Privilege & Poverty
In 2011, Middlebury College joined the Shepherd Higher Education Poverty Consortium which "enables collaboration among member institutions for the purpose of initiating and advancing sustained curricular and co-curricular education focused on poverty and human capability in order to prepare students for a lifetime of professional and civic efforts to diminish poverty and enhance human capability."
For many years now, Middlebury has enjoyed a strong partnership with the Shepherd program. Since 2003, when Nancy '53 and Tom Shepherd invited the College to partner with Washington and Lee University in summer cohort-model internships that foster an engaged understanding of issues regarding poverty. These internships combine summer hands-on service with corresponding academic pursuits, while also providing opportunities to develop skills and explore potential career fields. Middlebury has been sending student interns to participate in the summer program since 2005.
Now, Middlebury hopes to coordinate its existing course offerings through the Privilege & Poverty initiative. A group of faculty and staff are meeting this year to flesh out this curricular initiative. They're considering such questions as: What kinds of courses do we already host in our curriculum that could be used as electives or capstones? What would we have to do to field an interdisciplinary, introductory course? Would we develop a formal minor or could it be an informal cluster of course offerings? How can we engage students in this process?
As the initiative develops, we'll post meeting minutes, a listing of relevant courses, and other documents to help the community stay informed of our discussions and efforts.