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ENGAGED LEARNING ACROSS THE DISCIPLINES: THE ASCENSION PARISH PROJECT 2002-2003 & BEYOND RICHARD RASCHIO, Ph.D. UNIVERSITY OF SAINT THOMAS SAINT. PAUL,

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Presentation on theme: "ENGAGED LEARNING ACROSS THE DISCIPLINES: THE ASCENSION PARISH PROJECT 2002-2003 & BEYOND RICHARD RASCHIO, Ph.D. UNIVERSITY OF SAINT THOMAS SAINT. PAUL,"— Presentation transcript:

1 ENGAGED LEARNING ACROSS THE DISCIPLINES: THE ASCENSION PARISH PROJECT & BEYOND RICHARD RASCHIO, Ph.D. UNIVERSITY OF SAINT THOMAS SAINT. PAUL, MINNESOTA

2 GOALS OF THE PROJECT 1.University: -teach acceptance of diversity -increase service learning opportunities -create multidisciplinary partnerships 2.Parish: -understand newly-heterogeneous members -establish an historical continuity -plan for the future 3.Historical Society and Phillips Center: -foster Jewish-Christian relations -reach out into the community -document how parish members viewed people outside of their community: Jews and blacks

3 THE ASCENSION PROJECT: THE PLAYERS URBAN UNIVERSITY WITH A HOMOGENEOUS STUDENT BODY URBAN CATHOLIC PARISH WITH DIVERSE PARISHIONER BASE (RACIALLY, ETHNICALLY, ECONOMICALLY, GEOGRAPHICALLY) JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY JAY PHILIPS CENTER FOR JEWISH - CHRISTIAN LEARNING

4 A LITTLE HISTORY North Minneapolis : PAST -home to several racial and ethnic groups over the decades -predominately Irish. Polish and German -Catholic, Jewish, Protestants -1960’s: new economic status for many residents and land use issues combine to change the composition of the area STABILITY AND GROWTH

5 Just a Little More History -Ascension Parish: 2000 households 1960’s - Present - Decline to 200 households! 10% of parishioner base prior to the late 1960’s - Ethnic and Racial Changes: African-American, Southeast Asian, West African, and Latino -New parishioners = new needs and demands -Parish: How to help these people? How to become a larger force in the community? Within a 3 block area around the Parish are Vietnamese Catholic church and an Islamic mosque.

6 CURRENT SITUATION FOR THE NORTH SIDE AND ASCENSION PARISH Conclusions from surveys: Demographics, Area Businesses, Affordable housing access, Medical and Mental health services, Employment help, Resources for elderly and the young -Ethnic and religious mix has changed and is on the Increase due to continued influx of multiple groups Of immigrants AREA = WHITE IRISH AND GERMAN TO AFRICAN AMERICAN ASCENSION PARISH = WHITE IRISH AND GERMAN TO LATINO -High concentration of affordable rental housing -Good jobs are scarce because larger businesses have not invested in developing the area -Services for elderly and children are inadequate WHAT TO DO?

7 REALITY CHECK FOR THE PARISH WHAT WAS THE SAME? WHAT HAS CHANGED? WHAT CAN THE PARISH DO TO BETTER SERVE ITS PARISHIONERS?

8 SUMMER AND FALL ACTIVITIES History, Geography, Public Relations, Communication, Sociology, Health, Theology, Art History, Marketing Research, FIVE teachers designed course units or dedicated entire courses to activities that would contribute to the goal of helping Ascension Parish establish a sense of community and to reach out into the community it has been a part of for over 110 years. Activities aimed to: -Look at what the parishioners’ lives are like -Who the other organizations are in the community -What they do to nurture the neighborhood -How Ascension Parish can reach out and help sustain the area’s vitality so that the new parishioners feel a sense of community and commitment to their particular circumstances.

