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Work Portfolio IV: Cultural Immersion
The cultural immersion or international co-op normally during the fourth co-op term is a planned and evaluated learning experience that places the learner in an environment where learning is accomplished through active interaction with the people, use of language, history, and institutions of other cultures. The international co-op expects students to form a clear understanding and appreciation of common characteristics of another culture’s people and social institutions as well as their complexity and diversity. It allows the student to experience the power of culture as a determinant of human actions, beliefs, and interactions with the environment. Through fulfilling this co-op students should develop a sense of cultural humility and an appreciation of the sources and values of one’s own culture. Students should demonstrate growth in their ability to understand and acknowledge cultural differences and to conceptually relate one’s own culture to another. If this co-op is also a target language immersion, students should demonstrate greater facility in that language as measured by the associated language capstone. Organized reflective writing and other learning activities are designed to help students achieve their personal learning objectives and the stated co-op and learning outcomes. In a final paper that reflects on evaluations from the employer, attainment of educational outcomes pertinent to the cross-cultural setting, language learning, (if applicable) and self-assessment of growth in the integration of classroom/language learning and its application to the experience of the workplace will summarize their learning. Following successful completion, students will earn two credits. Prerequisites: Successful completion of one national co-op and Work Portfolio, accrual of 60 quarter credits of coursework, and approval of the language faculty if the co-op is in a target language.