Mount Mercy Academy is well-known for its prestigious Academy of Science and Healthcare, a program which provides experiences for students who have an interest in the sciences. Realizing that not all students have an interest in science, the Social Studies Department recently designed a Women in Social Sciences Academy.
Students in the program are required to complete certain courses and to participate in various experiential learning opportunities. These opportunities allow students to develop connections within the student body as well as with outside contacts in these fields. There is also an opportunity to earn an honors designation for the students who choose to challenge themselves with Advanced Placement courses in the social sciences.
Based on their field experiences, students will be able to earn one of several distinctions at graduation. These specialized diplomas will enable the Social Sciences Program to help students narrow their interests and create lifelong friendships with other students who are seeking similar certificates at graduation. These distinctions will help shape the field experiences available to the girls. Within the Social Sciences Program, students will be able to earn the following distinctions: Women in Law, Women in History, Women in Government, Women in Social Work and Women in Psychology.
The program is comprised of four parts: Field experiences, challenging academic courses, independent experiential learning and higher education plans. During their freshmen and sophomore years students complete the field experience aspect of the program. They attend at least four field trips which introduce students to the various career fields in the social sciences.
The second requirement is to take at least two elective classes in the social sciences area. Students may choose from Psychology, Sociology, The Holocaust and Women’s Rights/Civil Rights. As a junior or senior, students are required to complete at least one independent learning experience, either in Mock Trial or Oratory and Drama. The experiences they choose will dictate which “Women In” distinction title they will earn at graduation.
Finally, students must apply for at least one social sciences scholarship and be accepted into a college with a social sciences major.
Additionally, students may opt to complete this program on the Advanced Placement (AP) track. This allows the students to obtain a designation of honors in their selected distinction. To obtain this status, students must take at least two Advanced Placement-level courses in addition to the two electives. Students may take Advanced Placement classes in World History, United States History, Psychology or Government. Another requisite for honors designation is to obtain at least a three on the AP exams.
There are currently 27 students enrolled in the academy which is featuring monthly guest speakers. This month students were able to attend a presentation from Amelia Greenan, an alumna from the class of 2014, who is currently the chief of staff for the West Seneca supervisor. She spoke about women in politics.
In January the group will be able to attend a presentation from Maureen McOwen covering careers in social work and then in February, Karen Godsoe, an attorney, will speak about careers in law.
The Women in Social Sciences Academy, coordinated by Steve McCrea, is also planning on field trips in the spring to Forest Lawn Cemetery, the Historical Society, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site and Seneca Falls.