International Partnership for Service Learning (IPSL) Courses

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IPSL - International Partnership for Service Learning (IPSL) Courses

IPSL-401: Independent/Directed Study (Credits: 1 to 3)

IPSL recognizes the vital role independent study can play in a student's education. Independent study allows the student to explore a topic of interest under the close supervision of a faculty member who has agreed to direct the student's work. The course may include directed readings, applied work, assisting the faculty member with a research project, carrying out an independent research project, or other activities deemed appropriate by the supervising faculty member and the department. Regardless of the nature of the experience, the work must culminate in a formal project or paper, and a presentation.

IPSL-402: Comm Organization Soc Activism (Credits: 3)

This course deals with the origin and background of non-governmental organizations in the country of study, including how these groups have been created to respond to essential social problems and the ways that civil society in this country has found to exercise fundamental rights and respond to needs not covered by the state. The different types of organizations studied are: Non-Governmental Organizations, Foundations, Civil Associations, Social and Popular Movements. We will study the history, the birth and the issues on which these social organizations work. We will investigate their contribution to the development of skills and opportunities for the 21st century for growth in the midst of differences. Coursework is complemented by volunteering in a community project and engagement with diverse cultures and viewpoints. Students reflect on national and international practices using the curriculum framework and drawing on discussions with host country nationals.

IPSL-403: Language Across Curriculum (Credits: 3)

This course is designed for students with all proficiency levels in a language spoken in the country where the course is taken. This is a streamlined, focused course designed to produce maximum functional fluency in a specific area of interest. Course topics and vocabulary are carefully compiled to provide students the language patterns they need to successfully navigate professional/social situations while living and studying in the country. This course helps students achieve proficiency not only in conversational language but also in skill areas necessary for further study, such as phonetics, grammar and sentence structure.

IPSL-404: Sponsored Research (Credits: 3)

IPSL-408: Special Topics (Credits: 1 to 3)

IPSL-420: Afro-Colombian History Culture (Credits: 3)

IPSL-421: Conflict/ Peace Colombia (Credits: 3)

IPSL-422: Escobar to Santos Modern Colombia (Credits: 3)

It is impossible to talk about Modern Colombia without an examination of the impact of the decades long "narco-tráfico" - the narcotics trade that was at the center of Colombia's political, economic, and social structures. The socio-political core of Colombia is what it is today, in part, because of the illegal drug trade. By the same token, Colombia is not the same country it was one generation ago, which is when Pablo Escobar, the head of the Medellín Drug Cartel, died. At the time one of the wealthiest men in the world, Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria continues to engender strong opinions on all sides and all spectrums. Some of the nation's poorest people praise Escobar's attention to the plight of the poor. Other Colombians - and foreigners - rightfully bring attention to the violence - and the tens of thousands of dead - that were part of the drug trade and the accompanying terrorism. The years of "narco-tráfico" affected countless Colombians, and many others, during those years, and the history is only starting to be discussed and researched. The first part of the course provides an overview. We then investigate drug production in the Americas and the organizations that engage in these activities. After that, we will look at the costs of narcopolitics in the developing world, in terms of corruption and violence. Next, we will shift our attention to the U.S. and examine both drug trafficking counternarcotic efforts and the impact of the so-called "War on Drugs." The final part of the class will examine the effect of recent and proposed reforms to drug policies and, of course, the reconciliation and peace processes that have brought stability, peace and economic growth to Colombia.

IPSL-430: Sustainable Micro Enterprise/Field Work (Credits: 3)

This course is designed to familiarize students with different types of enterprises in Rural Communities and explore national and international case studies as well as opportunities and challenges in sustaining micro and small-sized enterprises. (SME). It sets out the criteria for identifying whether a company is a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). These different categories, based on the number of a company's employees and its turnover or balance sheet, determine its eligibility for EU and national financial and support programs, especially in the more rural areas of Europe.

IPSL-431: Greek History Culture Language (Credits: 3)

This course is designed to familiarize students with Greek history and culture. Its aim is to explore the 5000 years of Greek history, understanding why Greece is still considered the cradle of our civilization, stopping at its greatest moments, discovering those elements that made Greece stand out through the ages, exploring ancient Greek art and culture and understanding the ways and the degree it shaped the western world. The course will connect the dots from prehistoric times and the era of the great heroes and legends, like Hercules, Odysseus and the Trojan War, with the achievements of Ancient Greece, the troubled years of Medieval and Byzantine Greece until its independence after the Greek Revolution of 1821, and Greece in the 21st century. Taking place in a large, vibrant port city of Thessaloniki, with a history of over 2500 years, the students will be able to experience Greece's living history firsthand and learn the basics of theModern Greek language in context with the course content.

