Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.98
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Dickinson College
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lindsey Lyons
Assistant Director
Center for Sustainability Education
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

Dickinson offers semester-long, sustainability-focused, immersive Mosaics. Their objective is to encourage students to think reflexively about the diverse world in which they live as they engage in collaborative work with local, transnational, and international communities. Mosaics provide opportunities for students to meaningfully apply what they are learning in the classroom, both theoretically and methodologically, to the world beyond – and to bring their experiences in the world back into the classroom.

Dickinson Mosaics challenge students to ask significant and relevant questions of the people and communities with which they are working; to actively listen to what others say about their lives and realities; to reflect on their own lives, worlds, and perspectives; to design research that addresses the needs and interests of their partner communities; and finally to present what they have discovered in thoughtful, effective, and ethical ways to multiple audiences.

In the fall 2019, the Carlisle Mosaic: People, Place, & Policy investigated approaches through which Carlisle (home of Dickinson College) might become a more resilient and sustainable community. Students learned and applied methods of history, demography, economics and systems analysis to examine evolving and interacting human and environmental systems of Carlisle and Cumberland Valley and changing patterns of agricultural production, industrialization and deindustrialization, urbanization and suburbanization, transportation, commerce, household size and composition, segregation, and poverty. The courses the practices of sustainable community development for building community capital and opportunities for their application in Carlisle.

The Mosaic included a semester-long community-based research course that will bring students and faculty together with community partners, who are actively working to mold Carlisle’s future, to research options for building community resilience. This mosaic included the following courses:

ECON 214/SOC 230: Introduction to Economic Demography (Anthony Underwood)
HIST 211: Carlisle as Artifact (Emily Pawley)
SUST 200/SOC 230: Sustainable and Resilient Communities (Neil Leary)
ECON/HIST/SUST/SOC 550: Independent Research: Carlisle People, Place and Policy (Underwood, Pawley, & Leary)

Some other recent sustainability-focused Dickinson mosaics include:

Rwanda Mosaic: After Genocide and Apartheid, Spring 2019
Cuba Mini Mosaic: The African Diaspora - May 2018
Climate Change and Human Security in Nepal - Fall 2017
Cuba Mini-Mosaic (January 2016, Associated with SPAN 360 and SPAN 380/LALC 300-01/FLST 310-04: Cubania and Cuban Cinema courses.)
Meltdowns and Waves: Responding to Disasters in the US and Japan (Mini-Mosaic Summer 2016) - Japan
2nd Mediterranean Migration, Italy (Mosaic, Spring 2016)
Inequality in Brazil: An Exploration of Race, Class, Gender and Geography (Mini-Mosaic) - Multi-city Brazil (Summer 2015)
Each summer, Dickinson offers a number of study abroad summer immersion programs, which often include one or more sustainability focused programs. Recent sustainability focused summer programs have gone to Cameroon, Tanzania, China, France, Germany, Israel, and Italy.


Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The American and Global Mosaics are intensive, interdisciplinary, sustainability-focused, semester-long research programs designed around ethnographic fieldwork and immersion in domestic and global communities. Their objective is to encourage students to think reflexively about the diverse world in which they live as they engage in collaborative work with local, transnational, and international communities. The Mosaics provide opportunities for students to meaningfully apply what they are learning in the classroom, both theoretically and methodologically, to the world beyond – and to bring their experiences in the world back into the classroom.

The Mosaics challenge students to ask significant and relevant questions of the people and communities with which they are working; to actively listen to what others say about their lives and realities; to reflect on their own lives, worlds, and perspectives; to design research that addresses the needs and interests of their partner communities; and finally to present what they have discovered in thoughtful, effective, and ethical ways to multiple audiences. Students learn not only how to design and conduct research but also how to produce their findings and analyses in various forms: written research papers and reports, conference presentations, video documentaries, audio podcasts, and multi-media websites.

The design of a specific Mosaic program is driven by pedagogical and research concerns and faculty interest and availability. A number of different models have emerged, including a full semester of coursework taken by students with 2-3 faculty from different disciplines, cluster courses, and a one credit course that integrates a winter term or a spring break research trip. See what is upcoming here:

http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20056/center_for_global_study_and_engagement/2218/mosaics_and_globally_integrated_courses

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