Educating toward sustainable living into the twenty-first century requires the emergence of entirely new educational forms. We are very proud to announce the emergence of the Four Worlds College of Human and Community Development.
The distinguishing features of this exciting innovation are as follows:
Our Guiding Beliefs
Animated by life-sustaining values and principles, and based on the assumption that education is not neutral, we believe learning for sustainable living into the twenty-first century must be connected to processes of spiritual and moral renewal; must be oriented to developing healthy relationships between human beings and the natural world; must be guided by an wholistic and integrative approach that weaves together many disciplines and perspectives; and must be connected with and rooted in real-life human struggles for personal organization, community and global well-being.
Our Operating Principles
In recognition of the rapidly shifting reality within which all of us are working, and the critical natures of the challenges we are struggling to address in so many areas of life, the following principles will guide program development.
1. Participation - learners are co-educators and programs need to be leaner driven
2. Community based - the focus of programs is wherever the community of learners live and work anywhere in the world
3. Flexible - in that each program is uniquely designed to fit the needs of the learners who will participate in it
4. Virtual - in that programs reside in a web of relationships, and not in bricks and mortar, and that these interconnections are sustained and enhanced by modern technology such as the internet and interactive television
5. Low Cost - when compared to the high-overhead programs offered by most institutions of higher learning, the virtual college can deliver programs at a fraction of the cost
6. Practical - that the focus of programs will be building the capacity of learners and their ongoing attempt to address critical challenges Our Programs
I. Education and Training
The College offers both non-formal and accredited training programs at the Associate, Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate levels. Accreditation is arranged through partnering relationship with a variety of well-established universities and colleges in the United States and Canada.
The College will carry on a wide range of research activities related to the human quest for pathways to sustainable living and to the solving of critical challenges facing global society.
III. Technical Support and Monitoring Programs
The College faculty consists of an extensive network of experts and practitioners in fields related to human organizational and community development, as these fields intersect with problems in health, governance, management, education, economics and environment. The provision of technological support and the establishment of long-term monitoring relationships with institutions opens a door to a new concept in higher learning in which the learners are not only individuals, but also working groups, organizations and institutions.
Service to communities, and in particular to the poorest and most disadvantaged groups is directly linked to the origins of the College, which has strong roots in Indigenous peoples and third world development practice. The college will continue to nurture these connections, through special access programs, and through direct program work on disadvantaged communities and regions. Program Title: Human and Community Development Leadership
Level: Associate Degree/Certificate, Bachelors, and Masters
Background This is a program that has emerged from the healing and development experiences of community people and front-line workers, primarily in Native American and Canadian First Nations communities. It has been developed by Four Worlds International, with the support of a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. The process of program development has involved consultation with many communities and program leaders in the United States and Canada, the South Pacific (especially Papua New Guinea), Latin America and Asia. As well, a comprehensive review of participatory development literature from around the world has enabled the wisdom of many practitioners in many countries to contribute their thinking to the program development process.
The Proposal To offer the program as fully accredited by the California School of Professional Psychologyís Department of Community Psychology (Fresno).
Program Goal To prepare a new category of professional that combines the work of a psychologist (in healing, personal growth and human development) and that of a community development specialist. The aim is to produce leaders in the field of human and community development.
The goal is to produce a new kind of professional that combines the following:
1. A healthy, balanced human being- free of addictions and significant dysfunction, grounded in positive life values, engaged in a process of self development (mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual), committed to servant leadership, a good role model
2. Knowledgeable and skilled in facilitating personal healing, learning and development
3. Knowledgeable and skilled in facilitating organizational and community development
4. Knowledgeable in a general way about the full spectrum of comparative issues, breakthroughs, needs and challenges related to social and economic development around the world
5. Possessing a specialization in one or more areas of development work
Twelve Proficiency Areas to be Mastered
1. Human Development- stages and processes of human growth and learning throughout a healthy life, cross-cultural comparative view of human development and wellness
2. Community Development- foundation thinking in community development models, strategies, skills, special issues This theme will serve as a general introduction and overview to the concept of development, moving through personal, family, group, organizational, community, societal and planetary perspectives.
