Although it's only October, it's already been a year of new initiatives at Ranney School. For the past year, we've been exploring how to better prepare our students for a world that's rapidly changing: a world of scientific challenges like the development of artificial intelligence; a world of political challenges such as how to decrease the threat of wars between countries; a world of economic challenges, for example, the desire to decrease extreme poverty.
The next generation's responses to these challenges will require a fresh set of skills, a familiarity with problem solving, and a view of knowledge that is not hemmed in by the boundaries of traditional disciplines.
Thus, Ranney is instituting two new programs for students who are intrigued by possible future roles in meeting humanity's challenges: the Global Citizenship Certificate, and the STEAM Certificate.
These certificates bring together many courses and co-curriculars already offered at Ranney, and add some new activities, while having students pursue their learning goals in a more focused and intentional way. In a world that has become both more interconnected and more fractured along fault lines than ever before, students pursuing the Global Citizenship Certificate will expand their knowledge of countries and cultures beyond their own, with the goal of designing solutions to problems that face all human beings on this earth. In many ways, the STEAM Certificate (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art+Design, and Math) will also encourage students to address the problems and opportunities that we face as a species, but using the particular application of science, math, and technology.
There are many similarities in the requirements for the two certificates:
- Both are meant to encourage interdisciplinary thinking. For example, students pursuing the STEAM Certificate will be required to take several classes in the arts, since the creativity that is energized in the art studio can also be utilized to spur innovative solutions to problems in other areas.
- Both have a mix of required and elective courses. The Global Citizens Certificate requires certain specific classes (such as World History, a Global Citizens class, and four years of foreign language), but students can also elect to take many other courses ranging from history to English to math that have relevance to the Global Citizens curriculum.
- Both require a specific grade average in all certificate-related courses in order to demonstrate real and deep learning of the material.
- Both certificates require the completion of a significant amount of community service (thirty hours per year) related to a student's area of concentration.
- Both require a certain number of co-curricular activities related to the certificate as well. For example, students pursuing the STEAM Certificate should take part in co-curriculars such as Science Olympiad or Math League, whereas candidates for the Global Citizenship Certificate should be engaged in activities like Model United Nations or the Student Diversity Leadership Conference.
- Both certificates require that several of a student's experiential education courses ("Maymester") be related to their area of concentration.
- Both certificates, even with their focus areas, still allow a student to take other classes and co-curriculars that are not directly related to the certificates.
- Both require a Capstone or other independent project related to the certificate.
- Both certificates require a yearly written reflection in which students consider their experiences of the previous year and draw connections among the different areas they have studied.
Not all students will wish to pursue these certificate programs; but for those who do, the certificates provide a distinguishing feature for students who are considering related majors in college.
The requirements for both the STEAM Certificate and the Global Citizenship Certificate will be posted shortly on the Ranney website in our curriculum guide. If you have questions about the certificates, please contact Mrs. Marie Curry, Dean of Academics, or Dr. Martin, Head of Upper School, for more information.