From professional development to cultural classes, Delta covers a lot of academic ground so that our students have every opportunity to gain knowledge in all aspects of life. Delta College professors are dedicated to designing courses that meet the needs and desires of students. They are always eager to hear our feedback and continuously improve the program to reach its ideal state.
A perfect example of our professors’ responses to our criteria is the newly developed class known as Multicultural Encounters. Dr. Stoller, professor and the current director of Delta College, designed the class with the needs of students in mind and has been working to fully define the class during it’s first session this spring semester. The course description reads:
“Explores multi-cultural interactions & intersections, as well as issues of personal identity in differing global contexts. Includes a combination of readings, films, class discussions, and weekly guided discussions with international students on campus. Compliments or completes study or internship abroad experiences & broadens Delta students’ awareness of world diversity. Students will write a personal memoir about their experiences”
The idea of the course came about as a way to prepare students to study abroad by immersing them into the lives of people who have gone out of their element in a new country/culture. Students read books about the personal experiences of people who find themselves overwhelmed in new cultures, watch films depicting cultural experiences, and openly discuss opinions and perspectives in order to “define” multiculturalism. However, this round table type class is only half of the course.
Once a week, Delta students come together with international students who are actively participating in the ELS Program here at Brockport to speak to each other in small groups. This multi-cultural interaction is called Conversation Partners. The international students use this time to practice their English, while Delta students learn about the experience of adjusting to life in a new country with different culture. At the beginning of each session questions/thoughts are provided to provoke conversation.
I participate in this class and I truly enjoy it! I have met students from China, Japan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Switzerland. It is so eye opening to hear their perspective of America, especially when discussing the differences between what they expected it to be like rather than what it is actually like now that they have been living here. Typically our conversations eventually stray from the questions we were provided and the room is full of laughter, anecdotes, and pizza!
Multicultural Encounters is a perfect example of what Delta stands for: an alternative learning experience that provides insight and perspective in a non-traditional setting. It truly broadens the knowledge of students while also helping to integrate international students into our Brockport community.