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Program Goals and Themes

As SUSI participants you will explore the program themes while developing self-confidence, independence, inquiry, and connection to a larger vision of mutual understanding between citizens of the U.S. and diverse people and communities around the world. Each activity will promote active participation; inspire curiosity and dialogue between participants, local citizens, and organizations in our community; and explore leadership and service from a variety of perspectives.

Program Themes

The SUSI Program will be delivered in three themes. Each theme will include both academic and experiential learning.

Program Theme #1: The History and Future of Work in a Changing World

This theme, divided into three units, will encourage students to think differently about the way we work given the ways in which global and local economies are adapting to many different types of change. Each unit will include three or four class sessions as well as site visits, meetings, and service projects related to the themes.

Most classes will be delivered by staff and faculty from the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center, a program of South Seattle College. Additional classes will be delivered by guest speakers and University of Washington faculty from the Foster School of Business.

Unit One: The History of Labor and Labor Movements in the United States

This unit will set the stage for an understanding of current economic and workforce trends in the United States by exploring the historical context of labor and labor movements. Participants will learn about the formation of unions in the U.S., industrial changes and the impact on labor, and the changing power of unions and professional organizations.

Unit Two: The Future of Work: Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

This unit explores how technological innovations have impacted different sectors of the economy and the ways in which individuals and organizations have adapted to these changes. You will meet with local entrepreneurs to discuss opportunities and challenges presented by technology and innovation, and draw connections between how these themes impact workers in the United States, in your home countries, and around the world.

Unit Three: Adapting to Change in the Local and Global Economy

In this unit, students will learn about how employers and educational institutions are adapting to the changes in their industries brought in by globalization, and how globalization impacts local communities and economies. You will visit high schools and community colleges that are designing and delivering new initiatives to prepare students and workers for new economic trends and demands.

Program Theme #2: Curriculum & Training Development

Through this theme, each student will design curriculum for a unique training session that they can deliver in your home community that addresses the changing nature of work in your own local context. Trainings can take different forms, such as the creation of a hands-on technical or skill development session; a session on adapting skills to new technological and economic realities; or a visioning session to explore opportunities and challenges presented by economic or technological change in the local context. Participants will incorporate awareness of learning styles, best practices in training development, and experiential and reflection activities into your trainings.

Workshops in this theme will be delivered by FIUTS staff and guest speakers with expertise in curriculum design and instruction.

Program Theme #3: Leadership Identity and Development

The workshops in this theme are adapted from Kouzes and Posner’s Student Leadership Challenge, a framework for youth leadership development that involves five competency areas. Participants will begin this theme by taking an online leadership assessment, The Student Leadership Practices Inventory, and inviting observers from home to share their insight as well. The results of the assessment will provide each participant with a report of their leadership competency areas and help them to identify areas to focus on in their leadership development. 

FIUTS has adapted the Student Leadership Challenge to incorporate interactive activities and assignments that support learning and leadership development. Each of the five “practices” from the Student Leadership Challenge is applied as a hands-on skill, often utilizing materials and resources that explore cultural diversity and difference:

·      Leadership Identity, Values and Leadership Styles (Model the Way)

·      Public Speaking and Storytelling (Inspire a Shared Vision)

·      Creativity and Conflict Resolution (Challenge the Process)

·      Group Management and Team Building (Enable Others to Act)

·      Celebrating Victories and Recognition (Encourage the Heart)

As they progress through the leadership curriculum, participants will reflect on leaders they meet over the course of the program and consider how they engage with others to further their impact.

Program Goals

The goals of the program are for participants to:

1.      Take part in classes and daily activities that teach about program themes through the lens of U.S. culture, history, and society.

2.      Explore concepts of leadership, civil society, diplomacy, respect for diversity, and the value of service.

3.      Gain skills in project development, conflict transformation, and communication. 

4.      Share experiences and form bonds with a network of young leaders from the U.S. and around the world and develop a sense of pride in your own and others' experiences, skills, and potential impact.

5.      Participate as a leader and collaborator in group discussions and activities. 

6. Build skills to develop and implement a training session that will help members of your own community to develop their knowledge and skills.