How Do We Create Change? One Cohort at at Time
Quarter at Aggie Square Cohorts take on Big Challenges through Learning and Community
By Angela Taylor ‘96
Quarter At Aggie Square Program Coordinator
A Quarter at Aggie Square is like no other quarter I experienced as an undergraduate at UC Davis. What I did have were great classes in the Sociology-Organizational Studies multidisciplinary major and internship experiences that ultimately helped shape my career in experiential education. But those classes and internships were never coordinated within a curriculum or directly correlated in an intentional way.
The ability for students to immediately apply what they’re learning in the classroom to current sociopolitical issues and an internship experience is not new, but it is unique in that their entire Quarter at Aggie Square quarter is dedicated to a central, multi-faceted experience. As Chancellor Gary S. May stated in the article about our inaugural quarter, “The timing of this new program couldn’t be more crucial. . . .This multidisciplinary approach to addressing injustices is what’s needed to help find solutions and get us past these divisive days. Strengthening community and building a better tomorrow is what Aggie Square is all about.”
QAS is a Calling
I am called to do this work because I know the power of transformative experiences and see value in being a catalyst that gives the students, faculty, and local community a platform to work together towards solutions collectively. As I was recently reminded while virtually attending the National Society of Experiential Education conference, keeping in mind how the community is going to benefit by bringing assets from institutional and community partners is key for a program like this. These contributors each have a perspective that is important to measuring the positive impacts long term. In addition, students will also further develop skill sets that will inform their futures and contribution to their communities.
As early as the first week, students in the Transformative Justice Studies experience cohort expressed to me that it is one of the best quarters they have had because it enables them to focus, learn, and contribute to an issue that matters to them, especially during these times.
To hear the faculty excitement about the opportunity they have to collectively work together across disciplines reshaping the curriculum to teach and engage a small cohort of students is also gratifying.
Join us on the Journey
Through this blog we will share what’s happening inside the quarter experience. Whether it be a reflection of a reading, what’s happening in the internship experience, or how the students are building community, faculty insights, or community engagement, we invite you to follow us on this journey.
Angela Taylor is Program Coordinator for Quarter at Aggie Square. She received her bachelor's degree from UC Davis in Sociology-Organizational Studies. She holds a master's degree from Gonzaga University in Organizational Leadership. She has most recently been employed by UC Berkeley’s Career Center as the Assistant Director of Externships & Internships. Highlights of her prior service include stints as The Public Service Center's Internship Programs Manager (Cal), Internship Program Specialist at San Jose State where she led collaborative experiential education initiatives with campus and employer partners spanning across public, private, and non-profit sectors. She also has experience as an environmental non-profit internship program manager and as a recruiter in the legal and consulting industries.
Learn More / Take Action
- Students: Team up with a cohort around a particular movement you care about! Spend a quarter participating in the Quarter at Aggie Square Program.
- Faculty: Propose a QAS experience on a topic of societal importance that connects with our Sacramento location at the intersection of the Health campus and Oak Park.
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