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Experiential Learning in the Humanities | Mosaic

Experiential Learning in the Humanities | Mosaic

Mosaic, founded in 1990, serves high school juniors and seniors from public schools across Franklin County. Implementing a project-based, integrated humanities curriculum, Mosaic challenges students to become analytic thinkers, effective communicators, successful collaborators, and responsible citizens. Students prepare for life in the global society by pursuing in-depth research projects, examining international connections in Central Ohio, engaging with the local arts community, and making major presentations in a variety of forums. See the benefits of Mosaic for college and beyond .

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Mosaic students learn skills that are necessary for success in today’s information-based world. The program operates on a set of guiding principles:

  • We focus on projects, first-hand experience and papers rather than textbooks, lectures and tests.
  • We are a relationship-based, small learning community focused on individual solutions rather than one-size-fits-all rules.
  • We believe students learn best in a diverse setting so we promote effective collaboration between students across racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • We value learning for learning sake rather than to “get the grade”.
  • We believe that students deserve to be treated like adults and are capable of being accountable for that responsibility.
  • We believe learning is a way of life and therefore provide students a vast range of learning opportunities in class and beyond.


Mosaic is designed for high school juniors and seniors who are:
  • Independent, original thinkers
  • Intellectually curious, creative, or unique
  • Motivated by “real life” learning experiences
  • Interested in the arts and creative expression
  • Committed to having a voice and making a difference

The most successful candidates have a strong commitment to independent learning, are capable of assuming responsibility for self-direction, work well with others and have an interest in multicultural/global issues and/or the arts.


Mosaic is designed as a two year experience for high school juniors and seniors, although seniors may enter the program for a one year experience. The curriculum is project-based, integrating English, social studies, art appreciation and cultural studies. Students receive one credit each for English and social studies and one-half credit each for cultural studies and art appreciation.


The assessment of each student’s performance will be based on portfolios, presentations, and other products that demonstrate the student’s learning. Other criteria that will be incorporated into the assessment are how well the student uses and manages his/her time, how well the student works with others on group projects, and how the student demonstrates responsibility. Mosaic facilitators assign letter grades at the close of each district’s grading period and reports them to the appropriate school personnel.


Students attend their district high school in the morning or afternoon and Mosaic for the other part of the day.

In the spirit of community involvement, Mosaic classes are held at a “mobile campus” which includes Columbus Metropolitan Library, Ohio State University, First Congregational Church, Wexner Center for the Arts and the Columbus Museum of Art.

The student’s family is responsible for assuring that daily round trip transportation is provided for their student. While students are permitted to drive, we strongly encourage the “buddy system” when traveling.

Mosaic in the News

Mosaic Program Helps Central Ohio Students Find Their Place in the World – Columbus Dispatch (3/10/17)

Walk in Each Other’s Shoes – Columbus Dispatch, Editorial (11/11/16)

What Parents Are Saying

Mosaic was, by far, the most influential and pivotal experience of (my son’s) education, and potentially his life.

Today he came home, almost bounding in the door, with a smile from ear to ear and tells me about his day in great detail. Yesterday, he told me all about the speaker and how “amazing” he was. We have NEVER in 12 years seen him this happy about school.

The program “saved” high school for our daughter. She felt stifled by standard and AP courses and was losing interest in school. She felt there was no real creative outlet within her courses. Mosaic motivated her to want to learn, write, and create again. She has loved it and feels that she has learned so much.

Wish I was a student in your program! The projects are so awesome, and I can see (my daughter’s) mind growing and developing. Thanks.

You are making a very positive difference in her life. I am convinced that she will accomplish many amazing things in the future because she has been well nurtured so effectively.

I believe being part of Mosaic was a plus for her on her college applications. Her experience in the program helped her become a fluid and expressive writer, and it showed in her essays. Her participation in the program made her stand out. She got into every college she applied to, and she is far from a straight-A student.

You have NO idea how impressed I was — and still am — by what you have fostered within the Mosaic program. And by the amazing group of young creatives / activists you have assembled.

She does love Mosaic! I see her learning to THINK and process in new ways! And I am benefitting from her learning as well!

I can’t tell you how much we appreciate Steve and Kim as mentors to (our daughter). She has had an amazing time with you both, her classmates and the entire content of the learning experience. I am just overwhelmed with the program you two are offering. You are such creative & intelligent beings.

He is having a ball and always comes home enthusiastic (almost) every day! A big and positive change from traditional classroom days.

I would again like to say what a great thing it is for (our daughter) to love going to school. I am so thankful to you both for the dedication and hard work you give to the Mosaic program. She has never been happier in school.

