On Sept. 30, Goshen College’s Center for Intercultural and International Education submitted a grant proposal to Lilly Endowment Inc. In the past, Goshen received Endowments for $750,000 in 2003 and another for $12.5 million in 2007, both for intercultural development.
The previous Endowments made the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning possible, which was recently renamed the CIIE. Gilberto Pérez Jr. acts as the center’s senior director for intercultural development and educational partnerships.
A recently published Impact Report, available on Goshen’s website, details the efforts that CIIE has done with the funds from the Lilly Endowment thus far.
CIIE develops educational access for students, especially first generation and minority students, primarily Latinos. The Center hopes to recruit more heavily from Indiana in future years.
By partnering with various community organizations in the area, CIIE hopes to encourage young minority students to attend college.
Pérez said CIIE is trying to “create a college going culture in groups and the community that would be well connected with Latino, African and Asian American youth.”
CIIE hopes that these students will consider Goshen College as a future destination.
Pérez said, “More importantly we hope that they see college as a pathway to success. Wherever they want to go, get in their minds that they do have the virtue, ability and resiliency to be successful in college.”
Other achievements from the CIIE include a compilation of three research volumes entitled “Latinos in North Central Indiana.” Fellowships provided by the Endowment created opportunities for Goshen professors to research in partnership with Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies.
The Endowment also helped create culturally relevant occasions for professors to experience intercultural teaching and learning. Opportunities included language and cultural study in other countries and conferences with other intercultural professors.
Intercultural development on campus has been another main focus for CIIE. Next year, CIIE will launch the Intercultural Mentoring Program, a socially and academically supportive network of mentors and peers. Upperclass students with the Presidential Leadership Award, Stoltzfus, Leaf and Dream scholarships will pair with an underclass student.
CIIE hopes to engage more students of color in leadership roles on campus, which the Intercultural Mentoring Program will hopefully stimulate.
The Intercultural Committee will begin meeting next week, composed of students, CIIE workers and other faculty and staff. They will assess the intercultural climate and lead the charge of how to proceed with intercultural engagement on campus.
Pérez wants students to think about their motivation when it comes to intercultural exchange and why or why not they participate. A goal for campus is to create a self-awareness of who Goshen College is as a people and an institution, how we live together and what we can do to effect behavioral change.
Another group, the Intercultural Advisory Council, will begin meeting monthly. This board consists of members outside the Goshen College community, with differing backgrounds who will advise CIIE’s programs.
CIIE has been doing much intercultural work and will continue to do regardless of the outcome of the Lilly Endowment Inc. grant.