CIA Students Take Part in Unique Educational Exchange

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Ten CIA seniors visited West Point, sitting in on their classes and participating in training exercises.

Ten CIA seniors visited West Point, sitting in on their classes and participating in training exercises.

Students are leaving their comfort zones and routines to experience other learning environments in a new partnership between the CIA and other prestigious colleges in their respective fields: The United States Military Academy and Pratt Institute.

Through this partnership, West Point cadets and Pratt design students came to Hyde Park on separate visits this fall. Students from those two colleges teamed with CIA students to design, cook, and plate their menu ideas. Ten CIA seniors also visited West Point, sitting in on their classes and participating in training exercises. Another group of CIA students will soon be visiting Pratt’s campus in Brooklyn, NY.

“My eyes were opened to a whole new world that I have desperately wanted to know more about,” CIA senior Leah Pfeiffer said after a day of immersion into the campus culture at West Point.

“While the subjects of study in military, design, or culinary education are all different, the process and structure of learning at all three institutions share numerous parallels,” said Dr. Michael Sperling, CIA vice president of academic degree programs. “Visits to each other’s campuses allow students to get out of their normal comfort zone and take on the creative challenge of mastering new skills and approaches.”

Experiential learning is a growing trend in higher education, and other colleges are trying to catch up to the CIA in that area, according to Dr. Sperling. The CIA curriculum has always integrated kitchen, lab, and industry learning with concepts and theory.

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