The Citizen Scholars Student Experience

The Citizen Scholars Student Experience


The Citizen Scholars program is dedicated to fostering the next generation of civically engaged, socially conscious, creative, and innovative thinkers. Our aim is to help students to develop the ethical imagination, critical thought processes, cultural awareness, and outstanding communication skills that will allow them to lead us toward positive social and political change toward a more just and inclusive society. I’m Sandra Logan and I’m the director of the Citizen Scholars program in the College of Arts and Letters. The program is a collaboration between all of the units in the college and there are no requirements other than having a major in the College of Arts and Letters in order to enter the program as aspiring citizen scholars. There are four themes in the program: they have global leadership, professional networking, research and creative activity, and civic engagement. The program aims to provide students with financial and human support to help them understand what their own goals are and to help them achieve those goals in meaningful ways, and to move on from their academic experiences to becoming active engaged citizens in our world. They’re getting a different set of experiences because they’re coming together as a community and working together. I consider that huge win. They were like, “Look at all these opportunities that are here for you! You can totally partake in any and all those them that you want to and if there isn’t an opportunity that you like you can make it for yourself.” The Citizen Scholars program will give me that extra push that I needed in order to be successful while trying to get my undergrad degree. When I was told about Citizen Scholars kind of felt like maybe I’m going to be small fish in a big pond, and it’s not like that at all. Classes are capped 20 students so it’s a much more intimate atmosphere. You get a much closer connection with your professors. I think it’s extremely important in a student’s career to be well-versed in arts and humanities, to know how to do other things outside of academics. We go out and experience cultural events. It helps you learn more about yourself and helps you understand people. We send them out for study abroad, study away, and internships that we provide some financial support for. Michigan State has one of the best study abroad programs in the country. It’s just encouraging how much they want us to go study abroad. It can help you to be more culturally appreciative The Citizens Scholars program is building on cutting-edge best practices in liberal arts education. The most satisfied students have a close mentoring relationship, internships, involvement. Community service and civic engagement are key components of this program. How do we use our position within the humanities to function as a public intellectuals? You need to know how to network so we know how to work with other people so that the community as a whole is benefiting. It puts you in a better place to continue pursuing your craft, your career, but also having a mindset that ‘how does this impact the community? How does this impact the world? Why is it worthwhile?’ These will be the kind of student who would be valued in industry, in business, in non-profits. It’s not hard, but it pushes you. It definitely pushes you. It gives you a good road map of what to do in college and how to succeed. You’re doing good and you’re meeting new people. You’re building something fulfilling. We hope they take away a clearer recognition of their own capabilities and potential, and make important and significant contributions both locally and globally. We think that we’re training them to do that and we think that they’re going to do when they finish here. They’re going to be doing it before they get done. I am a Citizen Scholar. I’m a Citizen Scholar.

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