Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 31.76
Liaison Jonathan Ehrlich
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2019

STARS v2.2

United World College-USA
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Todd Austin
Special Assistant for Strategic Initiatives
President's Office
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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:

All first-year UWC-USA students participate in one of a number of week-long Southwest Studies trips, where students and staff engage in experiential education connected to International Baccalaureate learning outcomes and the UWC-USA mission. During Spring semester, all UWC-USA students also participate in a week-long Project Week with first-year students participating in pre-organized trips and second-year student either joining a trip or planning a project of their own. The trips vary over time and to the degree that they explicitly address sustainability, but there is typically at least one trip that is sustainability focused. The Bueno Para Todos trip to Villanueva, NM, which was held in 2017 & 2019, for example, explores the relationship between food, land, water, and personal healing. This is a region with a long history of subsistence farming with strong community traditions, local pride, stubborn poverty, frequent droughts, and a changing climate. The students learn from matriarchal leaders of the northern New Mexico tribes the importance of understanding the sacredness of land, including where the College is located. The project has a significant service work component consisting of intensive gardening and reinforcing the acequias (traditional ditch irrigation canals) in Villanueva for the Bueno Para Todos Collaborative that serves the community. Many families retain historic water rights, allowing them access to the traditional irrigation system, but water rights are maintained over time by farming for food. It is essential to cultivate local agriculture to retain water in the community, and to lift up the farm and artisan work of women and girls and advocate for their empowerment and education. The students also visit with artists, poets, activists, and social justice advocates as part of their learning process.


Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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