students in Jamaica

Jamaica

International Service Learning

 

Program Overview

Yallahs and St. Thomas Parish

Courses

Faculty

Field Trips

Accommodation

Cost

Calendar

General Summer Program Information

Eligibility and Application Procedures

Application Deadline

 

PROGRAM OVERVIEW


Located in the Parish of St. Thomas, this program focuses on international service learning, diversity, pro-poor development and global citizenship. Students take two integrated, interdisciplinary courses that combine academic readings and discussions with experiential learning and community-based research. Students meet as a group four afternoons a week and spend an average of three days a week in the field. They all explore the history, culture, socio-economic development, and formal and non-formal (community-based) education in Jamaica, while also learning what it means to be a global citizen in their chosen field. Field projects vary depending on the needs of community-based partner organizations as well as the interests and skills of the students. Students also have the opportunity for in-depth study that focuses on issues that arise from their integrated learning experience.


The program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Participants come from a variety of fields including the social and behavioral sciences, education, business, organizational development, counseling, public health and the sciences. They work with women’s cooperatives; students, counselors, and teachers in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools; students, teachers and administrators in a small school for pregnant teens; and agricultural extension agents. Past students have explored themes such as masculinity and femininity in cross-cultural context, resilience in teen mothers, creative writing and personal development, alternative energy, school gardens and food security, conflict and violence, HIV/AIDS education, fair trade marketing, classroom management, and art education – as well as their own identity and contributions toward creating a more equitable world.


Introductory meetings are held on Temple main campus and/or via Internet during the latter part of the spring semester, including one day-long session in late April (see program calendar). During this phase, students undertake background reading, including research related to possible community-based projects they may conduct in Jamaica. During the first week in Jamaica, students are introduced to service learning partners and sites, make final decisions about placements, and begin work with their service learning partners. In class, they begin to focus on globalization, Jamaican history, culture, education, and development issues, as well as expand on background reading and research for their service learning project. During the second or third week, students also spend up to five days in residence on the campus of the University of the West Indies and attend lectures and cultural events in Kingston and at the University. Students also visit cultural sites such as the Bob Marley Museum, the National Gallery, and the craft market, and take in the Kingston music scene and night life. As final projects, students write integrated applied and/or research papers, combining class insights and field observations and make presentations to offer their insights and suggestions to participating community stakeholders.

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ABOUT YALLAHS AND ST. THOMAS PARISH


The program is based in Yallahs, in the Parish of St. Thomas, and students are also placed at service learning sites in Morant Bay, the Parish capital, and other nearby locations. One of 13 administrative divisions in Jamaica, St. Thomas is located at the southeastern tip of Jamaica, about 20 miles east of Kingston, the Jamaican capital. Yallahs is a small town of 12,000 people that is best known for the jerk food (a local specialty) vendors in the main square and the “Salt Ponds,” large bodies of very salty water between the sea and main land, that are a site for bird migration and change color at different times of the year. Although this parish has its share of natural beauty, it is not a Jamaican tourist destination; it thus offers the opportunity to experience Jamaica as a country and not only as a beach resort. The parish has many natural resources: the high mountains from which Blue Mountain coffee originates; rivers, fertile plains and hillsides that are still cultivated in bananas, sugar and ginger; and many beaches. It is also rich in local history and culture. Two of the national heroes of Jamaica, Paul Bogle and George William Gordon, are from St. Thomas. Both were leaders in the Morant Bay rebellion of 1865, which led to the beginning of constitutional government in Jamaica. St. Thomas Parish has kept close to its indigenous roots, which include local cultural celebrations such as kumina (African drumming and dancing) and crop-over festivals.

 

COURSES


Undergraduate and graduate students may receive credit through the program.


Undergraduates enroll in two courses: Education 2224: Service Learning (3 cr) and Urban Education 2320: Special Seminar in Urban Education - Independent Project (3 cr).

Graduate students enroll in Urban Education 5515: Service Learning and Community Development (3 cr) and Urban Education 9982: Independent Research in Urban Education (3 cr).


These courses are taught as an integrated unit that includes academic learning and learning in the field.

Urban Education 2224 (undergraduate) and Urban Education 5515 (graduate) focus on Jamaica as a case study of the interface between economic development/ poverty reduction, education (formal and informal), and socio-cultural and historical factors. An important focus is on diversity issues (social class, race, ethnic/country origins, gender, sexual orientation and disability).

Urban Education 2320 (undergraduate) and Urban Education 9982 (graduate) consist of individualized work that links academic readings and a community-based service-learning/field research component. These readings are individualized based on each student’s community-based work and particular academic interests.  All students are introduced to the practice of community-based research and also explore the connections between international service learning, community development, and globalization, focusing especially on intercultural awareness, global ethics and cosmopolitan citizenship.

Formal instruction (seminar style) is scheduled for 2 hours a day, Monday through Thursday. For the field-based component, students spend an average of three days a week at one or two sites where they engage in community-based learning and research and community education. Partnerships with local organizations provide community-based learning opportunities in the following general areas: early childhood and primary education (in-school supports); after-school (tutoring, arts, special programs); alternative schooling for pregnant teens (tutoring, counseling, outreach); adult education; rural agricultural development (supports/education for farmers, including alternative tourism); and public health (various in-office and in-field activities). Other opportunities are possible, as we strive to match student interests and major fields of study to the needs and interests of our community partners. The community-based service-learning experiences are arranged by Edu-Tourism (St. Thomas), Inc., a non-government non-profit entity that supports community-based organizations in Jamaica by providing human and financial resources to realize community and educational development projects.

