct community engagement will include presentations at 3rd Friday (look for their table March 20!), City Council and University events. Presidential Citizen Scholar program Co-directors Alexander Pope (Seidel School) and Sarah Surak (Fulton School) designed and will teach the spring IDIS course.
Presidential Citizen Scholars begin the program in the second semester of their sophomore year. The fall of their junior year involves monthly program meetings, participation in University or community organizations and targeted University events. Spring junior year brings another special topics course, Civically Engaged: A Capstone for Presidential Citizen Scholars, when individual scholars identify, examine and work to address a meaningful community issue. Scholars must also complete one, four-credit Civic Engagement Across the Curriculum course or an internship through local government or the Washington Center. Civic Engagement Across the Curriculum is a professional development seminar that helps faculty integrate civic engagement opportunities into their courses.
The Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE) sponsors the Presidential Citizen Scholar program. For more information about PACE or the Presidential Citizen Scholars, visit www.salisbury.edu/pace. For more information about integrating civic engagement through Civic Engagement Across the Curriculum, contact Pope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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