PACE (Programs for Cross Cultural Awareness)


EDUC 566 (URBS 566) Cross Cultural Awareness

Offered in the spring semester


The PACE Application is OPEN and will Close on Wednesday, 11/12 at 11:59PM

EDUC 566: Cross Cultural Awareness is a graduate level course where students will learn about the salient dimensions of diversity by exploring the interrelated issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, and ability. Through a pre course retreat, lectures, cross-cultural dialogue, readings, writing assignments, and peer led in-class facilitations students will explore the courses many issues in depth, as well as develop skills in workshop design and facilitation that will empower them to become peer educators. Once students finish the course they become a part of a post class community called PACE (Programs for Awareness and Cultural Education). This experiential community allows students to further build on, explore, and apply the skills they have developed in class.

Spring 2015 course will meet on Mondays, 2:30PM - 5:30PM at 3708 Chestnut St.

* All Penn undergraduate and graduate students from all twelve schools are eligible, plus staff.


Program for Awareness in Cultural Education (PACE) and its sister courses are partnerships between the Greenfield Intercultural Center and the Graduate School of Education. Their aims are to train students to increase cross-cultural awareness at the University of Pennsylvania.

PACE was founded in 1993 by Dr Navneet Khera, a graduate student at the time, at the initiative of GIC's acting director Joseph Sun, with advice and support from GSE Professor Nancy H. Hornberger. Khera's original conception of democratic, experiential learning remains the core of the PACE experience today.

Graduate level courses are co-facilitated by instructors to create a pedagogically democratic space with students for sustained engagement and dialogue about cross-cultural issues. Students explore similarities and differences among each other and within themselves through collaborative,experiential, and textual learning, interwoven with lived experiences.

After the course component is finished, instructors and the GIC staff continue to work with these students on campus in order to deepen their knowledge and to identify applied strategies for engaging insocial change.

Program Structure:

PACE now includes three graduate level courses (open to all Penn students) offered throughout the academic year. The courses provide students the opportunity todevelop the skills and experiences that allow them to design and lead cross cultural discussions. After completion of a course students join the PACE experiential community which allows students to further engage the issues developed in class and develop the skills of facilitating cross cultural dialogue. The experiential community also serves as an on-campus resource that assists organizations and individuals throughout campus and the local community in starting difficult but necessary dialogues and programs that deal with the many dimensions of human interaction -- gender, race, sexual orientation,religion, age, ability, class, and others.

Democratic Classroom Environment:

Within each course, we strive to create an environment where students are engaged and active participants in a democratic learning process. Within the PACE context democratic education means that students are peer educators - creating knowledge with the instructors rather then acting ascontainers waiting to be filled by expert knowledge. It also means that a supportive environment for cross cultural dialogue dismantles and exposes the hierarchy both within the structure of the classroom itself and between course participants.

Elements of democratic education:

  • Course are facilitated by two instructors to model cooperative learning facilitation.
  • Shared decision-making among the students and instructors.
  • A learner-centered approach in which students choose their daily activities.
  • Equality among instructors and students.
  • The community as an extension of the classroom.

 Program Goals:

  • For students to address issues of cultural awareness, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc. through cross-cultural dialogue, introspection, research, writing and service learning.
  • Creating "Peer Educators" by enhancing the following skills in students: interpersonal communication, Self-awareness, Self-esteem, Improvisation, Team building, Reflective listening
  • Provide opportunities to peer educators for experiential learning through workshops and other service to the Penn community.
  • Create a resource for ongoing outreach to all members of the university community by being a model service-learning experience.
  • Contribute to creating a campus climate that fosters understanding.

Program Requirements (all are mandatory):

  • Apply for entrance into academic course (students must receive permit in order to register).
  • Attend a day-long retreat (usually Saturday or Sunday) a the beginning of the semester.
  • Class meets weekly for 3 hour sessions at the Greenfield Intercultural Center (3708 Chestnut St.).
  • Complete assignments as designated in the syllabus, which usually includes readings, refection papers, in-class facilitation, and a final research project.


  • Earn graduate level course credit.
  • Learn workshop design and facilitation.
  • Develop the skills necessary for participating difficult cross-cultural discussions.
  • Explore the intersection of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, culture, society, and education.
  • Improve and develop storytelling and performance skills.  
  • Learn how to incorporate performance art into a learning environment.
  • Explore the intersection of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, culture, society, education, and art.
  • Improve public speaking skills.
  • Make strong and lasting connections with a diverse group of fellow PACE members, instructors, and  advisors.


Holly Link         PACE Co-Instructor

Collin Williams  PACE Co-Instructor

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