Field Experience Requirement PACS 4100 (3 hours)
The Field Experience requirement is seen as an integral and defining part of the Peace and Conflict Studies minor here at BGSU. There are many other programs on Peace Studies or related topics throughout the country, but to our knowledge, Bowling Green's is unique in requiring all students to spend some time "in the field" applying their academic knowledge and acquiring a perspective on the issues that they have been studying that cannot be gained within the walls of a classroom. We specifically envisage that students will spent some time (at least 10 days) in a setting outside that to which they are normally accustomed, engaging in study, interaction and work with people they would not normally encounter. The setting and interactions would be able to related in some clearly discernable way to an issue or theme in Peace and Conflict Studies.
There are a number of ways in which this requirement could be met. One is through travelling to another country as part of a formal class such as Asia 3100: Hiroshima and Beyond. This class actually provided the genesis of our PACS program and has offered every second summer since 2006.
A second possibility is for a student to join a formal class that travels elsewhere in the United States. Bill Thompson has taken groups of Bowling Green students to a Navajo Reservation in Arizona and New York's South Bronx for a number of years and several PACS Minors have used this to fulfill their Field Experience requirement .
A third possibility is for a student to undertake an Independent Studies course, in which the student travels to another location outside or within the United States, and spends time there on a project of their own devising. This option requires the student to work closely with one of the PACS faculty members who acts as their supervisor and ensures that academic content is appropriate to fulfill the course requirements. For example, PACS minor Natalie Olson spent time in Madagascar working with local groups over the summer of 2008 to fulfill this requirement.