The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Project teaches students about global community

Each spring City College participates in the International Negotiations Module Project, or INMP, which gives students a chance to learn with other students from across the country and to internationalize their views on world issues.

International Studies Coordinator Riad Bahhur brought the INMP project to City College four years ago.

Bahhur explained that INMP gives students a chance to incorporate a class with international studies, even if the class does not specifically involve international studies.

“It’s important, actually, in the world that we live in today, for students to get used to thinking about issues and problems in an international context. We live in a very globalized world. So, regardless of what field students end up in, knowledge of the world and global dynamics is crucial,” Bahhur said.

There are four to six classes involved in the INMP each spring semester. Courses ranging from political science to biology have all been included in this project, Bahhur said. Usually, a class like biology would play the role of the world health organization or a non-governmental actor. This gives the class the chance to use its knowledge of biology in a global context.

Each teacher chooses to participate in the project on behalf of the class, Bahhur said. It is not an optional project that students can reject if they are would rather not participate. Next semester political science, history, business and theater are the classes that plan to be involved.

The project works through forum discussions. Each class represents a country and within each class are a number of groups that handle different international issues for their country, Bahhur said. Then, each country brings its ideas to other countries, or other classes, to discuss a possible outcome. Four times during the semester the schools, or countries, come together for a live summit that gives them a chance to interact within real-time via instant messaging.
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Although there has not been talk of video conferencing, the possibility of submitting a video rather than a paper is a possibility, Bahhur said.

The INMP program has been successful for the students who have taken part in it, according to Bahhur. Students end up learning quite a bit and the interaction ends up being really conducive to learning, he added, but also fun at the same time.

History Professor and coordinator Holly Piscopo has taken part in INMP in the past and found a positive outcome with students as well. Piscopo said her students showed great enthusiasm in a realistic learning environment.

“Students really put their research to work in the summits. They also demonstrated skills in diplomacy, compromise, and conflict. So while as their professor I felt like I was pushing the students along to get invested in the project at the beginning of the semester, the real outcome is their total ownership of the project and deft, knowledgeable management of the international negotiations,” Piscopo said.

Piscopo said she saw the project as successful and beneficial and would be willing to participate in the future.

“It’s an experiential learning, right? So it does involve writing, but it also involves communicating. It’s a more dynamic way of learning that, for some students, work really well. It keeps them interested,” Bahhur said.

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