STEPS

ABOUT STEPS

Internships, mentored research, and study abroad are at the heart of the engaged student learning mission at ABAC. In support of these opportunities we have implemented the STudent Engagement ProgramS (STEPS), through this program, we also offer workshops, information sessions, scholarships, and an annual STEPS Symposium.

About STEPS

Engaged learning opportunities play a key role in a student’s educational experience at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College as we work to fulfill our mission “To engage, teach, coach, mentor, and provide relevant experiences that prepare the Graduate for life.” ABAC’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), STudent Engagement ProgramS (STEPS), will assist the College in achieving its mission and in implementing its strategic plan, Destination ABAC, by focusing on the development and enhancement of engaged learning opportunities. The Engaged Learning opportunities that are the focus of the STEPS program are internships, mentored research, and study abroad. Through participation in these engaged learning opportunities, students will develop knowledge, skills, and abilities critical to career and post-graduate success. Students will develop problem-solving skills, verbal and written communication skills, and demonstrate their ability to apply what they have learned in the classroom in a real-world setting. The STEPS student learning outcomes are:

  • Students will demonstrate the skills, abilities, theories, or methodologies applied in new situations to solve problems or explore issues. (Problem-Solving Skills)
  • Students will communicate discipline content using conventions appropriate to a specific audience and purpose. (Verbal and Written Communication Skills)
  • Students will synthesize disciplinary knowledge applied in new, complex situations. (Application of Knowledge)

The goals of STEPS are the following:

  • STEPS will provide adequate resources, tools, support, and guidance to its students and faculty to facilitate engaged learning experiences;
  • STEPS will increase the number of students doing internships, completing mentored research projects, and studying abroad.

Internships

Internships play a key role in a student’s educational experience at ABAC. Internship out of classroom activities that expand students’ disciplinary knowledge and skills while also challenging their ability to apply learning in authentic settings as they contend with real-world experiences. Why should college students complete an internship?

  1. Employers expect graduates to have real-world experience.
  2. Students earn college credit toward their degree.
  3. Internships allow students to “test” out their career field.
  4. Internships allow students to better understand their chosen major and understand how their coursework is preparing them to enter the field.
  5. Student interns have opportunities to develop their teamwork, communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills.
  6. Internships allow students to build confidence by working on real-world problems in supervised settings.
  7. Internships provide students opportunities to build their professional networks and resumes and provide them with an edge in the job market.

Completing an internship is not a guarantee of a job. However, students who complete internship experiences, or multiple internship experiences, may have an advantage when it does come time for the job search because research has shown that internships are catalysts for job placement. Links to Student Resources within sharepoint Links to Employer Information/Resources within sharepoint

Mentored Research

Mentored Research is defined as an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student under the guidance of a content expert that makes an intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. Students at ABAC have opportunities to conduct mentored research with faculty in our unique and diverse array of bachelor’s degree programs. Some research projects will need to undergo review by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure compliance with federal regulations. All persons conducting research involving human subjects should visit the ABAC IRB for more information on which projects require IRB approval. (need to link to IRB page from index)

Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a great opportunity to grow academically, socially, and culturally. Through experiencing different cultures and seeing new and exciting parts of the world, our students have gained new perspectives and global awareness. ABAC students have studied abroad in Europe, Central America, and India. ABAC’s bachelor’s degree programs offer exciting opportunities for students to study internationally and domestically. Through ABAC’s QEP, STEPS, study abroad is defined as

  • Credit-bearing in-classroom and out-of-classroom field/experiential activities occurring domestically or internationally that allow students to apply disciplinary knowledge “to new, complex situations” beyond the classroom (ABAC QEP, 2016).

It is important for students to consider how the experience will count toward their academic programs of study and plan for the costs of studying abroad.

ABAC Faculty Led Programs for 2019

Information about 2020 Study Abroad trips coming soon. 

 

Other University System of Georgia Programs

In addition to those opportunities at the bachelor’s degree level, ABAC students may study abroad by taking courses in the core curriculum through the University System of Georgia’s Asia Council and European Council. Opportunities to take junior and senior level courses in multiple discipline areas are also available.

  • The Asia Council summer 2019 program locations are in the Philippines, China, and Japan. Visit the Asia Council for more information.
  • The European Council summer 2019 program locations are in London, Edinburgh, Waterford, Berlin, Paris, Madrid, and St. Petersburg. Visit the European Council for more information.

If you have general questions about study abroad, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Darby Sewell at dsewell@abac.edu or (229)-391-4810.

STEPS Student Engagement Scholarship

Through ABAC’s STEPS Program, students have opportunities to learn by participating in internships, mentored research activities, and study abroad. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide assistance to students who are involved in these types of engaged learning experiences. Applications are due on the first of each month, with notification to be made at the end of that month.