In recent years there has been a push toward an IPCR curriculum with a strong emphasis on practical skills. The program now offers several courses each semester that allow students to gain these professional skills. Our faculty believes in the importance of training students with the skills that are necessary to become leaders in peacebuilding. IPCR bridges theoretical knowledge with real skills that can be applied in practice. Students are also encouraged to take Skills Institutes and must participate in the Graduate Practicum Program, both of which provide extensive real world skills in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
Skills Institutes provide an opportunity for participants to acquire skills in conflict resolution and other related topics, which can be utilized in both professional and personal lives. These intensive training courses combine skills to work with conflicts that have international, community and public policy dimensions.
Skills Institute Objectives:
To introduce students to cutting edge practical skills outside of SIS.
To connect students with practitioners as a way of promoting networking between students who are looking to expand their contacts, and practitioners who may be in a position to hire interns or employees.
To provide students with a hands-on, interactive experience. The skills institute program is designed specifically to explore further the practical applications that complement theory taught in our program.
In Fall 2015, IPCR will be offering three Skills Institutes: Mediating History, Media Relations in Conflict Zones, and Nonviolent Action. More information can be found here.
The Graduate Practicum Program is a way students build concrete skills that prepare them for the job market. Second-year master's students are given a chance to work with organizations and government agencies to cultivate program management, policy analysis and research skills in a team with peers and leading groups in the field. Led by faculty in weekly sessions, students also engage in workshops in order to further their practical presentation and writing skills. These diverse offerings give IPCR students unique opportunities to engage with peers and connect with experts in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
This past semester, Professor Hrach Gregorian led a practicum titled "Transformation, Peacebuilding, and Development" which focused on key aspects of contemporary peacebuilding; specifically on building the social infrastructure necessary for a more durable peace in conflict-ravaged societies. The three groups in the course engaged with the Alliance for Peacebuilding, Search for Common Ground and Partners Democratic Change, respectively.
In Fall 2015, Professor Gregorian will be leading a practica called "Transformation and Peacebuilding." Stay tuned for more information about student practica projects for Fall 2015.
Fall 2016 Skills Institutes
SIS.639.004 - Mediating History, September 17-18, 2016: Instructor Phil Gamaghelyan
Competing interpretations of history play a central role in many inter-state and intra-state conflicts today. Conflict resolution practitioners, however, do not always posses the skills necessary for addressing history directly and constructively. Drawing upon recent studies in collective memory, critical historiography and discourse analysis, as well as the extensive experience of working with historical narratives in conflict settings, the course will introduce the participants to practical methods that help transform the role of history from one that perpetuates conflict into one that helps resolve it through building better understanding of the conflict dynamics, mutual identity needs and alternative ways forward.
SIS.639.002 - Media Relations in Conflict Zones, November 7-8, 2016: Instructor: Stefo Lehamnn
This course will provide a foundation to enable students to develop
productive media relationships during overseas humanitarian,
reconstruction and peace-building interventions. Students will learn how
to prepare for interviews, plan and conduct press conferences, design a
message development plan and deliver effective responses during media
engagements, culminating in video-recorded performance exercises by each
students. The course also covers crisis and reputation management,
communication models and provides an overview of the public affairs
posture of major international participants in overseas relief
SIS.639.003 - Media Relations in Conflict Zones, November 7-8, 2015: Instructor Stefo Lehmann
Students learn the fundamentals of development and fundraising for non-profits, with a focus on peacebuilding NGOs. Topics include: assessing development and fundraising needs; strategic development; board engagement; donor engagement; fundraising tools; and grant searching and grant writing. Teaching methods include lecture and case studies.
Spring 2016 Skills Institutes
SIS 639.001 - Countering Violent Extremism: Policy and
Practice, January 16-17, 2016: Instructor Paul Turner
SIS 639.002 – Art and Post-War Healing, February 20-21,
2016: Instructor Hrach Gregorian