3. Personal Growth and Healing- a guided journey of personal healing and development that assists learners to acquire the tools to improve their own mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellness, a review of current models and strategies for personal wellness
4. Human Relations This theme will focus on the nature, strategy and skills for promoting healthy and effective human relationships: interpersonal, family, groups and organizations, community Communication skills, group dynamics conflict resolution and models of healthy behavior will also be stressed.
5. Facilitating Learning This theme will address the reality that development practitioners are primarily educators. Adult learning theory and practice, facilitation skills and critical tools for use in learning and development processes will be covered.
6. Developing Servant Leadership This theme will focus on developing internalized models of effective development leadership, as well as the performance skills, attitudes and knowledge needed for development leadership (including group facilitation, planning, management, public speaking, visioning and role model leadership). Special attention will be given to cultural issues in leadership.
7. Fostering Personal and Community Wellness- models of health promotion and wellness, strategic models for healing and growth, counseling, facilitating wellness-directed group work, visioning. This theme carries on from themes 1, 2 and 3, deepening the human and community development knowledge, but focusing on intervention, mostly at the human "software" level.
8. Environmental Relations This theme addressed the relationship between human beings and the natural world, and will focus on internalizing models for balancing self with nature and economy with environment, as well as providing a basic introduction to resource management and environmental design. The integration of the bio-technical and human dimensions of environmental relations will provide learners with an holistic perspective and prepare them to take into account environmental dimensions in any area of human and community development work.
9. Program Development- developing and implementing effective participatory programs, covering needs assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, reporting and fundraising.
10. Community Development Issues Examples include: crime and justice, treaties and sovereignty (aboriginal communities), colonization and beyond, gender relations, traditional vs. modernization tensions, prevention of addictions and abuse, the erosion of economy, the unemployment crisis and the dependency syndrome, youth in crisis, the education crisis, ecology and sustainable development, poverty
11. Cultural Foundations Focused on developing the knowledge and skills to make development leadership and program building culturally appropriate. Dealing with such issues as "what is culture?," cultural research methodology, cultural foundations of learning and development, tribal peoples history and local culture, spiritual/cultural models of human wellness, cultural protocol (how to act in a tribal cultural context), differences and similarities across North American cultures (to be adapted to the cultural context of each learning group or given a multicultural focus in the case of mixed groups).
12. Integrative Practicum Under the guidance of an experienced practitioner/mentor, and using a combination of relevant case studies along with the learnerís own professional practice as a primary case, this theme will focus on developing the learnerís capacity to integrate the theories and models learned in course work, practicing skills and developing proficiency in solving complex problems in a chaotic world.
The basic delivery system is a distance format supported by a broad range of mechanisms and services to facilitate both group and independent learning experiences that are woven together in a scope and sequence designed to fit the needs of learners who are engaged in a supervised work/study program.
Some of the primary features of the delivery system are as follows:
1. Students grouped in regional clusters such as Four Corners (based in Santa Fe) or northwestern United States and western Canada (based in Calgary or Spokane). Each time a new cluster is opened, community consultations will be held regarding learning needs in order to indigenize the program.
2. Immersion workshops (6 per year) in which course presentations are made, learner support is monitored, group-process learning opportunities are pursued, and face-to-face contact between faculty and learners occurs which will allow for ongoing assessment and support.
3. Combination of in-person and video presentations by faculty.
4. All learners are members of a local learning circle, consisting of other students within easy travel distance, that meets weekly to support personal development and ongoing learning.
5. All learners in the program will take the same courses at the same time through an annual rotation of courses. (Students will be able to enter at any point in the cycle following an orientation.)
6. Self-directed (independent) research and study, through which learners review appropriate literature, write short reflective papers, and struggle to bring theory and practice together in their field work depending on the level of study (i.e. certificate, Bachelors, Masters).
