‘Peace studies’ expand at community colleges

Conflict resolution and “peace studies” programs are expanding at community colleges.  Cuyahoga Community College will host a Conference on Conflict Resolution Education (CRE) in Cleveland March 14 to 19. The last two days will be devoted to developing community college programs.

Twenty-one community colleges offer peace and conflict initiatives with another 10 in development, according to David Smith, educational outreach manager at the U.S. Institute of Peace. While some programs offer no credit, others offer a certificate or associate degree.

For example, Cuyahoga awards a Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies certificate, Delta College (Michigan) offers a certificate of achievement or AA in Global Peace Studies, Greenfield Community College (Massachusetts) an AA in liberal arts with a Peace, Justice and Environmental Studies focus, San Diego City College a certificate or AA in Peace Studies and Howard Community College (Maryland) an AA in Conflict Resolution.

Peace & Justice Studies at Bluegrass and Community and Technical College includes courses in history, humanities, art, political science, philosophy, anthropology, communications, and geography leading to an associate of arts degree, reports Kentucky Living. The coordinator manages Peace Meal Gardens, community garden.

What does a student do with a peace studies credential? Advocates say employers value workers who can work collaboratively and deal with conflicts. It strikes me as a useful addition to job skills, not a substitute.

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David J. Smith

A recent article in USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-06-15/shaw-certificates-college-vocational/55601200/1) discusses the move to developing “certificates” over degrees, particularly in vocational areas. Peace studies and conflict resolution in community colleges are ideal for a certificate approach. The program at Cuyahoga Community College is a good example (http://www.tri-c.edu/enrichment/communityservices/GRIC/Pages/Certificate.aspx)

managing conflict

You want to point out the problems- while offering solid solutions and being respectful to everyone involved- including the co-worker that seems to be giving you trouble.
Conflict resolution skills are learned through
positive communication, hearing, respecting, and caring
for starters another. While it can’t be helped that you just would form your own personal
views in regards to the challenge, you have to become as impartial as you possibly can so you might come up using a solution which may be to
the benefit of everyone included.

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