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Structore of the Institutes

The institutes are structured as follows:

(1) Preparatory Phase

Faculty organizers decide upon the parameters for the following year during the preceding institute. This decision pertains to the field trip location and overall topic of the program. During the term directly preceding the institute, students are prepared in classroom seminars at each of the participating universities. We discuss the general theme and aid students in their research for the service learning component, which will be presented at the institute conference. To coordinate students and faculty at all three universities, we utilize an on-line course system and video-conferencing to facilitate the discussion, share courseware, and perform and coordinate joint tasks. Student selection is based on academic merits, and lies within the discretion of the respective unit.

The institute web site features information on the institute itself, as well as on individual participants and their projects. The papers to be presented at the institute will be finished by the beginning of the institute week, and test presentations will be held in class to make sure that students feel comfortable with their presentation and are prepared to engage with their peers in the concluding conference. Students will receive feedback throughout their research and writing process both by academic faculty and student/assistant organizers.

(2) Institute Weekh

The institute week consists of several days of joint activities at a specific location. These are:

" cultural activities (museum visits, archaeological sites, art galleries, theater, etc.)

" social activities

" academic workshops by expert speakers on several issues related to the topic of the institute

" visits to political (both official authorities and NGOs), economic and cultural institutions related to the topic of the institute

" service learning activities

(3) Assessment and Alumni Phase

During the institute, learning outcomes are undergoing assessment. The findings of this process will be fed back into the next iteration of the program.

In conducting the assessment of the program, we combine the evaluation of the academic merits of the student participation with an assessment of several of the individual components of both the preparatory seminar and the field trip portion. We are gathering qualitative and quantitative data in the form of student surveys, undertaken during the field trip and the conference, assessing the value of the individual excursions, the expected and actual learning outcomes by the students, and their self-assessment of their own individual learning objectives. We offer continuous mentoring and consultations to make sure the experience contributes to the successful graduation of the students.

We will also maintain connections with institute participants in order to create a community of former institute participants. Previous participants will be invited to all upcoming events, and we will also offer an on-line discussion forum to facilitate an on-going exchange. Currently, this is done via Facebook.

This structure allows us to achieve the key learning and leadership objectives that will be outlined under Concepts and Aims.

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Indigenous Policy Institutes