IPSL-432: The Rise of Social Solidarity in Greece (Credits: 3)

This course explores the concept of solidarity, or social unity, in the context of austerity and refugee burdened Greece. Austerity measures motivated community efforts including soup kitchens and free pharmacy distribution clinics. At the height of the European refugee crisis, civilian volunteers offered clothing, food, transportation and shelter to immigrants and refugees entering Greece. This course explores how these two crises moments have challenged established forms of sociality and motivated a movement towards national and global solidarity. Drawing on literature, engaging with ongoing NGO and government efforts, in addition to directed discussions with Greeks.

IPSL-433: Creative Thinking Entrepreneurship (Credits: 3)

This course is about productive thinking and is designed to assist students in developing critical and creative thinking skills that are essential ingredients to enhance their innovation and decision-making skills. These skills include the ability to make well- reasoned decisions, solve problems skillfully, and make carefully thought-out judgments about the worth, accuracy, and value of information, ideas, claims and proposals. Students will apply various modes of thinking to address critical business issues and workplace applications.

IPSL-434: Mediterranean Diet Life Style (Credits: 3)

This course focuses on the Mediterranean Diet and the Mediterranean way of life. It is designed to help students develop an understanding about the specific diet and its health benefits, the main ingredients and produce, research the theory of the Mediterranean way of life, and to provide an international perspective through a rich study abroad program with valuable experiences that students can draw from and finally, through cooking workshops, offer students hands on experience on the secrets and makings of the Mediterranean cuisine. We will also examine the cultural and emotional interconnections that influence what, and how we eat, and how we socialize with, and around food. Greek cooking offers an incredibly rich and diverse array of foods and beverages that are the culmination of literally thousands of years of living, cooking, and eating. While each Greek meal is fresh and inviting, it is also a trip back through Greece's history.

IPSL-435: Mediterranean Outdoors Exploration (Credits: 3)

This course focuses on Leadership, through instruction and experiences in Outdoor settings. The "About Limits: Mediterranean Outdoor Exploration & Leadership" course is to prepare participants to have the academic background skills and necessary experiences to analyze, plan, implement, lead and supervise teams, not only in an outdoor environment but also in academia or a corporate setting, through experiential and physical challenges. It is designed to help students develop conditional leadership skills, understand group development and communication, and empower facilitation techniques in an outdoor environment. In addition, the course provides opportunities to sharpen the creative decision-making process, meet challenges for problem solving and sound judgment, and all this in the wild Greek mountains. Moreover, the program emphasizes the environmental ethics and "Leave No Trace" approach. We will, also, analyze the main domains of a risk management plan through outdoor activities and discuss how this knowledge could be transferred in a business or corporate environment. Finally, the course uses team bonding activities and tries to teach and enhance decision making skills through games in the outdoors. The Greek mountains offer an incredibly rich and diverse natural environment with physical challenges, breathtaking scenery accompanied with endless chats over delicious meals by the fire.

IPSL-440: Guatamala One Health Ecology Culture (Credits: 3)

This course captures the interconnectedness of people, the environment, and animals that we use for food in-situ. These topics are examined through a One Health lens, through site visits and hands-on service projects with local Guatemalan farms, cooperatives, and community-based agricultural initiatives. Students have the opportunity to reflect upon their service and experiential learning via reading reviews and reflection workshops throughout the course. Students live, study, work, and make new and interesting connections such as with local community organizers, other volunteers and students and international researchers, who enrich and strengthen the outreach of the organization to the surrounding communities. Students should have a strong interest in nutrition and food politics, as well as environmental conservation and public health. Experience with the Spanish language is highly recommended but not required.

IPSL-441: Maya Cosmovision & Health Systems (Credits: 3)

This course offers the opportunity to get immersed in the reality of some of the many indigenous communities in Guatemala and to reflect on intersecting issues related to Maya health, spirituality, and intercultural history. During the course, students will participate in lectures, workshops, site visits, and dialogues with indigenous health services providers in community-based organizations. The course is co-designed and taught by a Maya Kaqchikel spiritual guide and healer with many years of experience and extensive knowledge in ancestral healing techniques, herbal medicine, fire ceremonies, and Maya culture. By exploring a Maya & intercultural perspective on health services in Guatemala, students will have the opportunity to understand the struggles and experience the successes of a living and breathing ancestral medical system that integrates a variety of voices, bridges socioeconomic differences, and offers culturally appropriate solutions to the physical, mental and spiritual ailments of the local population.

IPSL-450: Enivironmental Social Justice: Peru (Credits: 3)

Biological diversity is one of the most valuable assets our society has in order to achieve Sustainable Development. This course provides knowledge of the theory and practice of this concept. Topics aim to stimulate a critical examination of the potential of biological resources and interactions in meeting sustainability goals while also understand the need for a constant economic growth and social equity. This course is specifically created to address the complex issues of Environmental Sustainability as they relate to biodiversity conservation with its main focus in Per .

