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ABAC Human Sciences Majors Get International Experience

TIFTON—Opportunity knocks for students in the School of Human Sciences at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. In fact, some of those students will open the door to an international experience this year.

Dr. Darby Sewell, Dean of the School of Human Sciences, is intent on sharing opportunities with students both inside and outside the classroom at ABAC.

 “One of the priorities for us this year will be engaging our students more,” Sewell said.  “Amy Warren is coordinating a study abroad trip for our education majors in the spring to Belize.

“That’s just an example of how we are trying to expose students to global issues both on the campus and away from the campus.  We want to take our students’ education outside the classroom when possible.”

Warren, the department coordinator for education and family and consumer science, has already been to Belize to set up the trip and hosted representatives from Belize on the ABAC campus this summer.

Bachelor’s degrees are now an integral part of the curriculum at ABAC, and the School of Human Sciences offers a new Social and Community Development major under the broad umbrella of the Rural Studies bachelor’s degree.

“Graduates from this program are prepared to go in a lot of different directions,” Sewell said.  “One recent graduate accepted a job with the Chamber of Commerce in Tifton.

 “Another student recently completed an internship with a lawyer in Tallahassee.  She’s thinking about law school. Interns have had opportunities to work with adult education programs such as the Literacy Volunteers of America and the Cooperative Extension Service.”

 Sewell said one student completed her recent summer internship with the Southwest Regional Commission in Camilla where she worked on writing grants and developing community programs. Students in Social and Community Development are also considering graduate school opportunities.       

“This degree will help you gain practical skills, knowledge, theory, and transferable skills,” Sewell said.  “The program is really what a student chooses to make of it.  Graduates are not pigeon-holed.  They are prepared to take a variety of career paths.”

Criminal Justice and education are the most popular associate degrees in the School of Human Sciences.  Within the area of Behavioral Sciences, students can choose from psychology, sociology, social work, or human services.

Early Childhood education majors can finish their associate degree at ABAC and then enroll directly in junior and senior level classes on the ABAC campus offered by Georgia Southwestern State University.

“These students can continue to live on campus in the ABAC Place apartments and get their bachelor’s degree through our partnership with Georgia Southwestern,” Sewell said.  “We’re very fortunate to have this opportunity for our students.”

Other education majors pursue middles grades, art education, foreign language, special education or physical education.  As the Dean of the School of Human Sciences, Sewell has reached a top rung position in the education field. She actually started her academic career at ABAC in the family and consumer science area, which still attracts many ABAC students.

“Currently, most of the interest in family and consumer science is in the health area,” Sewell said.  “Nutrition attracts a lot of attention today.  It’s a rigorous curriculum but students who go in that direction can find jobs as dieticians.”

Sewell said ABAC students who want a career in criminal justice find mentors in the Georgia Public Safety Training Center Regional Police Academy. The 11-week course of intensive study has operated on the ABAC campus since 1970.

 “Our ABAC criminal justice majors have the opportunity to enroll in the Police Academy for internship credit,” Sewell said.  “Upon successful completion of the Academy, students will obtain their Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Council certification.” 

 When Sewell bid ABAC farewell after earning her associate degree in 1998, she had one thought in mind.

 “I wanted to come back to ABAC,” Sewell said.  “That was a goal.  I love ABAC.  It’s a great place with wonderful opportunities.”

For more information about the ABAC School of Human Sciences, interested persons can contact Sewell at dsewell@abac.edu.   
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