COLLEGE PARK, MD. – College Park Scholars in Fall 2024 will add two programs to its roster of two-year living-learning experiences for academically talented students, but one will look and sound familiar.Data Justice will debut, and the University of Maryland’s CIVICUS program will relaunch with a new name: Civic Engagement for Social Good.The expansion will bring the number of Scholars programs to a record of 13 and provide 150 additional first-year students with the opportunity to begin their college journeys as members of an intellectually rich and socially vibrant Scholars community.
The following article originally appeared in Maryland Today: Mid-Atlantic mugginess was no match for Fall Welcome 2023. Undeterred by sticky shirts, the heft of overstuffed suitcases and the complex science of properly loading a dolly, more than 9,600 Terps moved into residence halls from Thursday through Sunday with patience and eagerness. A variety of University of Maryland offices and units then drew them out of their new rooms with a weekend packed with games, Do Good activities, giveaways and other gatherings, all aimed at acclimating them to campus—and each other—before the semester officially starts on Monday.
Incoming students often hear about the various experiences that Scholars take on in their practica–the capstone project or culminating hands-on learning all College Park Scholars are required to complete in their second year. Though specific practicum requirements vary by Scholars program, students are commonly able to meet program needs by engaging in an internship, doing service-learning or conducting research.
Students in College Park Scholars’s Citation Class of 2022 began their University of Maryland (UMD) careers in the fall of 2020, under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. They spent their first year almost entirely online: Some Zoomed into their program colloquium from their double-turned-single dorm rooms; others attended virtually from their families’ homes, away from campus.
Hands-on, active learning has always been a hallmark of College Park Scholars. Thanks to new grants from the University of Maryland (UMD), some Scholars programs will expand upon those traditions with more resources and support. The grants come from UMD’s campuswide Teaching and Learning Innovation Grants initiative, which is providing significant funds—up to tens of thousands of dollars in some cases—for innovative educational projects that focus on active and experiential learning.
The following article originally appeared in Maryland Today: Hundred-year floods occurring every few years. Record-breaking heatwaves buckling roads and withering harvests. Prolonged drought causing frequent wildfires. These days, it’s not hard to find dramatic examples of weather-driven disasters made worse by climate change. It’s also too easy to feel defeated by the magnitude of the problem.