As the senior year of the first SUMMIT Class (Class of 2019) approaches, many campus members are discussing the agenda for the concluding chapter of the SUMMIT program – SUMMIT 400. With this 2-credit course, a Scottie’s SUMMIT journey at Agnes Scott will be officially consummated in a strong and memorable manner.
In a nutshell, SUM-400 is a chance for the students to refine and publicize their Digital Portfolios, in which their rewarding college experience – no matter it is a course-driven project, an internship experience, studying abroad, or personal creative specimens – will be recorded in a digital form and presented to the world in a special way both professional and personal.
To the many of you who have yet set foot on this campus, the concept of a Digital Portfolio might seem slightly unfamiliar. Unlike the first impression it might strike, which is an artistic portfolio that closes its door to the majority whose interests lie somewhere else, the Digital Portfolio for Agnes Scott students is more like a room to their own.
Embracing Virginia Woolf’s notion of “a room to one’s own,” which implies the exceptional work a woman can achieve once given the individual space, Agnes Scott is trying to offer a “room” like this to each of the Scotties. The metaphor of a “room” can go beyond concerns for room decoration and can become a manifestation to the rest of the world that “I live here” as a deeply-thinking, honorably-living young woman who is invested in social and intellectual challenges of her times.
Initially created in the her first semester on campus, the Digital Portfolio will be an accurate reflection of the student’s journey as a college student. The idea of SUM-400 is to draw a conclusion of this journey with visual touch-ups of the website, reflections on past leadership experiences on campus or off, and career-oriented professional exhibits. This personal and professional site for every student is free until their student account expires, which is six months after graduation. However, the students will also be instructed to export their website onto another platform, on which their college experience will live forever.
“The idea of Digital Portfolio also pertains to expand the students’ vision and to ultimately foster a Agnes Scott database of international conversation.” Says Dr. Rachel Rossetti, Director of the Center for Digital and Visual Literacy, “Having students consciously writing for an international audience contributes to the core values of SUMMIT; it is a means through which the students make sense of the borders existing in this world and figure out how to cross them.”
Taking a step back and thinking about the evolution of first year portfolio projects, much innovation has been made since the launching of SUMMIT. In addition to the “Leadership Narrative” assignment that persisted throughout first-year experience with the portfolios, this year the students are asked to create a “Global Menu” for their respective Journey destination. In this assignment, not only are they asked to research the different cuisines in their destinations, the cultural, political, and environmental implications of this cuisine are also taken into consideration.
Whenever students run into technical questions about their portfolio, they can always visit the Center for Digital and Visual Literacy (more commonly known as the D Center) for help. The tutors at the D Center are all current students with abundant experiences with Digital Portfolios; their own portfolios represent some of the best ones at the college currently. To take a peek at them, please feel free to click on their names!
Your Global Ambassador,
Tiantian Ciel Zhang’18