7. A field faculty team works with the cluster groups and supervises field practicum experiences.
8. Regular (at least twice monthly) contact between faculty and each learner via internet, telephone or in person.
9. Each learner must find and connect with a local or regionally based mentor who can serve as a role model/guide in the learnerís journey. This person may or may not be a "professional". Some learners may choose to work with respected community elders or leaders. Others may choose a practitioner in a related field. The point is to find someone that teaches the learner at some deeper level, and can offer perspective and support to the learner.
10. Each learner is rooted in a work placement that serves as an on-going practicum context (volunteer or paid work).
11. The faculty team provides limited training and technical support services to partner agencies in support of good human and community development practice as part of the working agreement between the learner, the agency, and the university. This is at least in part to ensure that the culture of the placement agency is supportive of the student learning and of good practice in general.
12. Specialized curriculum materials and resources collected or developed for the program by the CSPP faculty team.
The CSPP - Four Worlds Partnership
The Four Worlds Centre for Development Learning approached CSPP with the idea of bringing the practitioner-based, community development expertise and the international network of Four Worlds to CSPP in order to develop a program that builds on the strengths of both organizations. The proposed program will bring Four Worlds into the CSPP family as a part of the field-based faculty team, adding practical strength, depth and richness to the new program.
About The Four Worlds Centre for Development Learning
Four Worlds International is a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary team of experienced human and community development practitioners with national centers in Denver, Colorado and Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
The Four Worlds Centre for Development Learning (CDL) in Calgary is dedicated to building the capacity of people and organizations for transformation at the grassroots level. CDL is a charter member of the Four Worlds federation or organizations, which is rooted in tribal peoplesí development processes, and is well known for its wholistic approach and its focus on the spiritual and cultural foundations of development.
Four Worlds had distinguished itself for its ability to place culture at the center of the development process and for its sensitive attention to the psychological and spiritual dimensions of development. The interactive research techniques of the Project have developed and the community processes it can initiate are designed specifically to draw the direction, the shape, and the motivation for development from within the culture of a group.
The work of Four Worlds is carried out in four inter-related areas:
1. the development of learning materials and processes
2. the delivery of institutional and community-based training
3. the support of community-based programs
4. the coordination of an information and support network
These four work areas are supported by a primary core staff function of research and development.
All activities are guided by a set of clearly articulated principles which have proven to be foundational to the work of Four Worlds in many projects and communities. Taken together, these principles comprise an emerging strategy for human healing and development.
Thanks to the generosity of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the cooperation and support of many communities and leaders of thoughts in the field, CSPP and Four Worlds have nearly completed the program design phase.
We are now ready to launch the pilot and demonstration phase of the program in two or more regional clusters across North American.
To do this, we need to raise 1.2 million dollars for the first 4 years.
At the end of the pilot period we are confident that the Four Worlds College of Human and Community Development will be established and its financial future secured.
Why This? Why Now
The current pattern of higher education programming does not prepare people for the urgent task of transforming human communities. For years universities and colleges have been unable to really listen to communities and to take direction from them in facilitating the learning that is needed. Graduates of most programs are not well prepared to facilitate the healing and development communities now require.
The Writing on the Wall
We believe that many university and college programs are obsolete in their present form. They cost far too much, and they do not meet the needs of the people struggling to re-create economy, government and communities so that they can survive and prosper in the twenty-first century.
We submit that the Four Worlds College of Human and Community Development is a prototype of what higher education around the world will become.
We Invite You
We invite you to participate in this exciting and worthwhile venture of building the virtual college of the twenty-first century, and linking it to the fundamental human struggle for a self-reliant and sustainable life.
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FOUR WORLDS/FOUR DIRECTIONS INTERNATIONAL
347 Fairmont Boulevard, Lethbridge, Alberta, T1K 7J8 Canada
Phone: (403) 320-7144 Fax: (403) 329-8383 E-Mail: email@example.com