IPSL-451: Incan Architecture Urban Dvlpmt in Andes (Credits: 3)

The course is intended to introduce students to the general, quantitative and qualitative aspects of the evolution of architecture and urban planning in the Andes in South America. We will cover the aspects of territorial, agricultural and civic management under Andean societies and its development through the height of its glory under the Inca culture. The course covers conceptual aspects such as the evolution of Andean society, its historical background, the geography, environment, and overall community health of the central Andes, the interaction between society and its territory and environment. We will review the history of the origins of the American Caral civilization, early urban planning, ceremonial temples of the formative period, the first cities of the ceremonial centers upon the emergence of the urban theocratic centers, the Moche city, the rise of the Andean Wari Empire, the late states and feudal estates, coastal cities, high Andean settlements, Moche architecture and urban planning, the capital city of Chimu, the city of Chanchan, the Pachacamac ceremonial center, through the development of the Inca Empire and the colonial development of the city of Cusco.

IPSL-452: Indigenous Knowledge Traditional Healing (Credits: 3)

IPSL-460: Ethics Community Health South Africa (Credits: 3)

Through the interdisciplinary coursework in this program, students learn about contemporary public health issues in South Africa through hands-on training with IPSL's partner organization in Cape Town, South Africa. By uniting service with traditional learning, students gain knowledge about the historical, political, economic, cultural, and geographic forces that shape the history of public health interventions in South Africa. The service places students at the nexus of Community-based Health, Social Enterprise, Volunteer Development, and the struggle for Social and Racial Justice. Through lectures from scholars and scholar-practitioners, readings, hands-on service, and selected site visits in the region, students critically examine topics related to health promotion and provision, traditional healing, rural health and social justice in South Africa.

IPSL-470: Environmental Sci Sustain Development (Credits: 3)

This course will provide current basic knowledge of the fundamental features and functions of the natural environment, including: natural resources; geo/natural disaster-hazards; the human impact on the environment; and the role in solving problems related to human activities in hazard adaptation and mitigation, in decision-making policies on sustainable development, resource use and environmental protection. The goals of the course are to improve awareness of (and provide techniques for) the sustainable use of natural resources, environmental protection, and sustainable development. Content will emphasize interdisciplinary and integrated approaches.

IPSL-471: Global Health & Environment: Vietnam (Credits: 3)

Global health has been defined as an area for study, research, and practice that places priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. This course examines major global health challenges, programs and policies, with practical examples in Vietnam. Students will be introduced to Southeast Asia's diversity of determinants of health and diseases. Students will explore and analyze current and emerging health priorities, including infectious zoonotic diseases, poverty, environmental pollution, dioxin/Agent Orange and the "American" (Vietnam) War's legacy. Health inequity, health systems reforms, health policy advocacy, and major initiatives for disease prevention and health promotion in Vietnam will be examined with an eye toward comparative study with health in a "developed" nation.

IPSL-472: Public Space in Urban Planning (Credits: 3)

In this dynamic course on public space inclusion in Vietnamese urban planning, you will explore the critical role that public spaces play in fostering vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable cities. Guided by expert instructors and drawing upon multimodal learning approaches, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the principles, strategies, and best practices for effectively incorporating public spaces into urban planning processes. Through a combination of theoretical insights, case studies in various Vietnamese cities, and interactive discussions, you will delve into the various dimensions of public space design, activation, and management. You will examine the social, cultural, economic, and environmental aspects of public spaces, considering how they shape community identity, encourage social interaction, enhance livability, and promote environmental sustainability. Throughout the course, you will engage in hands-on exercises and collaborative projects to develop practical skills in analyzing, conceptualizing, and designing inclusive public spaces. You will explore innovative approaches such as participatory design, placemaking, and tactical urbanism, and learn how to integrate diverse perspectives, including those of marginalized communities, into the planning process.

IPSL-473: Sustainable Tourism (Credits: 3)

Sustainability is a key concept of 21st century planning in that it broadly determines the ability of the current generation to use resources and live a lifestyle without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. Sustainability affects our environment, economics, security, resources, health, economics, transportation and information decision strategy. It also encompasses decision making, from the highest administrative office, to the basic community level. This course will cover many aspects of sustainable tourism across a range of the topical fields involved in researching or implementing sustainable tourism projects. The major topics to be discussed include general knowledge of tourism and sustainability and operations and marketing for sustainable tourism. Discussions will aim to bring understanding of alternative forms of tourism such as ecotourism and community-based tourism and "pro-poor" tourism approaches. Students can direct their focus to particular interests such as community engagement, cross- cultural education and communication, volunteer development and management, etc.

IPSL-484: Community Organizatn Activism (Credits: 3)

This course introduces students to the history of and current effective practices in community and civic engagement, including domestic and international volunteerism, community organizing, and social activism. The class complements on the ground activities abroad, including local service efforts and classroom activities in both the sister course, Community Organizing and Social Activism (COSA) In-Country. Students also reflect on their service using an international lens via bi-weekly reflection activities.