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* Jansen on internationalization at conference

Internationalization is a key initiative at Shoreline Community College and James Jansen, the new Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, is fitting right in.James Jansen.jpg

Jansen was a presenter on Feb. 20, 2013, at the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) Annual Conference in New Orleans. Along with two co-presenters, Jansen spoke on “Re-Imagining Internationalization for a Networked World: The COIL Institute for Globally Networked Learning in the Humanities.”

COIL, or Collaborative Online International Learning, is the focus of a center based in Manhattan at the State University of New York system’s Global Center. The COIL Center works with a network of colleges and universities in New York, including Jansen’s former school, Corning Community College in Corning, NY. Jansen joined Shoreline this past summer.

Jansen’s presentation focused on how faculty can help students develop meaningful cultural interactions across borders by building classes in which both faculty and students can communicate and interact with international partners at other colleges using digital means.

Jansen views that goal as much the same as Shoreline’s campus internationalization effort to bring global awareness and globally competitive skills to both domestic and international students.

The AIEA, formed in November 1982, is composed of institutional leaders engaged in advancing the international dimensions of higher education.

COIL is working to develop and implement online collaborative international courses that can be team taught as a format for deepening cross-cultural learning and understanding.

SCC/Jim Hills

* Federal grant grows Listening Tree Project
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Instructor Sarah Zale makes a point during a "theater of the oppressed" presentation by members of the LIstening Tree Project club. More photos

“If it can work there, it can work anywhere.”

That thought kept going through Sarah Zale’s head as she sat in the Bainbridge Island Library in 2006, hearing a Palestinian describe how choosing to just listen to the Israeli perspective without judgment, directly from an Israeli, was having a demonstrable calming effect on perhaps the world’s most intractable conflict.

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Listening Tree Project club members during the "theater of teh oppressed' skit.

Another Listening Tree branch

Students in the winter-quarter class co-taught by Sarah Zale and drama instructor are scheduled to present their skits on from10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 5, in the PUB Quiet Dining Room. The event is free and open to the public, but seating may be limited.

“Souliman al-Khatib was the first Palestinian to whom I ever really listened," said Zale. “He had served ten years in an Israeli prison for his role in the stabbing of two Israeli soldiers. When he was released, he co-founded Combatants for Peace, an organization of Palestinians and Jews who teach others how to find solutions to their problems with compassionate listening instead of violence.

What Zale, an English instructor at Shoreline Community College, found was the beginning of an answer to a problem she was identifying in her classes.

“I wanted students to take some ownership of their learning, I wanted them to play a role in directing it,” she said. “Telling them to do it wasn’t enough, I needed a way to draw them inside the learning, to do more than just plop in a seat, open the book and listen to me talk.”

The Bainbridge presentation made such an impression on Zale that she joined a Compassionate Listening Project delegation (www.compassionatelistening.org) traveling to Israel and Palestine to put the concept into action. Zale took that experience, came home and began folding the skills into her English classes.

“It was a slow integration into the classroom,” Zale said. Her students were still writing papers, but now they were doing them on subjects gleaned from personal experiences with compassionate listening techniques applied outside the classroom. “I asked them to involve not only family members, but the old man sitting in his porch they see on the way to school; someone  they’d never talk to,” she said.

Still, Zale wanted more and she found it at Portland Community College.

“Portland has a program on Theatre of the Oppressed,” Zale said, referring to the theatrical form explored by Brazilian Augusto Boal that turns the audience into participants and focuses on subjects of social change. “So I had this idea, but could I really apply such a radical approach?”

Zale, who says she is still honing that approach, combines the tenets of compassionate listening with a framework of participatory theater and then applies it in the very traditional environment of an English 101 class.

It worked, but again Zale wanted more.

Building on the core of compassionate listening and interactive theater, Zale expanded the experience with components of social science, community service, multiculturalism and global awareness to create what she calls The Listening Tree Project.

Zale went looking for a fertile spot to plant her idea and found it at Shoreline Community College. “It’s so welcoming here,” she said.

Still, creating a new class can take time, so to keep momentum, Zale worked this fall with student government to create a student club, The Listening Tree Club. “Almost all of the members are my former English students or friends of former students,” Zale said.

