PACE (Programs for Cross Cultural Awareness)


EDUC 566 (URBS 566) Cross Cultural Awareness

Offered in the spring semester


Application Deadline EXTEnded: Monday December 2, 2013 by midnight

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.

2014 Spring Course time will be Mondays 1 - 4PM @ Albert M. Greenfield Intercultural Center

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


Programs for Awareness in Cultural Education (PACE)and Teaching Performing Art for Cross-Cultural Education (TPACE) arepartnerships between the Greenfield Intercultural Center and the GraduateSchool of Education. Their aims are to train students to increasecross-cultural awareness at the University of Pennsylvania.

PACE was founded in 1993 by Dr Navneet Khera, agraduate student at the time, at the initiative of GIC's acting director JosephSun, with advice and support from GSE Professor Nancy H. Hornberger. Khera'soriginal conception remains the core of the PACE experience today.

Graduate level courses are co-facilitated byinstructors to create a pedagogically democratic space with students forsustained engagement and dialogue about cross-cultural issues. Students exploredifferences among each other and within themselves through collaborative,experiential, and textual learning, interwoven with lived experiences.

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

Program Structure:

PACEnow includes three graduate level courses (open to all Penn students) offeredthroughout the academic year. The courses provide students the opportunity todevelop the skills and experiences that allow them to design and lead crosscultural discussions. After completion of a course students join the PACEexperiential community which allows students to further engage the issuesdeveloped in class and develop the skills of facilitating cross culturaldialogue. The experiential community also serves as an on-campus resource thatassists organizations and individuals throughout campus and the local communityin starting difficult but necessary dialogues and programs that deal with themany 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 environmentwhere students are engaged and active participants in a democratic learningprocess. Within the PACE context democratic education means that students arepeer educators - creating knowledge with the instructors rather then acting ascontainers waiting to be filled by expert knowledge. It also means that asupportive environment for cross cultural dialogue dismantles and exposes thehierarchy both within the structure of the classroom itself and between courseparticipants.

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:

  • Apply for entrance into a academic course.
  • Attend a weekend retreat (Friday - Sunday) a the beginning of the semester.
  • Weekly 3 hour class sessions at the Greenfield Intercultural Center.
  • Complete assignments as designated in the syllabus (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.
  • Make strong and lasting connections with fellow course members and the diverse community of PACE and TPACE
  • members, instructors, and advisors.
  • Improve public speaking skills.
  • Make strong and lasting connections with a diverse group of fellow PACE members, instructors, and  advisors.


Holly Link         PACECo-Instructor

Collin Williams  PACE Co-Instructor

Course Offerings:
Undergraduate and Graduate students must apply for entry into the courses. Applications and the dates of the application processes are available here. All Penn undergraduate and graduate students from all twelve schools are eligible.

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