Experience UGA is a partnership between the Clarke County School District and the University of Georgia, which aims to bring every Clarke County student (PreK-12) to UGAʼs campus every year. Through a variety of field trips, CCSD students participate in hands-on, curricular-based learning activities. Increased exposure to college life through Experience UGA fosters interest in the pursuit of higher education among Clarke County students.


An extension of previous school district, university and community collaborations such as Whatever It Takes and the Professional Development School District, Experience UGA currently offers a wide range of field trips highlighting fine arts, science, and the humanities.

Representatives from the Clarke County School District, UGA Office of Service-Learning, College of Education, and many other units on campus had their first official meeting in October 2012 to begin discussing a UGA-CCSD partnership to bring Clarke County students onto campus.

Almost exactly a year later, Experience UGA launched. Students from Clarke Middle School and Burney Harris Lyons enjoyed hiking through the forests of the Botanical Garden and exploring the plots of the UGArden over the course of four days in October 2013.

During its inaugural year, Experience UGA has organized trips for students across eight different grade levels. Our trips give Clarke County students the opportunity to benefit from the resources of UGA, while giving them exposure to college life. UGA trip leaders work with Clarke County teachers and administrators to make sure trips are relevant to the students visiting campus. UGA trip leaders prepare pre and post trip materials to contextualize the CCSD studentsʼ experiences.

Experience UGA is a partnership between the University of Georgia Office of Service-Learning, the College of Education, and the Clarke County School District.

For more information, contact Experience UGA Coordinator Shannon Walker at 706-542-5008 or experienceuga@gmail.com.

Experience UGA Advisory Group

  • Brannon Gaskins, Chief Academic Officer, Clarke County School District
  • Tiffany Williams, Executive Assistant for Instructional Service and School Performance, Clarke County School District
  • Amy Peacock, K-8 Science Curriculum Coordinator, Clarke County School District
  • Dan Smith, Arts and Health Curriculum Coordinator, Clarke County School District
  • Shannon Wilder, Director, UGA Office of Service-Learning
  • Kay Vaughn, Business Manager, UGA Office of Service-Learning
  • Shannon Walker, Experience UGA Coordinator, UGA Office of Service-Learning
  • Joshua Podvin, Senior Coordinator for Community Partnerships, Office of Service-Learning
  • Erica Gilbertson, Interim Director, UGA Office of School Engagement
  • Sonia Janis, Middle Grades Professor-In-Residence, UGA, Clarke County School District