On Nov. 29, the club showcased their work in the PUB Quiet Dining Room. The performance was open to anyone and drew perhaps 75 students, faculty and staff members.  The powerful and raw five-minute skit illustrated the prejudices and power differentials that are at play between Asian and international students of color with other students on campus and in life and drew resounding applause. The audience then replaced characters, introducing their own dialogue as a way to practice how to resolve the conflicts presented in the skit.

For winter quarter 2013, Zale is co-teaching an interdisciplinary course (IDS 102) with drama instructor Deb Jacoby to further develop her curriculum of combining writing and interactive theatre. It is called “Leading the Way: Social Justice Through Activism and Compassion.” Students may receive English 101 credit as one option.

Zale is taking The Listening Tree Project to the next step: an actual year-long class at Shoreline.

“I have approval to implement the project ,” she said. “It will be a three-quarter series starting in the fall of 2013 with the same students committed for an academic year.” 

To make the class work within the framework of Shoreline’s 90-credit, two-year Associate degrees, Zale is arranging for each of the three 5-credit classes to count toward the general education requirements of the degree. For example, one class would satisfy a Humanities credit requirement, another class fills a Social Sciences requirement she said.

In addition, Zale said students who complete all three quarters of The Listening Tree Project will receive a college-approved Leadership Trainer Certificate.

“The certificate is important,” Zale said. “More and more, employers are looking for something that says ‘Yes, I have these skills, I can be a leader in community building and conflict resolution and demonstrate active listening to multicultural perspectives.’”

To help fund The Listening Tree Project, Zale has just received curriculum development funds from the Carl Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Grant. 

Shoreline also received a grant from the U.S. Institute of Peace to carry out a workshop this May that will include Listening Tree Project.  Shoreline is one of 76 colleges, universities and public libraries across 32 states to receive the USIP award. The institute was created by Congress to professionalize the field of international conflict management and peacebuilding, implement conflict management operations abroad and generate new tools for conflict management and prevention. In 2009, Zale was a Fellow to USIP.

The May workshop is co-sponsored by the Global Affairs Center of the International Education department and the Listening Tree Club.  Participants in the workshop will include students, staff and faculty from Shoreline and other colleges and universities, as well as community members. The event will explore human rights and international conflict using techniques of interactive theater and compassionate listening.

“In the words of Gene Knudsen Hoffman,” Zale said, “‘An enemy is a person whose story we have not yet heard.’”

The funding will also help The Listening Tree Project and other efforts related to the advancement of global awareness and competence and multicultural understanding.

“A mission of the project is to encourage individuals to increase their global awareness and compare and contrast cultural differences in order to respond artistically and think critically,” Zale said. Individuals come to demonstrate awareness and knowledge of the interdependence of nations concerning issues of peace and prosperity, and power and privilege, she said.
SCC/Jim Hills
* Shoreline at college conference in India

Lee Lambert speaks in India

Shoreline President Lee Lambert speaks Feb. 5, 2013 in New Delhi. More photos

Shoreline Community College is joining the world in helping India embark on perhaps the biggest expansion of education ever.

Shoreline President Lee Lambert and Ann Garnsey-Harter, Shoreline’s virtual college director, are in New Delhi at the request of the Indian government and the U.S. State Department to present at an international conference on community colleges.

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Why India? Because the government there has a goal of launching 300 new community colleges for 2013 academic year and adding thousands more in the coming years.

“India is taking serious the challenge that the demographic dividend poses for them,” Lambert said from India. “As the youngest nation on the globe, with about 600 million individuals 25 and younger, the nation of India could have a positive global impact if they could educate more of their citizens.”

The conference, titled “Mainstreaming Skills Education: Creating Relevant Human Resource,” drew participants from the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“The government of India recognizes that the development of a community college system would be advantageous,” Lambert said. “They recognize a greater focus on skill development, student mobility, partnerships with business and industry, and a host of other factors will be essential.”

Lambert addressed a room of more than 500 conference attendees from India and around the world. He focused on how community colleges are organized, sharing Shoreline’s structure and how it allows the college to create partnerships and respond to the needs students, the community, business and industry and society.

“I also shared the importance of developing programs premised on the notions of portability, stack-ability, third-party validation of industry recognized credentials,” Lambert said. “I referred directly to our work with the National Association of Manufacturers skills-endorsed certification system and the National Coalition of Certification Systems.”

