Baruch College Promotes Student Exchanges among U.S., Canadian and Mexican Universities
The School of Public Affairs at Baruch College recently announced its receipt of a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) that will enable student and faculty exchanges among the School of Public Affairs and seven partnering institutions in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
The grant was awarded as part of FIPSE’s North American Mobility Program and will provide approximately $159,000 to the School of Public Affairs over a three-year period. The unifying theme of the grant is the role of civil society organizations in sustainable community development. The award is designed to help participating institutions align their curricula on civil society and support the exchange of students and faculty interested in the role of non-governmental organizations in civic culture. Baruch College is the U.S. lead, with the University of South Florida as the second U.S. partner. Canada’s Carleton University is the overall lead.
Commenting on the FIPSE grant, Dean David S. Birdsell termed it “a splendid opportunity to internationalize our curricula, something the School of Public Affairs is committed to doing.” Varying levels of civic engagement in the U.S., Canada and Mexico will allow both students and faculty to study and compare “what policy environments look like in other nations,” he added.
Under the terms of the FIPSE grant, a total of 58 students from the eight participating universities will embark on semester-long internships abroad. In addition, the consortium partners will create a new course on sustainable community development and the role of civil society. The course will combine research, training, and curriculum development, using shared resources, tools and reading lists. The course will be multi-disciplinary and open to students at all participating institutions whether or not they are selected as program interns.
Additionally, according to Professor John Casey of the School of Public Affairs, author of the project proposal, sustainable community development is “a key issue in supporting the integration of immigrants who move between NAFTA countries, in particular Mexican immigrants to the U.S and Canada.”
The FIPSE grant will create a tri-lateral partnership with the long-term goal of fostering an international team of trained professionals able to develop and teach sustainable community development in a way that is responsive to local social conditions and needs while also maintaining a broader cross-cultural perspective. The FIPSE collaborative includes the following North American colleges and universities: Carleton University, University of Victoria, and Cape Breton University (Canada); Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, Universidad Autonoma de Tamaulipas, Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Mexico); and Baruch College and the University of South Florida (USA). #