Program and Curriculum Overview
Portland State University's MEPI program is an integrated experience that involves education, community partnerships, and leadership training. Cross-disciplinary classroom instruction is provided by PSU faculty, and students receive hands-on training through Mercy Corps' Action Center. MEPI students may also work in close collaboration with PSU Student Leaders for Service on projects at local community-based organizations. These educational activities are supplemented by cultural and social experiences within the PSU and broader Portland community, and with planned weekend trips to destinations beyond the city. The program begins and ends in Washington, DC, where MEPI students participate in discussions and activities with legislators, U.S. Department of State officials, and meet representatives from their host schools. In addition, students will travel to the San Francisco, CA Bay Area, to participate in a week of field work, formal presentations, and reflective activities. Several months after the program ends, MEPI participants are invited to attend the Alumni Professional Development Conference in the Middle East or North Africa.
PSU's program offers a dynamic schedule that incorporates various learning strategies both inside and outside the traditional classroom environment. Weekday mornings are dedicated to classroom instruction in community development, public administration, and conflict resolution theory with Portland State University faculty. Two afternoons per week, students meet at Mercy Corps’ Portland-based Action Center, where they receive hands-on training in action plan development and implementation. This includes using digital storytelling and global video conferencing, as well as focusing on the development of individualized plans to be implemented in participants’ home countries upon return.
Although daily classroom activities vary each year, this sample syllabus provides an example of the curricular focus.
Click below to download the schedule from the 2015 program. This schedule will differ from other years, but serves as an example.