Semester in Dialogue 2016 brochure

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Our Values and Impact

Our Values

We believe that collaborative approaches to resolving complex issues yield the most productive solutions. Our hope is that this unique educational model will reveal a set of key features for dialogue-based learning.

The Semester in Dialogue continues to have transformative impact on students, and has been highlighted as a case study by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) for how innovation can enhance Canadian undergraduate education. For students, this education engages them in effective action, enlightens them about career opportunities and community issues, fosters leadership, stimulates a commitment to civil society, and through connections to community promotes their discovery of who they are and who they can be.

For Simon Fraser University, the curriculum strategically enhances our fundamental mission to educate students into informed and engaged citizens. These outcomes resonate throughout our institution and community, and are beginning to have a national pedagogical impact through our commitment to share ideas with other institutions.

At our core, universities should inspire students to take responsibility for and contribute to the world around them, and provide the ability to communicate and be effective through tools such as dialogue. There is no more important task than encouraging young Canadians to care about the world around them, and to provide them with the tools they need to be effective ambassadors for positive change in our communities.

Our Impact

The Semester in Dialogue continues to have transformative impacts on its students, while creating rich partnerships with the wider community.

Extensive student feedback indicates that Semester in Dialogue alumni leave the program with new understandings of leadership, better communication skills and a renewed sense of who they want to be in the world. Through hosting public dialogues, visiting with Thought Leaders and leading projects, students develop networks of contacts and discover new interests and opportunities.

Regular community involvement is a defining characteristic of the Semester in Dialogue. Guest instructors frequently come from outside the university to provide access to a range of perspectives. Ongoing partnerships help to connect student work with tangible community needs, such as the Semester at CityStudio program, which brings together students from diverse backgrounds to collaborate with The City of Vancouver on demonstration projects.

Metrics As of 2015
Unique Semester in Dialogue Courses since 2001 38
Instructors involved 91
Alumni graduated from Semester in Dialogue 720
Thought leaders participated in Semester in Dialogue 651
Public Dialogues hosted 21