Georgetown is poised to lead the way with these new ideas, having established the Designing the Future(s) initiative in 2013 to explore educational innovation, especially courses that develop critical skills and competencies through deep student engagement, in classrooms and many settings beyond.
Over that same period of time, Georgetown has launched innovative programs in every school, seeking to connect classroom learning with applied learning. “Everywhere you look at Georgetown there are initiatives seeking to find new and creative ways to connect theory to practice, as faculty guide students in asking the biggest questions about the world’s most intractable problems. The Baker Trust allows us to take a major leap in how the university supports and scales these examples of curricular and co-curricular creativity,” says Bass.
New paradigms for learning
The Baker Trust launched with three elements: the Collaborative for Experiential Learning, the Baker Catalyst Fund, and the Baker Programs. Each element leverages the university’s strengths.
The Collaborative for Experiential Learning connects the schools and academic programs to the many diverse sources of experiential expertise across Georgetown. Learning designers curate team-based development and support new experiences.
The Baker Catalyst Fund creates inspiring and persuasive models for high-impact learning, spanning from first-year core curriculum to non-credit programs for young alumni.
Finally, the Baker Programs build on existing offerings—such as the Baker Center’s negotiation and conflict resolution clinics—to enhance student learning opportunities. Some are delivered as an “infusion” in credit-bearing courses, others are one-credit stand-alone courses, and still others are connected to experiential learning, such as internships, socially conscious entrepreneurial projects, and community-based learning, including the new Capitol Applied Learning Lab (the CALL).