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Tucson, Arizona
On the Border: Discussions in the Classroom and the Community
Students participating in “Border Culture in the Classroom and the Public Square” on a trip to the Mission San Xavier del Bac in Tucson, Arizona. Image courtesy of Pima County Community College.

Students participating in “Border Culture in the Classroom and the Public Square” on a trip to the Mission San Xavier del Bac in Tucson, Arizona. Image courtesy of Pima County Community College.

In response to an NEH call for proposals, Pima Community College (PCC) created a program that would put humanities scholars and students in dialogue with their community. Located near the United States’s southern border, PCC designed its program around an issue of intense interest to the community, “Border Culture in the Classroom and the Public Square.” In a series of courses on writing, art, and history, students consider what it means to live alongside the U.S./Mexico border. At the same time, the students are trained in how to have effective public dialogue about difficult, complicated, and/or controversial issues. As the courses progress, students take part in a service-learning project, engaging in public dialogue, creating ties with the surrounding community, and building bridges between the community college and the City of Tucson.

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