Residentials Return to Future Generations University
When Future Generations first started a graduate school back in 2003, the program was run as a low-residency program. Over the course of 18 months, students and faculty would spend a month or more learning about community development in number of locations around the world and then translate that learning in their community work. However, this learning model could only serve those who were able to leave their families and communities for long periods of time and travel to remote areas of the world. It was also very expensive to recreate a college campus in a new place twice a year.
In 2018, Future Generations University transitioned from low-residency to a fully live-online learning model. Students were able to join classes from their home, via Zoom, and apply the learning in-real-time in their community work. At the same time, residential courses were introduced allowing students the opportunity for richly rewarding site visits and in-person engagement with classmates and faculty. Then COVID and the residential courses were put on hold.
Finally, this June, we were able to relaunch the residential courses. The group of students and faculty from four countries and four US states, met up in Franklin, West Virginia, at Future Generations University campus, for “Telling a Different Story: Resilience in Appalachia.” The residential focused on local successes in community development in a region broadly better known for entrenched poverty, drug addiction and economic decline.
In January 2023, Dr. Daniel Taylor and Future Generations alumna Stephanie Hartman will lead Learn to Make the Change you Wish to See. The trip begins with a few days sightseeing much of what Northern India has to offer, including a day trip to Agra and the Taj Mahal. The group flies south to Nagpur to eat, sleep and learn as Mahatma Gandhi did. Learn about Mahatma Gandhi’s methods of community change where he taught them: at his ashram in Sevagram.
In June 2023, Future Generations University and our Nepali counterparts will lead the next residential in Nepal. This residential will focus on best community development practices in Nepal through field visits, focus groups, presentations, and personal interactions. Through extended site visits with four partner organizations, students will learn about community-based work in conservation, empowerment, public health and social justice.