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Innovations in Public Achievement at Georgia university

August 20, 2010

The post below was written by Gregg Kaufman, an instructor at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Ga. Kaufman is a participant in the Civic Agency Initiative, a partnership between the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Center for Democracy and Citizenship to produce a series of national models for developing civic agency among undergraduates and to disseminate those models broadly throughout American higher education. The GCSU eGuide to Public Achievement, developed by Kaufman this summer, documents the first year of Public Achievement at GCSU and includes resources such as a map of student learning outcomes.

The Georgia College second full year of Public Achievement is off and running with special topics courses entitled Public Achievement I and II. We are taking the unusual pedagogical plunge of scheduling six community field trips at the beginning of the semester to gather community knowledge. We will take the Milledgeville Visitors’ Bureau “Trolley Tour,” and two days later we’ve arranged for a veteran basketball coach and member of Milledgeville’s 100 Black Men to give us an “alternative tour.” We will also visit the hospital ER, courthouse, and the elementary school where the second semester Public Achievement work will take place.

My co-instructor Jan Clark and I have also created a list of public meetings that the students will use to choose several forays into public deliberation – school board, city council, county commission, etc.

For Public Achievement I, the class will function as a PA group with the two professors as the coaches. We will cover content and discussions with PA group work on alternating days.

Our students will move into coaching in January with 50 5th grader students at Blandy Hills Elementary School.

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