For those of you who are new visitors to our blog and who may not be familiar with the Global Citizenship Project, here is an overview of the program.
The GCP was inspired by long-time friend and former trustee of Shenandoah University, Dr. Nancy Larrick Crosby, who charged the university to find a way to impact across the institution in some significant way and consistent with our mission. Dr. Crosby was a tireless advocate for literacy around the world. Her model for engaging communities in the global context set the stage for what inspires with our students and community today, the Global Citizenship Project.
GCP Key Components:
- GCP is an opportunity to travel abroad during spring break each year with an academic focus in a group-oriented and faculty-led experience.
- 5 destinations are selected each year along with 5 very experienced faculty or staff to lead each group.
- The university removes all barriers to participation except for one – passion! Expenses are paid apart from incidentals, logistics are handled by the institution, and anxiety is reduced with group-oriented, faculty-guided travel.
- Full-time members of the university community – students, faculty as well as staff – submit streamlined applications that seek to identify those whose passion for the opportunity to learn abroad can be heard in a short essay.
- Applicants do not know where they will be going each year and apply ready to be sent anywhere in the world (destinations not on the U.S. State Department warning list).
- Destinations are announced shortly after selection. Destination groups are formed with 11 participants each (including undergraduate and graduate students, staff members, and one faculty member plus the trip leader and occasionally a student from the destination country) representing the diversity of the institution on each trip.
- Participants prepare for their travel experience through a series of workshops focusing on cultural understanding, destination-specific information, logistics for global travel and a unique theme chosen each year on which each group will focus during the preparations, travel and in workshop debriefing sessions.
- The experiences themselves follow many models based on the conditions of the destination but are clearly designed with an academic focus and people-to-people connections.
- Upon return, an intentional effort is made to stimulate dissemination of the experiences and lessons learned back into our various communities – on campus (through presentations during Community Partnership Day), into the local community (through outreach programs into the schools as one example), and into student’s home communities (through press release and media interviews).
Since the inaugural program in 2005, GCP has continued to take SU students, staff and faculty around the globe to experience the world and share with their communities. This will be the 8th year of GCP. Please follow along while the groups share their journeys in 2012!