Where were you when I was in high school? I am sooooo jealous…I love this! This is an amazing learning opportunity for these students to actually see the way things are in different faiths rather than what they have “heard”…my daughter LOVES Mosaic, can’t wait to go everyday…just wanted to let you know, as a parent, how much I appreciate the program.

Just wanted to let you know that she has been saying some very positive things about Mosaic. She says Mosaic is the part of her school day that she truly enjoys.

She loves the Mosaic program. It is teaching her to think differently and has her excited about learning. It has made her year, to be a part of something so amazing. I wish every student could have this experience. It has made such a difference to her, and consequently to us.

She is growing by leaps and bounds being involved with Mosaic.

She is really enjoying Mosiac so far! I haven’t seen her this excited about school since…..maybe 6th grade! No kidding!

What Students Are Saying

My experience in Mosaic changed the way I viewed my education. I learned that if I was a proactive I could get what I wanted out of school. Mosaic taught me that education is not about a degree, but a lifelong passion for learning.

Mosaic inspired something inside of me. I put myself into every thing that I do. I connect to things I never would have before. I am confident, I look for challenges, I go the extra mile, I feed my passions, and I am continuously looking for new experiences and opportunities.

It made me want to make a difference in the world around me.

I am more confident, I am a more adventurous learner, and I have better time management and studying skills. I am more likely to introduce myself and communicate with my professors.

I learned more in one year at Mosaic about time management, planning for the future, and how to be successful in life than I did in my four years at my high school.

I learned to be a self starter, became much more culturally aware, socially informed. My leadership abilities were strengthened and I learned to walk to the beat of own drum with confidence.

Mosaic has given me the skills to manage my team members as a watch specialist at Nordstrom Michigan Avenue, the highest volume store in the company.

Turns out the project organization of Mosaic was very similar to the engineering world!

It left me with a sense of having an infinite number of options in my future.

Traditional high school would never have made me into the person I am now and I am happy everyday that I was a part of Mosaic.

More than anything else Mosaic provided me with a love of learning and the tools necessary to see the intrinsic good in people.

Mosaic that has helped me was discovering my passion for learning. Being able to think beyond the grade and realize that learning something for myself can be satisfying and empowering has been my biggest source of motivation though out my college career.

I am so much more confident after leaving Mosaic. It felt great to go to a school where the teachers actually knew my name, genuinely cared about me and made sure I was accounted for. I learned how to work hard not for the grade, not for my parents, but for myself and because I wanted to be successful.

I would have had a lot of trouble getting through the remaining portion of high school without the ideas Mosaic has to offer concerning learning.

Mosaic opened my eyes to the people and culture of Columbus…and subsequently the rest of the world! Mosaic taught me not to be afraid to explore my passions and purpose.

Mosaic also offered me an out from traditional high school that I sorely needed.

I cannot stress enough the value of programs such as Mosaic.

The ability to think critically and creatively. The courage to attempt to change the world.

My phone is now full of New York Time Apps, TED Apps, and NPR Apps.

I became a better writer and learned that writing is re-writing (there is always room for improvement). I got into a great college and now have an amazing career. The teachers at Mosaic have inspired me to teach in the future.

A place to learn more about my creativity.

It has also allowed me to become a better and well-rounded individual as well let me know I have my own voice.

I grew into my beautiful self – the someone who was always there, but was afraid to blossom. I finally became me and finally became free.

Promoted cooperation and teamwork. Helped me improve my public speaking and writing skills.

I love Mosaic and continue to see the benefits of my experience years later.

I don’t even know where to begin. Mo made me comfortable in speaking my mind and collaborating with others. It opened me up to a whole new way of viewing and understanding the world. It taught me that, while it is good to ask questions, it is best to seek answers.

College Admissions

Mosaic students consistently report that in personal interviews, college admissions officers show great enthusiasm and interest in Mosaic and acknowledge that the program differentiates them from other candidates.
Mosaic students have been admitted to the following post-grad opportunities:

Elite Universities: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia and Cornell

Other top colleges including NYU, Davidson, University of Southern California, Kenyon, George Washington, American University, Denison, Swarthmore, University of Michigan, Bryn Mawr, Loyola of Chicago, Bard, The American University of Rome, DePaul, Tulane, Rochester Institute of Technology and more

Top Art and Design Colleges: Parson’s School of Design- The New School, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Berklee College of Music, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, DAAP at University of Cincinnati, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Fashion Institute of Technology, CCAD and more

National service programs including AmeriCorps, FEMA Corps, and City Year

Mosaic students have received full ride or full tuition academic scholarships to the following universities: Davidson College, Indiana University- Kelley School of Business, Ohio State University, Antioch College, Loyola of New Orleans, and Goucher College


Click here to apply.


For more information, contact Mosaic Director Kim Leddy at 614.202.8634 or [email protected].

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