The rubber met the road for the Bartleby program during the 2017-2018 school year with the introduction of two courses: Bartleby Entrepreneurship and Bartleby Community Improvement. These courses were the first to implement the project-based learning formats that will be included in all Bartleby coursework that will follow. Students enrolled in these two courses began down the path of improving our school through their own growth in self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and both cultural and social cognizance. These two courses will continue to be “capstone-like” courses for those students involved in Bartleby, and at least one of these is required for the Bartleby diploma seal.
Bartleby Community Improvement
This is a course that challenges students to observe their community, identify a need or issue, develop a plan for improvement, and implement said plan. Students will be connected with mentors from the community and nonprofit sector to help them in all levels of student planning as well as giving feedback to instructors on work ethic and growth. Students will give presentations at certain milestones throughout the semester to help them with speaking skills. There will be an open house at the end of the semester for students to display their work for the community. The goal of this course is for students to understand their place in a community as a productive and caring citizen who works to help others and become leaders.
In the pilot year (Fall 2017), students in the class implemented the following (and other) community projects: Painting Elizabethton, Downtown Walking Tour, Tweetsie Trail Clean-up & Beautification, Club engagement at T. A. Dugger Junior High, Book Clubs, Appalachian trail hostel design and building, S.T.R.I.V.E. Mental Health Support Group, Bartleby Junior, Revitalizing Kiwanis Park, Veteran assistance, Inside Out (international project), and redesigning and improving Elizabethton High School.
This is a senior capstone class that has a business practicum at the heart of the experience. The students will recognize a need in the community that they can fill with the creation of a for profit business entity. They will then develop their own business with a name, mission and vision statements, and point business plan. They then present in front of a local board of business professionals in order to gain approval for the implementation of their business model and will receive funds to start their business. The students are then partnered with a local business professional to act as a mentor. Students are evaluated at each 25 percent interval on both business plan implementation and presentation skills. There is an open house at the end of the semester to present student work to the community.
In the pilot year (Spring 2018), students in the class created five new businesses: heART Natural Productions, Creative Carpentry, Local Harvest Delivery, Southern Strength Sports & Fitness Wear, and Torch Ministries.