By Lily Blake
In recent years, Marian has made significant advances in facilities and programs for STEM, fine arts and athletics. From new classes offered to state-of-the-art spaces, these parts of Marian have been on the administration’s radar and have earned Marian a reputation for outstanding student-athletes, artists, and women in STEM. Coming this next school year, the departments that teach humanities subjects will be getting that same makeover by kickstarting a Humanities Scholars Program that is the first of its kind in the Omaha area.
The Humanities Scholars Program is a graduation track that highlights humanities courses while giving students the ability to strengthen their knowledge across all disciplines. In the 2019-2020 school year, sophomores and juniors will be eligible to take a brand new class called Introduction to the Humanities, which is the building block of the whole program. This will be a foundational course broken into five units: philosophy, art and music, history, literature and language, and religion and ethics. Along with passing the Intro to the Humanities class, students on the Humanities Scholars track will be required to complete five elective courses from at least three categories of world language, theology, social studies, fine and performing arts, and English. While most eligible electives will be drawn from courses currently offered, new ‘special topics’ courses are likely to be offered on a revolving basis such as next year’s African-American History course.
Students in the program will also be required to attend lectures and speakers at universities around the metro area, as well as participate in an internship in their humanities field of choice. Some examples of these potential internships that Mrs. Katy Salzman, social studies department chair noted included local museums, art studios, performing arts centers, libraries, publishing companies or area research institutions. Finally, each girl hoping to complete this program will be required to be a member of at least one of Marian’s honors societies.
Upon completing its requirements, students in the program will earn a notation on their diploma and transcript. They will also have a digital portfolio to showcase the work and research they have done throughout their time in the program.
“It’s not a ‘social studies program,’ it really is cross curricular and will involve a number of departments. It [the Humanities Scholars Program] is just a way to support a very important part of learning– to think creatively and critically about the human experience in order to better understand the past and present and to imagine the future,” Salzman said.
Each student in the school gravitates toward the area that they best thrive in, this new program is simply giving those humanities-oriented students a chance to experience a richer and more coordinated experience to excel in their area of interest.
The Humanities Scholars Program aims to enrich the bodies, minds and spirits of its students while helping them develop a greater appreciation and understanding for the human experience and the world around them. It weaves students into the community to showcase and display their talents and cunning intuition. This program puts Marian on path to be a place where all minds can thrive and dive deep into the parts of the world that fascinate them. “To understand the essence of who we are—that is very important for the development of educated minds,” Salzman said, and that is just what this program intends to do.
To explain all the courses available in the 2019-20 Social Studies curriculum, view this promotional video commissioned by the department and created by Journalism I.