Gifts to this crowdfunding campaign will help offset the students' costs to participate in the program.
The program includes a one-week study trip to Bucerias, Mexico, that is co-facilitated with Human Connections (https://humanconnections.org/). During the trip, students:
- Learn about the education system in Mexico in gender, familial and cultural expectations.
- Meet with Human Connections partners in their homes and businesses to learn about their personnel histories related to community involvement, entrepreneurship, families, migration and indigenous identities (https://humanconnections.org/partners).
- Visit community centers and educational organizations, such as Entreamigos (https://entreamigos.org.mx/).
- Tour local branch campus of the University of Guadalajara (http://www.cuc.udg.mx/es).
- Participate in a volunteer project with the El Parque de los Azulejos (https://www.tileparkpv.com/).
Across all of these activities, students are prompted to engage in critical self-reflection about what they are learning and experiencing.
Gifts will help pay for:
- Community and experiential learning components.
- Fair compensation to community partners we meet with during the program.
- In-country transportation.
- Meals for students.
- Housing and hotel costs.
Ultimately, through this experience, students learn how to develop, facilitate and create meaningful community-based and experiential learning opportunities in higher education contexts. As higher education and student affairs professionals are responsible for developing and creating meaningful co-curricular experiences for students in post-secondary contexts, the knowledge learned from this study abroad program will help them in their professional careers. Moreover, with the increase diversification of higher education students and calls for greater intercultural awareness and competencies, this program will help students increase their skills in these critical areas.
Background on the Program
The HESA study abroad program began in 2018, when Drs. Carrie Kortegast and Katy Jaekel conducted a site visit to Bucerías, México, to meet with the executive director of the educational organization, Human Connections. This meeting was to develop a short-term study abroad opportunity for graduate students enrolled in the Ed.D in Higher Education and the M.S.Ed in Higher Education and Student Affairs programs. Graduate students often do not have opportunities to participate in a study abroad. However, positive student learning outcomes have been linked to participating in an international experience, such as increased intercultural competencies, cultural understandings and personal development.
We launched our first study program with Human Connections in Summer 2019 with 14 students. The Summer 2020 program was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Kortegast was able to lead the study abroad program again in Summer 2022, in which seven students participated in the experience. Gifts from this crowdfunding campaign will help support students in participating in the Spring 2023 study abroad program, which will again be led by Dr. Kortegast.
Our partner organization, Human Connections, mission focuses on social education through facilitating cultural interactions with community partners. They also model how to engage in socially responsible approaches to educational tourism by focusing on authentic, reciprocal relationships, honoring cultural heritage and knowledge, fair compensation for partners' time and experience, and inclusive decision-making.