Peacebuilding in Community Colleges: A Teaching Resource
Two Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) employees have co-authored a chapter in a new book about the roles community colleges play in strengthening global education and teaching conflict resolution skills.
Dr. Susan Lohwater, associate professor of English-as-a-Second Language at the Western Campus, and Jennifer Batton, director of the Global Issues Resource Center (GIRC) at the Eastern Campus, contributed toPeacebuilding in Community Colleges: A Teaching Resource, published by the United States Institute of Peace Press. The book is coming out in June.
Lohwater and Batton had previously worked with David Smith, educational consultant and peacebuilding trainer with the United Stated Institute for Peace (USIP) in various capacities. Because of the association, Smith knew of Tri-C being the first community college in Ohio, and one of the few in the nation, to offer a certificate program in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies. For that reason, Smith asked the pair to co-author the chapter.
“Tri-C is a national leader in promoting conflict resolution education in community colleges,” Smith said, “Much of [Tri-C’s] energy and vision comes from [Batton’s previous] work on the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution’s efforts, which provided national models for conflict resolution education in secondary education. Working with community colleges is just a natural extension of this leadership effort.”
The chapter, “Developing a Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies Program: Implementation Strategies,” outlines the process for developing a certificate program in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies at a community college.
“We did a lot of ground work [College-wide] that many other colleges and universities didn’t do when they developed their [certificate programs],” Batton explained, “[We created] a College-wide advisory [board] for development of faculty across disciplines. [We] researched courses across the country for transferability. We also did a market survey and reviewed electives ensuring that they reinforced, identified or demonstrated the core program outcomes.”
During the month of the book’s release, Tri-C is holding a two-day seminar. “U.S. Community College Seminar: Developing Peace and Conflict Studies Programs” will take place June 14-15 at the Western Campus. It is a component of the Annual International Conference on Conflict Resolution Education, sponsored by GIRC, June 12-17.
The goal of the seminar is for college faculty, staff and administrator teams to focus on capacity-building around one of three core areas: capacity-building and sustainability of programs; course development and integration; and supplemental programming.
Additionally, GIRC, in partnership with other Tri-C departments, offers many supplemental opportunities through which faculty, staff, administrators and students can get involved in the field of conflict management, such as a mediation program, Sustained Dialogue Campus Network, Peace Club, and Service Learning, as well as volunteer opportunities in conflict management.
The book will be available for purchase from the United States Institute of Peace website.