SUNY Cortland seeks teachers for immersion program

Old Main at SUNY Cortland

SUNY Cortland is looking for K-12 educators who are interested in learning about the Gilded Age and Progressive Era during a two-week residential experience that immerses participants in both the bustle of New York City and the peaceful solitude of the Adirondacks.

The program, “Common Ground,” was made possible through a $195,406 summer institute grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. History Department Professor and Chair Randi Storch and Associate Professor Kevin Sheets will lead the trip from July 8 to 21.

Full- and part-time educators in the humanities, as well as librarians, are encouraged to apply. A $2,100 stipend will be provided to those accepted to help defray expenses. The content focus is appropriate for middle- and high-school students, but teachers from kindergarten through senior year are eligible. Professional development hours and graduate credits may be awarded to qualified applicants. The deadline for applications is March 1.

Participants will spend the first six days in New York City. Following a travel day, the remaining six days of the program will be based at the College’s Camp Huntington at the William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education at Raquette Lake.

The group will visit a variety of locations in New York City, including the New York Public Library, Central Park and the Tenement Museum to investigate primary sources and sites related to the growth of industrialism, progressivism and leisure in the late 19th century.

In the Adirondacks, the group will visit the Adirondack Experience on Blue Mountain Lake, Camp Uncas and Camp Sagamore in an effort to understand how the mountain landscape was changed by both industry and leisure.

A full itinerary of events is available online.

“Common Ground” concludes with group presentations on the comparative exploration between the urban and wilderness landscapes and implications for teaching and classroom applications.

In addition to Sheets and Storch, academic experts from Bowling Green State University, CUNY, Fairfield University, University of Mount Union, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, Vassar College and the College of Wooster will participate in the program.

An initial NEH grant of $180,000 was awarded to SUNY Cortland in 2012. Previous iterations of this program were known as “Forever Wild: The Adirondacks in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era” but did not include the New York City portion of the trip. Teachers have come from as far away as Alaska and Florida to both enjoy the tranquility of Raquette Lake and improve their teaching skills.

For more information, contact project coordinator Kerri Freese at 607-753-2913.

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