Publication Date

2010

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Richard Rodman

Abstract

Cuba is a challenging destination for study abroad students. The unique socio-political and economic systems present an intellectual and ideological challenge for many U.S. American students. Presbyterian College has developed the Semester in Cuba program to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to explore the “Third World” perspective. This program is focused specifically on the emergence of social movements and revolutionary ideology as a direct consequence of colonial and neocolonial domination. The Semester in Cuba program has been offered three times; in the fall semesters of 2007 and 2008, and most recently in the spring semester of 2010.

This proposal presents the structure and plan for a redesigned Presbyterian College Semester in Cuba program to be delivered in the spring of 2011. The need for this redesign was assessed through student evaluations and interview transcripts, a staff site-visit in April 2010, and a current review of best practices in experiential learning and study abroad. The principal focus of the proposal is upon the newly designed course within the program, entitled Encounter the Third World. The course contains an experiential learning focus and an independent study project component. This new course complements the existing academic program elements while elevating the quality of experiential learning opportunities.

This proposal accomplishes three goals. First, it outlines the new structure of the Semester in Cuba program, streamlining the academic content and reducing the number of credits from seventeen to fifteen. Second, a new course is created. The majority of this proposal is focused on the purpose and curriculum of this new course. Finally, the redesigned program fits more appropriately into current trends in study abroad and meets the criteria for true experiential learning. All elements of the program design are attended to, with a principal focus placed on theoretical foundations, goals and objectives, and the curriculum.

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | International and Comparative Education

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