Experience UGA began in 2013 through a partnership between UGA and the Clarke County School District. Facilitated by the Office of Service-Learning, a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit, the program’s objective was to introduce even the youngest students to learning on a college campus and meeting UGA students. The program grew gradually each year with the full CCSD student body, almost 12,000 students, visiting UGA in 2018-19.
Experience UGA and in-person CCSD classes stopped in mid-March 2020, as cases of COVID-19 continued to increase in Georgia and around the world. The 2020-21 school year began with students learning remotely, returning to the classroom in November. There were intermittent closures through spring 2021 as cases rose and fell. During that time, UGA students, faculty and staff created online content to continue the field trips, remotely.
The pre-K students were the only ones scheduled for Experience UGA field trips in fall 2021. Other grades began returning in early 2022.
We are very happy to have Clarke County students back on campus. Even living in the same town as a major research university, nothing can replace walking around campus, feeling welcome, and interacting with students, faculty, and staff to make everyone in our community feel like a part of UGA. When area students get acquainted with campus and envision themselves as future students at UGA or other universities, it allows UGA to fulfill its role of inspiring the next generation of scholars and leaders.
Image: A group of Clarke County eighth graders with Art Rosenbaum's mural depicting the political history of Georgia at UGA’s Special Collections Libraries. (Photo by Shannah Montgomery)