9 Interdisciplinary Activities Geography Mapping of parish’s area: changes in Parish density Racial composition, income, age ranges Marketing Research Informational interviews with community services, businesses and parishioners. Survey of parish demographics. Photo Journalism/Advanced Reporting Combined photos of the parish with stories about community with the Parish as the focal point. Public Relations PR students and Ascension workers met to develop and plan publicity campaigns. History Collaborated to gather information about post-WWII history through the eyes of area residents. SPRING SEMESTER

10 C o m i n g T o g e t h e r Summer and Fall Courses: basis for Spring course projects web site publicity campaign planning, surveys mapping oral histories IDEAS FOR COURSE CONTENT AND PROJECTS FOR SPRING PARTICIPANTS

11 SPRING COURSES & PROJECTS ARTS IN AFRICA Beaded Prayers CATHOLIC SOCIAL TRADITION Role of Parish in the community FAMILY COMMUNICATION Dynamics in various family structures of parishioners MODERN JUDAISM Jewish presence in the community ISSUES IN HEALTH EDUCATION Repeat Pregnancy among Black teens Health Care for Hispanics MARRIAGES AND FAMILIES Hispanic Young adult- construction of identity Tutor-Mentoring IMMIGRATION: FEAR AND HATE Interviews with immigrants; Prejudices suffered: American experience HISPANIC THEMES Needs Inventory of Hispanic Parishioners

12 CONNECTIONS : HISPANIC THEMES SURVEY DATA + INTERVIEWS WITH HIPANICS + RELALITY = IDEA TO HELP PARISH WITH ITS AIM OF SERVING HISPANICS THREE MASSES - TWO POPULATIONS Saturday Afternoon Sunday 9:30Sunday 11:30 80% Caucasian60% Caucasian95% Latino 5% Latino11% Latino5% other English languageEnglish languageSpanish Income; $35-50K50% = over $50k 50% = -$20k ProfessionalProfessionalService & labor Household=1-2 Household=1-2 Household=4+ Latinos at the masses constitute only 15% of the Parish membership The rest don’t live in the Parish’s zip code They represent the fastest growing segment of the parishioner base Least known about them

13 HOW TO HANDLE THE LATINO SITUATION? WHO ARE THEY? WHERE ARE THEY FROM? WHY ARE THEY AT ASCENSION AND NOT AT ST. STEVEN’S? WHAT DO THEY NEED FROM THE PARISH? WHAT CAN THE PARISH DO FOR THEM? HOW CAN THE PARISH KEEP THEM COMING? HOW CAN THE PARISH MAKE THEM PREMENANT MEMBERS AND NOT JUST SUNDAY VISITORS?

14 N E E D S I N V E N T O R Y SPRING SEMESTER SPANISH STUDENTS+ PARISH STAFF -Develop questions that will comprise the instrument to present to Hispanic volunteers TWO PARTS 1. Needs and Expectations: spiritual, community service, economic, medical, education 2. Perceptions of life in the US, How they got here? Why they came? Process - Students attempt translation of the instrument into Spanish as an exercise to recognize the linguistic skill needed and to familiarize themselves with the content -Parish finds Hispanic volunteers to partake in the questionnaire -Student pairs meet with interviewees at the parish -Results of the questionnaire are analyzed -Analyze the results -Discuss results and identify conclusions -Present findings to the Parish staff - Present results to UST and community

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17 ASCENSION PARISH HAS A NEED UNIVERSITY OF SAINT THOMAS TEACHERS WANT TO HELP -COMMUNITY PARTNER FULFILL NEEDS -STUDENTS LEARN TO ACCEPT DIVERSITY IN THEIR LIVES COMBINE THE TWO DESIRES INTO ONE LARGE EFFORT CALLED THE ASCENSION PARISH PROJECT 12 TEACHERS +13 COURSES + A PARISH RESULTS -INFORMATION UPON WHICH TO SUGGEST APPROACHES TO SOLVING NEEDS AMONG A NEWLY HETEROGENIUOS PARISHIONER BASE -PARISH GAINS IDEAS FOR PROMOTION OF CAPITAL CAMPAIGN -NEW TIES TO THE COMMUNITY ARE IDENTIFIED AND PLANS MADE TO INPLEMENT THEM -UST STUDENTS GAIN INVALUABLE REALITY-BASED LEARNING -UST FACULTY LEARN WAYS TO RE-THINK CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THEIR COURSES AND THOSE IN OTHER DEPARTMENTS -NEW INTERDISCIPLINARY EFFORTS DESIGNED AND IMPLEMENTED -SHARING AND NEW SYNERGIES BETWEEN UST AND THE COMMUNITY IT REFLECTS AND SERVES -MANY NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO FURTHER ENHANCE COMMUNITY RELATIONS AND SERVICE - LEARNING AT THE UNIVERSITY


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