Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.45
Liaison Lindsey Kalkbrenner
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2020

STARS v2.2

Santa Clara University
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lindsey Kalkbrenner
Center for Sustainability
"---" 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?:

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

The Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education Immersion trip to Cholula, Mexico. The Santa Clara delegation spends a week in Cholula, Mexico, (the local Indigenous capital prior to the founding of the Spanish city of Puebla). Students learn with and from indigenous communities about current political and social reality in Mexico, culture, sustainable agriculture and spirituality. The immersion group builds relationships with local families through a homestay experience. Enlaces Comunitarios Internacionales, a grassroots organization which works toward community development in Mexico and other countries through education, community organizing, and working with local farmers on sustainable and organic agriculture practices. Students have the opportunity to participate in current development projects alongside local community members and learn from individuals working in fields such as education, community organizing, environmental sustainability, agriculture, and government.

The Center for Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship Immersion trip to Cuba is designed to help students meet their social justice-oriented experiential learning requirements while learning about issues related to food production and consumption, hunger, poverty, and the environment. The course blends short lectures, guided discussions and reflections and a 14-day immersion in Cuba interacting with local people of diverse backgrounds for experiential active learning. This two-quarter Business 151 course examines the history, culture, educational system, economy, agricultural sector, and political and governmental structure of Cuba. Students examine Cuba’s progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Each student is required to submit written reflections and participate in team presentations about various aspects of Cuba. The goal is to increase students’ understanding of the challenges associated with equitably distributing the rewards of economic development within the socio-cultural and environmental contexts of a low-income Latin-American country.

The SCU Baja Program is a faculty-led expedition to Baja, Mexico. Students in this program observe and investigate, by kayak, snorkel, and on foot, habitats in southern Baja, including one of the most amazing desert and marine ecosystems on the planet--the desert island Isla Espiritu Santo. This program includes an advanced writing course (ENVS 142: Writing Natural History) and a Biology/Environmental Studies course (BIOL/ENVS 144: Natural History of Baja) to prepare for the week-long expedition. ENVS 144 Examines the natural history of Baja California Sur, with emphasis on the taxonomy of marine and terrestrial organisms, the ecology of desert and coastal ecosystems, and the biogeography of the peninsula. Students become familiar with desert, riparian, beach, mangrove, and rocky intertidal habitats, develop field observation and species identification skills, and explore local conservation challenges.

Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Please also see: http://www.scu.edu/immersions for immersive, co-curricular programs that incorporate sustainability, such as the Appalachia, West Virginia trip in which students not only learn about community development and culture, but also the region's environmental issues with mountain-top removal mining, natural gas extinction, and biodiversity.

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