Thursday, October 2, 2014

Moving Outside of the Comfort Zone

This past month I have had rich discussions with students and faculty returning to campus from a summer term spent working and studying abroad (http://www.csusm.edu/global/studyabroad/index.html). These discussions have revolved around how international experiences impact both the classroom experience and the community here at CSUSM, as well as the ways in which we learn.

Dr. Bonnie Bade, chair of our Anthropology department (http://www.csusm.edu/anthropology/index.html), leads a team of students to Ecuador each year to live in the Andes with indigenous Quichua community host families and study traditional educational, health and agriculture practices. Students are taught to question clinical assumptions about the health and wellness of individuals and communities and to learn about more broadly defined illness classifications, explanations and treatments that incorporate holistic thinking, and the roles of community in health. "Students go into a bit of culture shock when they arrive," she says.  "Andean culture is not obsessed with time and accumulation as we are. Instead, a premium is place on the wisdom of the ages carried forward by elders and wise persons for whom buen vivir, or the ‘good life,’ is defined by balance of work, rest, and physical and spiritual health for individuals, communities and ecosystems. The Andean concept of ecological well-being is central to community well-being.  Just being there takes much of what our students have learned in the U.S. and throws it on its side. Homogenizing forces such as social media and movies are less prevalent; they rely on traditional knowledge and practices. Interactions between people are based on the values of reciprocity and sharing which causes our students to re-evaluate the way they look at just about everything in their lives."  




"It was good for me," says student Sam Grosso who is a vet attending CSUSM and has been to Ecuador twice with the program.  "Each time I go to Ecuador, it takes me awhile to process what I've seen and learned. It's like another deployment in that way. The difference is that in Ecuador my host family has become my family. Andean culture is very welcoming and sincere. The families, culture, and rituals have helped me heal and the connections I've made have empowered me."   




Nursing instructor Michelle Alfe's experiences in Tanzania have given her the same kind of mind-bending perspective. "I just returned from a year in Dodoma, Tanzania teaching Medical Surgical nursing students. The experience gave me insight into myself and how I can become a better teacher. My tolerance level changed enormously. I learned the importance of listening, truly respecting each student as an individual and looking for ways to actively mentor and make a difference in the lives of each and every student I interact with," she says. 

The School of Nursing, (http://www.csusm.edu/nursing/aboutus/index.html) under the direction of Dr. Denise Boren and Dr. Pat Hinchberger, has a history of encouraging students and faculty to work and study worldwide and this practice has impacted the development of courses such as Health Promotion and Patient Teaching Strategies.   “In countries like Swaziland our students learn to make do with extremely limited resources and it gives them a broader perspective about healthcare and the many cultural sensitivities that come into play. Many of our students return with a new-found passion for serving underserved populations, " says Dr. Boren.

By moving outside of our comfort zones, and having global experiences, students and faculty at CSUSM are impacting and informing curriculum development and learning (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLWK-hiMuAs). Do you have ideas for work/study programs abroad that would benefit our students and faculty? Please feel free to email me at eldean@csusm.edu. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Real Impact of Internationalization


This fall we will have 450 international students studying here at CSUSM representing 40 countries around the world, most notably China, Korea, Japan, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. As education standards are rising globally, there is more interest and demand for higher education in virtually every country around the world  - http://blog.euromonitor.com/2014/06/the-top-5-trends-in-higher-education-globally.html 

Despite this fact, I am often asked why a public university like ours continues to admit international students:  is this contrary to our mission of ‘expanding student access to an excellent and affordable education?’

You may find the answer startling.

According to the California Colleges for International Education, “ it takes roughly 4 international students to open a section, thereby making it possible for another 30 more California students to receive college instruction.”  The bottom line is that the influx of international students allows us to better serve domestic students by offering more programs and additional sections of existing programs, to help mitigate the issues raised by impacted classes and programs.

Because international students do not qualify for government aid and most pay their own way, they bring into the U.S. literally billions of dollars each year to cover tuition, housing, food and other expenses.

But these are the dollar and cent issues. The biggest impact I see is in the lives of our students and faculty who are learning together and exploring issues from a truly global perspective.

When students from China, Saudi Arabia and Norway are engaged in a project with students from the United States, they have an opportunity to think about preconceptions, biases, and assumptions they may have never considered. I recently watched a discussion among international students regarding the roles and responsibilities of public service agencies in working with displaced populations such as refugees and immigrants. Conversations like these are where real learning occurs.

