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Penner, Lynn.  (MA Thesis)  St. Paul's College and the Intercommunity Program to the Dominican Republic: Participant Reflections on the Experience and Its

Impact on Personal Development.  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: University of Manitoba, 2000.

Summary:

Author conducted focus group discussions among former participants in a catholic college's annual 4-week service/learning trip to the Dominican Republic, interviewed administrators involved with the program, read files relating to it.

Concludes form observations of these sources that the program increases students' awareness of the third world and increases solidarity between people in Canada and people in the Dominican Republic.

Findings:

o       confrontation and change

o       self-concept

o       commitment

o       clarification of values

o       personal connections

"The participants in this study wanted to bring about change on a personal level, hoping to create change by example.  The participants in this study mentioned neither government involvement nor public actions."  (p.117)

o       goals should be stated more clearly (this would help participants reflect more clearly on their experiences)

o       more group-building exercises ahead of time

o       at least one participant on each trip should be bilingual

o       size of group should be limited to 10 people

o       mandatory formal debriefing

o       weighted selection process, taking into account past travel experience, religion, etc.

Methodology:

Demographics:

Program Background:

o       Increase student's awareness of the third world

o       Increase solidarity between students/people at St. Paul's and people in Dominican Republic.