A $20 million donation to Georgetown University will create a new fund to support opportunities for hands-on learning experiences both on and off campus.

The gift, from Patricia Baker (COL ’64) and John Baker (COL ’64), chairman and CEO of International Planning Group, will form the Baker Trust for Transformational Learning, according to an email sent to students from University President John J. DeGioia on Feb. 13.

BAKER CENTER | Patricia Baker (COL ’64), left, and John Baker (COL ’64), right, seek to increase access to nontraditional educational opportunities on and off campus.

“Their leadership will enable us to provide learning opportunities that extend beyond the classroom, preparing our young people to successfully engage with the complex challenges of our world,” DeGioia wrote.

The Baker Trust aims to expand opportunities for new approaches to education, including increasing financial support for off-campus credit-bearing internships. Increased diversity among the student body and the need to create affordable opportunities for access to those approaches are essential in the 21st century, according to Randall Bass, vice provost for education and future director of the Baker Trust.

“The Bakers believe that the world is changing faster than universities can respond. Graduates now need a broader range of abilities to be effective in the world than ever before,” Bass wrote in an email to The Hoya. “The Bakers are passionate about wanting Georgetown to be in the forefront of preparing students for a changing and complex world.”

One proposal involves greater access to experiential learning that seeks to connects theory and practice. These types of experiences can range traditional workplace engagements to participation in community programs.

“Georgetown students have all kinds of opportunities like these now but they are unevenly (and inequitably) distributed, and typically marginal to the academic experience,” Bass wrote. “They are also increasingly expensive to provide, disconnected as they typically are from each other and from the core academic enterprise.”

A previous fund, such as the Policy Innovation Lab and experiential study abroad programs.

The Center also includes the Baker Scholars Program, an undergraduate development program for business leadership that selects sophomore students with a strong academic record, interest in business and dedication to service. The program includes mentorship opportunities, retreats, business trips and group projects.

The Trust is to be divided into three separate initiatives: the Collaborative for Experiential Learning, which will involve the connection of university experts from different schools and fields; the Baker Catalyst Fund, which focuses on high-impact educational programs in areas such as the core curriculum; and the Baker Programs, which add to preexisting university opportunities in areas such as experiential learning, according to Bass.

“These three elements are just a way to conceptualize the mechanisms, so to speak, by which to evolve opportunities over time,” Bass wrote. “What the Baker Trust achieves will be shaped through collaboration with scores of faculty, academic leaders, students and academic staff.”

The Capital Applied Learning Lab, an immersive internship program that will be housed within the Baker Programs, will begin in the fall of 2019. This program allows students to spend a semester living and interning downtown, while also meeting for classes and receiving academic credit, according to Matthew Pavesich, co-developer of curriculum for CALL. The CALL will also provide prefilled Metro cards as well as wage replacements for students who have to leave jobs in order to participate in the program.

“These two examples might at first sound like fairly small-scale value-adds, but they’re precisely the kind of financial intervention that will prevent a lack of funds from keeping students from studying at the CALL,” Pavesich wrote in an email to The Hoya.

Georgetown’s location and identity are essential to the goals of the Baker Trust, John Baker said in a statement to the university.
“This all needs to happen at Georgetown: The Jesuit mission and D.C. location make it a perfect fit,” John Baker said. “If done right, it will be transformative globally.”

One Comment

  1. James Hawthorne says:

    Create An Automotive Branch. Meaning OBD11, SCANNERS, ETC

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