What do you think about the internationalization of our campus? To see what some of our international students think, view https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BQNLVbeNpA

I look forward to your comments; please feel free to email me at eldean@csusm.edu




Friday, July 11, 2014

The Importance of Global Education

A few weeks ago I started re-reading a book that really resonated with me, Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat a Brief History of the Twenty-First Century.  In my role as Associate Vice President of Global Programs here at CSUSM I’ve been thinking a lot about why a global perspective is important for our students and how it sets them up for future success.

Friedman’s perspective is that the 21st century we inhabit operates on a more of a level global playing field than ever before in terms of business and commerce…and I would argue in terms of higher education opportunities as well.  Friedman suggests that geography is no longer necessarily a driver or detractor to personal success; that a continual updating of skills, healthy curiosity and empathy and a willingness to learn and adapt are the keys that distinguish winners.

As our students are studying and working abroad, I am witnessing this trend firsthand and see how opportunities for global learning are transforming and enriching their lives.

For the past two years we’ve had a group of students travel to Ecuador www.csusm.edu/global/studyabroad/ecuador.html to study medical anthropology with Dr. Bonnie Bade, department chair and professor of Anthropology. These students live in indigenous communities and visit hospitals and clinics where they witness and practice both traditional and clinical medicine. They learn, for example, about medical ethno botany from Quechua farmers.  Bonnie tells me that, “our students learn about other ways of thinking, doing and being. They think about new ways or relating to the environment and creating community. It opens their minds.”


The chair of our nursing department, Dr. Denise Boren takes nursing students to Swaziland each year to see patients in clinics and homes and learn about the issues that impact healthcare delivery in southern Africa.  Nursing instructor Lien Ngo-Nguyen took a group of nurses to work in Vietnam this past summer.  And, for the past several years we’ve sponsored a group of students who have visited a non-adopting orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to observe biological, sociological and psychological factors that foster or inhibit human development. They come into the situation with a specific set of assumptions based on an American perspective and consistently report that the experience is “life changing.”


These are just a few examples of international learning and service opportunities http://www.csusm.edu/global available to CSUSM students.  Stay tuned as we continue to develop new programs that expand global awareness, insight and perspective. I enjoy hearing from you and hope you will feel free to email me at eldean@csusm.edu.




Monday, June 9, 2014

CSUSM Students and Faculty Serving A Community Need: Speech-Language Pathology and Nursing Clinics


By establishing free and low cost clinics for community members requiring healthcare services and speech therapy, our CSUSM students are taking advantage of unique opportunities to apply theory and coursework …and are making a significant impact outside of the classroom. We currently staff three nursing clinics in Ocean Beach and Oceanside and are preparing to open a new and expanded Speech Language Pathology clinic on July 7 off-campus in San Marcos.

The CSUSM School of Nursing Student Healthcare Project incorporates the three clinics in San Diego County, both of which are staffed by nursing faculty, volunteer providers, as well as graduate and undergraduate nursing students. The Project clinics provide free medical care for acute and chronic diseases, case management, social services, health promotion and education. Students apply the theory, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and nursing or nurse practitioner skills learned in their classrooms and skills labs to provide care to underserved, unsheltered, uninsured and under-insured residents of San Diego county.

At this time, funding for the community nursing clinics is derived solely from donations and grants. In 2013 the clinics served 1,947 patients and so far this year, more than 150 nursing students have served community clinic patients. Faculty are on track to donate more than 4,000 volunteer hours to staff and manage these nursing clinics.

You can learn more about the clinics here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-HS88TWvWY

Another dynamic program is our Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) clinic. For nearly five years we have been running a SLP clinic out of a dorm suite on campus and we are very excited to be expanding into a 1,600 square foot office space this summer. SLP students working in the clinical setting apply skills in assessment and treatment of individuals with a broad array of communication and swallowing disorders, relationship-based Intervention, counseling and aural rehabilitation. Students transition gradually from classroom instruction to clinic participation and their last semester is spent solely working at the clinic.
 

When we open our expanded SLP clinic in July, we will be providing services to individuals with stroke or traumatic brain injury completely free of charge throughout the summer months. Beginning in fall, we will provide low cost services on a sliding scale basis. Services like this are vital for those who run out of insurance or Medicare funding and still need therapy for voice and fluency disorders, deafness/hard of hearing or cleft palate. Click to learn more about Speech-Language Pathology at CSUSM.

