WPI has joined 19 other colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations around the world to support the goals of The Community-Based Global Learning Collaborative, a network of educational institutions and community organizations that “advances ethical, critical, and aspirationally de-colonial community-based learning and research for more just, inclusive, and sustainable communities.” Sarah Stanlick, assistant professor in the Department of Integrative & Global Studies and director of the Great Problems Seminar (GPS) was also named a co-director of the Collaborative, a responsibility she shares with colleagues from Dickinson College and Haverford College.
“WPI’s membership in the Collaborative is a reinforcement of the university’s reputation as a pioneer and leader in project-based learning,” said Stanlick. “What’s more, WPI’s involvement with the Collaborative provides opportunities to further mobilize and showcase our knowledge and leadership in the global project-based-learning space—and with other institutions who are doing this kind of work so well already. In addition to providing WPI with ample opportunities to share best practices, the Collaborative connects us with outstanding colleagues who can, in turn, teach us great things. We know there is high regard for—and curiosity about—our Global Projects Program, the Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP), the Major Qualifying Project (MQP), and the Great Problems Seminar (GPS), and we’re excited to share the knowledge and insights we’ve gained from years of guiding, supporting, and working with students to make meaningful societal contributions through their projects.”
WPI’s institutional membership allows all faculty access to knowledge-sharing opportunities such as webinars, on-campus institutes, and other informal opportunities to work with peer global educators. Students can also participate in the Collaborative’s events. In addition, there are opportunities to collaborate on scholarship and research, from working with the data from the Global Engagement Survey to publishing books and articles. Stanlick is co-editing a volume about adult learning and global citizenship education with contributions from Collaborative members. It’s expected to be published by the end of 2022.
Being an institutional member also affords WPI another platform to build partnerships and demonstrate how The Global School—and the entire university—are at the forefront of ethical community-based global learning.
“The goals of the Collaborative harmonize beautifully with WPI’s values and mission,” said Mimi Sheller, Dean of The Global School. “The pressing need for well rounded, globally focused STEM professionals who are able to address the great problems challenging our planet and its people continues to grow. WPI has a deep commitment to—and experience with—collaborating with other academics, governments, NGOs, and people around the world. Through global projects, our students co-create contextually informed solutions to complex global challenges in ways that support community needs and aspirations. By working with our Collaborative colleagues, we seek to elevate and extend the rich educational experiences that we value at WPI.”