A major requirement on which assessment is based is a final paper that integrates materials from both courses and from readings, reflections and field observations. This paper serves as the basis for presentations to community partners and stakeholders and is due at the end of the Jamaica program. The seminar includes faculty and student presentations on readings, along with faculty- and student-led discussions. Other writing assignments include a field journal, short reflection papers, and a midterm paper.

Temple undergraduate students who successfully complete this program automatically satisfy the World Society (GG) requirement of GenEd.

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PROGRAM FACULTY


Novella Keith, PhD, program director and course instructor. Dr. Keith is a faculty member in the Urban Education Program with extensive experience in Jamaica. A sociologist, she is interested in connecting issues that face urban students and communities in the United States and poor people in developing countries. She has lived, taught and done research in Jamaica over many years. Her main research and practice interests include community partnerships, social justice pedagogies and service learning as an approach to student engagement and community change. This work is centered on issues of race, class, difference and democratic participation.

Georgia Bianchi, PhD, course instructor. Dr. Bianchi is an interim Assistant Professor at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida. She teaches sociology and bases her research on immigration, children of immigrants and citizenship. She has traveled to Jamaica since 2000 and has been a part of Temple's study abroad program since 2013.


 

FIELD TRIPS


Weekends and some Fridays are devoted to educational travel/excursions. Specific destinations are selected based on student interests and may include visits to alternative tourism sites.

Students also have the opportunity to take excursions to local attractions, including hiking in the Blue Mountains, bathing in the healing river waters of Bath, and visiting beautiful waterfalls and white sand beaches in nearby Portland Parish. The last weekend is student-organized and usually involves experiencing life in a Jamaican tourist resort such as Ocho Rios.

 

ACCOMMODATION


Participants are lodged either dormitory-style in a beachfront villa or in a nearby guest house in Yallahs. The villa also serves as a general gathering site and site for classroom activities. Breakfast and dinner are served at the villa on days when students are in residence. Students are responsible for their own lunch and snacks, as well as all meals on “away” trips.

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ESTIMATED 2014 COSTS

 

Undergraduate, 6 credits

Graduate, 6 credits

Budget Item

Pennsylvania Resident

Non-Resident

Pennsylvania Resident

Non-Resident

Billable Item

  

   

   

  

Tuition

$3,102*

$5,004*

$4,470

$6,258

Jamaica Fee**

   
$1,850
$1,850
$1,850
$1,850

University

Services Fee

$132
$132
$132
$132
  Required Health
  Insurance
$51
$51
$51
$51

Non-Billable Item

   

   

   

  

Meals

$450

$450

$450

$450

Personal Expenses

$450

$450

$450

$450

Books

$30

$30

$75

$75

Round-Trip Airfare

$700

$700

$700

$700

   Immunizations
$200***
$200***
$200***
$200***

Entrance Fees for Cultural Events

$50

$50

$50

$50

 

Notes:

All estimated costs are subject to change. They should be used as a guideline only. Accepted students will receive updated, detailed cost information as soon as it becomes available after the application deadline.

*Per university policy, Temple students who are considered “upper division” are charged additional tuition ($21 per credit) in the summer. “Upper division” is defined as an undergraduate student with a minimum of 60 earned credits, regardless of how obtained. This policy does not affect non-Temple students.

**The Jamaica Fee includes lodging in St. Thomas and lodging on campus while in residence at the University of the West Indies, Kingston; breakfast, most dinners, and local program-related transportation while in residence in St. Thomas; and NGO-supported educational activities. Please note that this fee is based on last year's fee and will be updated.

***Costs for immunizations vary signficantly depending on each student's immunization history. Costs can also vary significantly depending on the location where immunizations are administered; Student Health Services offers competitive rates for Temple students. To learn more about recommended immunizations for travel to Jamaica, visit the Centers for Disease Control website.


In addition to the items listed above, students should budget money for personal local travel in St. Thomas, in-town transportation while in residence at the University of the West Indies, and lodging and transportation on other “away” weekends.


 

2014 CALENDAR (SUMMER I)

Dates are tentative and subject to change.

 

Mandatory Pre-departure Session

(Students who do not live in the Philadelphia area will participate virtually.)

April 27 (10am - 5pm)
  Departure May 18
  Arrival in Jamaica May 18
  Program Ends June 22

 

 

GENERAL SUMMER PROGRAM INFORMATION


Please see General Summer Information to read about pre-departure information and orientation, passports and visas, scholarships, costs and payment policies, accreditation, and transfer of credits.

 

ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION PROCEDURES


Please see Eligibility and Application Procedures for program eligibility, application requirements, and application procedures that apply to all summer programs. In addition, for the Jamaica program, the following is required:

  • A typed statement (recommended length of 750 words) describing your expectations, goals and interests regarding the Jamaica program, and provisionally identifying a project area of interest. The statement should include how skills and knowledge that you have acquired through your academic and community work might be helpful to non-profit, community-based and grass-roots organizations whose work involves one or more of the following: education (early, primary, adult and/or alternative); public health issues, including teen pregnancy; computer use; or support/education of small farmers. Applicants are asked to complete this statement within the application.
  • Candidates may be interviewed; telephone interviews are conducted for those who cannot be interviewed personally.

 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: EXTENDED TO MARCH 1, 2014

Applications are processed on a rolling admissions basis. Students are encouraged to complete their applications well in advance of the deadline as the program has reached capacity in prior years.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

 

For additional information, please contact:

Program Director/Faculty: Novella Keith, 215-204-6940, novella.keith@temple.edu

Program Teaching Assistant: Jennifer Williams, tua72568@temple.edu

Education Abroad: 200 Tuttleman Learning Center, study.abroad@temple.edu,
215-204-0720

 

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