Do you know someone who could benefit from our community clinics? Do you see other opportunities for us to be of service? Would you like CSUSM to consider developing or expanding a clinic in your community? To connect with us and share your voice, please visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter or email me at eldeanblog@csusm.edu.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Developing Business Programs that Meet a Regional Need: Water Resource Management and Tourism/Hospitality

I’m energized by the impact some of our new programs are going to have.
 
This past semester we launched a highly successful water resource management class that will become a water resource management certificate for those interested in continuing to learn about this vital topic. The course has made a huge splash with students and the community. Here’s what Dr. Alan K. Styles, Ph.D. and Director of the Certificate in Water Management & Leadership Program, had to say about the program:
 
“The first offering of the Survey of Water Management in Southern California course included presentations by leaders in the local water industry. Students included technical operators, managers, regulators and members of the public. The local water industry has provided tremendous support for the development of this program and I look forward to continuing to work with them.”
 
We’ve also been working with leaders in the hospitality industry here in Southern California to develop a concentration in tourism and hospitality management for the new specialized accelerated MBA. With the tourism industry directly or indirectly employing more than 165,000 San Diegans and providing more than $18.7 billion dollars in terms of economic impact, the hospitality industry is critical to San Diego. We want to help train our MBA students to tap into this vital market and provide value.

To learn more about additional programs that meet workforce needs and about continuing education with Extended Learning, visit www.CSUSM.edu/el. For additional ways to connect with Extended Learning and to share your voice, visit us on FacebookLinkedIn, or Twitter or email me at eldeanblog@csusm.edu.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Linking Science and Business

We developed our Professional Science Master’s (PSM) program in biotechnology to help students bridge the worlds of business and biotechnology and emerge from the university with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively contribute to the field. You can see some of their stories at http://youtu.be/QIgjIzLZhsc.
PSM students have a 97% employment rate at graduation.
PSM students have a 97% employment rate at graduation.
We were intentional about wanting to ensure that both science and business courses were rigorous and practical and build in a capstone project with industry leaders and public presentation as a pre-requisite for project completion. Not surprisingly, the combination of theoretical and applied learning has been a huge boon, leading to a 97% employment rate at graduation.
On Friday of last week we learned that PSM graduate Arvin Tahami (class of ’12) was named a Finalist for the prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship program (PMF) that awards outstanding students and recent graduates with Federal grant opportunities through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Congratulations to Arvin and to all of our outstanding PSM students!
For additional ways to connect with Extended Learning and to share your voice, visit us on FacebookLinkedIn, or Twitter.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Importance of Developing Partnerships

One of the most rewarding aspects of my work here at CSUSM is the ability to develop partnerships with individuals and organizations in surrounding communities. I’m always on the lookout for new programs and concentrations that will arm our graduates with the skills needed to meet regional workforce needs…. and that’s where I appreciate your suggestions and input. The collaboration with you is what expands our vision, informs our decisions and makes our work truly effective.
Extended Learning students are working toward their Professional Science Master's in Biotechnology
Extended Learning students are working toward their Professional Science Master’s in Biotechnology
In the past few months we’ve been able to use community partnerships to support a new Veteran’s Fund for our MBA students; to begin developing the curriculum for a cyber security program thanks to Via Sat; to develop a concentration in Tourism and Hospitality Management for the new Specialized Accelerated MBA thanks to input from leading San Diego–area hoteliers; and to develop “2+2 “and “2+3” tracks for students from area community colleges, offering guaranteed time to graduation in business, nursing and kinesiology.
Our Professional Science Master’s in Biotechnology students are having a huge impact in the region. I hope you’ll click on this link to take a look at what they’re doing. Whether it’s the biotech students now working in Sorrento Valley, nurses and kinesiology graduates working in area hospitals and clinics, or speech pathologists working in San Elijo Hills and surrounding schools, the stories of our students are stories about people who are having a profound impact on lives here in Southern California. That’s the bottom line and why we do what we do.
Do you have an idea for a program we ought to consider? Are there skills gaps you see in area businesses or in the region that we need to be addressing? Do you have ideas about new collaborations that might make sense? I sincerely appreciate your interest and look forward to your input! eldeanblog@csusm.edu.
For additional ways to connect with Extended Learning and to share your voice, visit us onFacebookLinkedIn, or Twitter.