St. Paul's College and the intercommunity program to the Dominican Republic, participant reflections on the experience and its impact on personal development

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Penner, Lynn
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In 1986, St. Paul's College, at The University of Manitoba, implemented an intercommunity program designed to aid the people of the Dominican Republic and to provide an opportunity for students to develop an awareness of Third World countries and the importance of solidarity. To date, no formal analysis of either the program itself or its place within the College mission has been conducted. This thesis was designed to investigate the following questions: (1) How did the participants describe the program's selection and orientation process? (2) How did the participants describe the experience provided by the program to the Dominican Republic? (3) What were the participants' perceptions of the short-term and long-term impact of the project on their own personal development, based partially on Smith's (1993) categories of outcomes: personal connections, confrontation and change, commitment, self-concept, and clarification of values? (4) Did the participants' perceptions reflect the goals of the program: awareness of Third World countries and the importance of solidarity? To answer these questions, data were collected from focus groups with 11 past participants, from interviews with three College administrators, and from written College documentation. The data were analyzed to determine themes and recommendations. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)