Scott H. Ainsworth

Education and Teaching Philosophy

Whether student or instructor, education requires more than a physical presence in classes: it requires directed participation, active engagement, and a clear commitment to inquiry. College provides the opportunity for students to take ownership of their own research projects. Instructors provide tools and opportunities for students to develop such projects. When students engage deeply in their projects, they develop a sense of ownership regarding their work, allowing them to communicate their skill sets to prospective employers (and concerned parents).

Undergraduates tend to be very diploma driven. Your diploma will be valuable to the extent it reflects skills. Focus on the tools and skills that you have developed or want to develop while considering the projects that you have or will have completed. Your mastery of those skills will become apparent to others as you discuss the projects you've completed.

Rather than
    satisfying distribution requirements,
    satisfying major requirements,
    securing your diploma, and
    waiting for the recognition of your talents,
consider developing a portfolio of projects that reflect your skills.

Data analytics is a rapidly expanding field. Now is a good time to try your hand at the skills related to data collection and analysis. Data analytic skills are quite valuable, and many social scientists are developing them.

Finally, I encourage you to participate with the community around you. First, keep informed. All Georgia students have free access to the nation's leading newspapers. The web provides even broader access. If you're going to study political science, why not immerse yourself in the world of politics? Second, pursue work and internship opportunities related to your major. Internships and work experiences add to your portfolio of projects and allow you to apply and fine tune your skill sets.

Past Courses

  • Introduction to American Politics
  • Introduction to Political Science
  • Congress
  • Lobbying and Interest Groups
  • Bureaucracy
  • Theories of Choice
  • Social Choice Theory
  • Rational Choice Theory