Officials in India acknowledge that to reach their access goals, a significant portion of the education will have to be delivered online. A nationally recognized expert in online education, Garnsey-Harter was invited on the trip to share her experience.

The conference was opened by India’s Minister of Human Resource Development HRD Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju. In his remarks, Raju stressed the need for more skill-based education and appealed to the educational institutions to tailor courses to the needs of industry. He said the new community colleges would offer short duration credit-based modules aligned with established education standards. The goal, he said, is to quickly move students into employment, but also help them accumulate credits that lead certificates and degrees.

Tara Sonenshine, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, is leading the U.S. contingent.

“India and the United States have a long history of educational exchange and collaboration,” Sonenshine said in her remarks.” The Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative, which has committed to $10 million over five years to institutional partnerships, is one example. So is the Fulbright-Nehru Program that has benefitted thousands of Indian and American students, scholars, and researchers for more than 60 years.

“Education is so critical to our relationship that we established the U.S.-India Higher Education Dialogue as one pillar of our Strategic Dialogue.”

Lambert, Garnsey-Harter and others in the U.S. delegation have met privately with Sonenshine to discuss possible collaborations and other items.

This is not the first time Shoreline officials have traveled to India. Just this past fall, International Education Director Samira Pardanani accompanied then-Gov. Chris Gregoire and others on an international trade mission to India. Both Gregoire and current Gov. Jay Inslee have identified education as an important export product for the state of Washington.

“We would love to collaborate with the government of India to help them reach their education goals,” Lambert said.

SCC/Jim Hills

*International Education program gets international award

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School children in Bolivia line up to use their new to toothbrushes, part of a collaborative program between Shoreline  Community College and Smiles Forever.

 

In Bolivia, dental care is rare and there is no school for hygienists.

 

At Shoreline Community College, the dental hygiene and study abroad programs are among the best in the state.

 

And for Rosie Bellert, Shoreline’s dental hygiene program director, that’s all she needed to create what is now award-winning opportunities to both ease suffering and educate.

 

The Institute of International Education (IIE) has recognized Shoreline Community College with a 12th annual IIE Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education.

 

“We’re very honored that IIE sees this effort and our program as one of the top 10 in the country,” Shoreline President Lee Lambert said. “Director Bellert is passionate about helping patients and educating students. Combining her passion and Shoreline’s commitment to bringing international experiences to our students is a winning combination.”

 

That combination began by Bellert making a connection with non-profit group Smiles Forever. The organization is dedicated to providing opportunities for young women to break the cycle of poverty and improve health through education and training around dental care.

 

Bellert then worked with the Study Abroad office with Shoreline’s International Education program to develop the opportunity for Shoreline dental hygiene students to travel to Bolivia and provide care and training while expanding their own skills and international experience.

 

“There is tremendous need in Bolivia for dental care,” Bellert said. “But this is more than just an outreach effort because our students get as much out of this as do our Bolivian patients. Our students see in a very real way the impact of social, economic, political and environmental forces that determine the quality of life in other countries.”

 

The Andrew Heiskell Award honors the most outstanding initiatives in international higher education among the member campuses of the IIENetwork, IIE’s membership association of more than 1,100 higher education institutions.

 

Bellert, Lambert and International Education Executive Director Diana Sampson will present the program at the eighth annual Best Practices in Internationalization Conference and awards ceremony on March 22, 2013 in New York City. More than 150 campus leaders and international education professionals in the United States and around the world are expected to attend.

 

IIE's Heiskell Awards showcase the most innovative and successful models for internationalizing the campus, study abroad, and international partnership programs in practice today, with a particular emphasis on initiatives that remove institutional barriers and broaden the base of participation in international teaching and learning on campus.

 

Along with Shoreline, the winning campuses for 2013 are:

  • Susquehanna University
  • Pitt Community College
  • St. Cloud State University
  • University of South Florida
  • Wake Forest University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • La Trobe University
  • Saint Louis University

 

The IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards were named for the former chairman of Time Inc. and a long-time member of the Executive Committee of IIE's Board of Trustees. Heiskell was a renowned international and cultural philanthropist and a dedicated supporter of international education.

SCC/Jim Hills