The Exploring America option within the Scholarly or Creative WTE is an opportunity for faculty to think BIG!  Be creative! Be imaginative! Think outside the box! As one of our former esteemed colleagues frequently said, think of a "big, bold audacious idea." Create an experience that provides a life-changing moment that will forever transform the lives and thinking of our wonderful students!

There is no doubt that we all want our students to be outstanding citizens now and forever more. In fact, one goal of the WTE program is “to graduate students … who make a difference in society.”  It could be argued that in order for our students to make a difference in society, they must first be knowledgeable of the diversity and depth of that society.  For that reason, it may be necessary for students to go beyond their comfort zone and to travel to a destination where the people are vastly different than those one they are most familiar.

The Exploring America option within the Scholarly or Creative WTE can also be considered a parallel to the International Education WTE.  Just as students who study abroad are “exposed to the richness of history and culture beyond our shores,” our students should also have the opportunity to experience the amazing richness and culture that is a part of and that defines the United States

Think about the following:

  • Students (with faculty chaperone) travel to historical sites associated with the Civil War, the American Revolution, or the Civil Rights movement (e.g., Selma to Montgomery march; aka “Bloody Sunday”).
  • Students travel and experience a subculture that is vastly different than anything they could ever encounter in Kansas or the Midwest.  For example, students could travel to San Francisco and experience the LGBT and Asian cultures that are prominent and define those areas.
  • Students travel to geographic regions where the majority of the population is primarily non-Caucasian.  Such an experience would provide students with an accurate portrayal of racial and ethnic differences that are a part of our nation.
  • Students travel to Washington, D.C. to personally witness the activities that occur in Congress and the House of Representatives, visit and discuss issues with Kansas elected officials, and visit the numerous attractions (e.g., Smithsonian, National Archives, Holocaust Museum, monuments, Supreme Court) that have shaped and continue to shape this country.

You have to admit that the students will never forget those experiences and such experience could never be accomplished in the classroom or within the boundaries of any institution. These are but a few examples of what the Exploring America option is all about.

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