Global PDX: African Children

Instructor Name: 
Sam Gioia
Course Description: 

Through community experience and classroom, education capstone students will learn about the academic needs and cultural adjustment of African refugee youth.  Students will either support the children in a classroom setting 3-4 hours per week, or lead an after school homework club from 3-5:15 either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays starting the second week of class. PSU classroom education will address the historical and cultural dynamics of African refugees, contemporary issues around refugee resettlement, and the academic challenges that English learners face.   This class will be taught in a hybrid format meeting only on Monday mornings.  Students will utilize PSU's  Desire (D2L) to Learn online program to engage in discussion of the tutoring and readings. This class provides an especially rich experience for pre-education, Social Work, Child and Family Studies, and International Studies majors.  Attendance the first week of class is required in order to be part of this capstone. Topics will include:  immigration, cultural orientation to various African countries, and basic practices for effective tutoring with English learners.


  • Students will be able to communicate effectively in a cross-cultural setting;
  • Students will present their ideas effectively in writing and class discussion;
  • Students will assess issues that affect culturally diverse populations and develop constructive approaches to working with cultural difference;
  • Students will understand their role and responsibility in issues that affect refugee populations.

This Capstone is open to students from all majors.  It provides a particularly rich experience for students majoring in Black Studies, Social Work, Child and Family Studies, International Studies, Education, and the social sciences.  Contact Sam Gioia ( for further information on this capstone.