Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.17
Liaison Ryan Kmetz
Submission Date July 26, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Maryland, Baltimore County
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00
"---" 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 Center for Democracy and Civic Life develops learnings forums in which participants enact civic values and build civic capacities.

Two of the Center’s initiatives are immersive learning experiences for students: the STRiVE leadership and social change retreat, and Alternative Spring Break. At STRiVE, participants spend five days exploring their values and strengths; tackling team challenges and reflecting on their participation in groups; thinking critically about the cultures in which they are immersed; and learning to contribute to efforts to address systemic oppression and build inclusive cultures. In the Alternative Spring Break six-day experiential learning program, designed by students with guidance from the Center for Democracy and Civic Life, participants meet with local residents, non-profit staff, representatives of local government agencies, scholars, and public officials; learn about community organizing and effective advocacy; explore the complexity of issues affecting the region, including structural racism and other social injustices; and develop visions and plans for their own sustained participation in addressing those issues.

The Center for Democracy and Civic Life offers an immersive learning experience that will position participants effectively as knowledgeable advocates and active, engaged co-creators of a thriving democracy and civic culture. The program is offered as an alternative spring break; however, the program "hires" and trains undergraduate student leaders for the fall semester (and for a portion of the spring semester) to effectively understand the issues and lead their peers.

Topics will emerge from Group Leaders’ curiosity about Baltimore and social issues.

Group Leaders have explore a variety of questions, such as:

a) How do people who have been formerly incarcerated transition back to living and working in Baltimore? What can be done to support that transition? (Earth Charter Principal I.3 Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful)

b) What are the difficulties and barriers that people experiencing homelessness face in Baltimore and what can be done to mitigate those issues? (Earth Charter Principal III.9 Eradicated poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative |Earth Charter Principal III.10 Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner |Earth Charter Principal III.12 Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.)

c) How are food disparities created, perpetuated, and challenged in Baltimore? (Earth Charter Principal III.10 Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner)

d) How do the arts support community empowerment and well-being in Baltimore? (Earth Charter Principal IV.14 Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life)

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

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