St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School, an Episcopal day and boarding school in Sewanee, Tennessee, has launched the Cumberland Scholars program, a pathway for graduation with distinction for students who pursue learning experiences in place-based and outdoor education.
All SAS students participate in experiences that capitalize on SAS’s unique geographic assets, including a 550-acre campus that includes an ongoing wetlands research site, an archaeological site, and 13 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. Beginning in 2021-2022, ninth and tenth grade students may choose to pursue intentional and consistent work to satisfy place-based and outdoor education requisites towards the Cumberland Scholar distinction. The road to distinction will include academic study, experiential learning, technical skill demonstrations, service requirements, and leadership opportunities. The crowning achievement will be a public presentation of a senior capstone research project focused on place-based or outdoor education. Students in the Class of 2024 will be the first to have the opportunity to achieve Cumberland Scholars distinction.
Current SAS courses that help to satisfy the academic expectations for distinction include Environmental Literature, Environmental History, Environmental Science, Archaeology, Field Geology, Place-Based American Studies, Photography Community Connections, Landscape Painting, Farming, and Outdoor Adventure.
“The Cumberland Scholars graduation distinction represents the essence of our independent curriculum which provides meaningful and engaging learning experiences in alignment with the strategic priorities of our school, the interests of our students, and the strength of our faculty,” said Academic Dean and Associate Head of School Kelley Black. “With the development of this pathway to distinction recognizing intentional course work in place-based learning and outdoor education, SAS truly capitalizes on its unique geographic location atop the Cumberland Plateau.”