Immersions are three-day to three-week experiences that allow students to engage issues of social justice by being immersed with communities locally, domestically, or internationally. Most immersions include opportunities for direct service, and all invite students to hear diverse perspectives that can expand their understanding of critical social issues.
The immersion accompanier opportunity is open to University of Portland faculty or staff members in full-time, exempt positions who have a commitment to service and community engagement, a desire to encourage student formation, and a willingness to live simply while immersed in an extended experience with students. Immersion experiences offered in 2017-2018 include: Rural Immersion (Fall Break), Urban Policy Immersion (Winter Break), Border and Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge Immersions (Spring Break), and Civil Rights or Nicaragua Immersion (three weeks in May).
For additional information about immersions, read our Program Details for Students.
How is my participation financed?
The Moreau Center is committed to covering the participation costs for accompaniers. Personal costs such as airport food, souvenirs, passports, immunizations, visas, and toiletries are the responsibility of the accompanier.
We believe immersions provide an important connection between students, faculty, and staff. These programs allow learning to go outside the boundaries of the classroom and provide opportunities for students to grow comfortable with professional staff at the University. We also see the immersions as important training for staff and faculty in facilitating groups and meeting students’ developmental needs in a more intensive way. We encourage you to share these rationales when making requests to your office or department.
What is the selection process for accompaniers? What are your criteria?
We look for staff and faculty who can integrate professional experience or academic interest with attentiveness to student needs. Our best accompaniers are those who listen well, create safe spaces for student development, and are flexible and open to new experiences. Accompaniers can assist with fundraisers by offering their supportive presence and encouraging colleagues to participate in opportunities.
We recruit accompaniers during the late spring or early summer before the next academic year. To best assess if a staff or faculty member is a good fit for one of our programs, we ask that you fill out an Accompanier Application form. All applicants must have the approval from their Dean and the Provost or the Vice President for their division. Interested candidates meet with Moreau Center staff. We then send the names and profiles of prospective accompaniers to student leaders for feedback. Once we’ve considered staff and student input, we extend offers for participation. This process is designed to assist both you and the Moreau Center in discerning whether our programs are a good fit for you.
What is the time commitment?
We have consistently found that the more time an accompanier spends with the student group before the program, the more meaningful their experience is on the immersion. We ask accompaniers to attend at least two group meetings, seminars, or social gatherings with the group. Most meetings/seminars take place on Fridays from 4-6 p.m. For Fall Break Immersions, there is usually just one Friday afternoon intensive from 4-6 p.m. We ask that you plan to attend the entire intensive.
How can I find more information and apply?
If you have further questions or comments and to request the application form, please contact Laurie Laird at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.943.8559 (x8559).