Whether they were learning Swahili from Tanzania, interning with a women’s collective in Chile, or contemplating decoloniality, SIT students, faculty, staff, and alumni had myriad ways to stay connected over the past year, even while many of the world’s borders were closed.
Challenges gave rise to innovation in 2021 as SIT built out virtual language and internship programs and part-time hybrid graduate degrees, which included the launch of SIT’s first doctoral level program, an EdD in global education.
Today, among SIT's 17 graduate and certificate programs are seven hybrid degrees that help students anywhere in the world advance their education and accelerate their careers while staying in their homes and communities. Delivered in a primarily digital environment with brief residencies in Vermont or on other SIT global campuses, these programs still maintain the experiential, cohort-centered learning for which SIT is known.
Another way for students, alumni, and the general public to stay connected was through our multi-level digital language courses, which extended to Arabic, Bahasa, Hindi, Nepali, Quechua, Swahili, Tibetan, and Vietnamese.
Yet another innovation was our popular SIT Critical Conversations Webinar Series with more than 90 free webinars presented live in fall 2020 and spring 2021—and still available online—to bridge divides and bring us closer through learning and sharing.
Some of the most popular webinars were perspectives from the Global South. In “Decoloniality and the Future of Democracy,” SIT’s Dr. Taieb Belghazi and Dr. Walter Mignolo of Duke University applied a decolonized lens to current events including COVID-19, the Movement for Black Lives, and the crisis of democracy.
“[The SIT Critical Conversations Webinar Series] was like being back in the classroom at SIT—loved every minute of it!”
In another, we celebrate women in science with a focus on those in Antarctica, Tanzania, and Portugal. SIT panelists and guests discuss the challenges of patriarchy in learning and highlight the unique perspectives brought by women in the fields of biology, environmental science, wildlife management, and conservation.
SIT alumna Michele Raphoon, who today works in the Office of Global Engagement at LaGrange College, remarked: “This was like being back in the classroom at SIT—loved every minute of it!”