SOC 4800: Crossing Borders, Crossing Boundaries
Community Partnership: Oakland International High School Campus Visit

Diversity & Social Justice Faculty Fellows Pilot Project
Funded by the 2013-14 Programmatic Excellence & Innovation in Learning Program

Faculty Fellow: Duke Austin, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Faculty Mentor: Colleen Fong, Professor of Ethnic Studies
Teaching Assistant: Meleana Akolo
Video: Colleen interviews Duke and colleague Andrew Wong about their pilot projects, 04/24/2014. (Click to watch)
Materials: Portfolio containing syllabus, pictures, sample ethnographic papers, and more. (Click to download)

Duke Austin's SOC 4800


Overview

Dr. Austin partnered with Oakland International High School (OIHS) to bring recent immigrant high school students to the CSUEB campus for a mutually beneficial collaboration. Each student in Dr. Austin's SOC 4800: Crossing Borders, Crossing Boundaries class served as a college mentor to two or three recent immigrant high school students during a one-day campus visit. The CSUEB students gave their mentees a tour of campus, accompanied them to a college class, and provided them with a personal perspective about being a college student. In exchange, the CSUEB students interviewed their mentees and wrote an ethnographic research paper that links the high school students’ immigration experiences to macro-level sociological phenomenon.

OHIS administrators paid BART fees to get their students to the Hayward BART station. In exchange, Dr. Austin rented a bus with DSJ funds to transport the high school students from the Hayward BART station to the CSUEB campus. Twenty-four CSUEB students and sixty-five OIHS students participated in the one-day campus visit.

Planning for the project included: contacting and establishing rapport with OIHS, getting approval from CSUEB’s risk management department, scheduling the bus, finding 24 CSUEB faculty members who would allow visitors in their classes and then scheduling students to visit those classes, scheduling a large meeting room on the CSUEB campus, scheduling a campus tour with the CSUEB Welcome Center, getting CSUEB IRB approval for the interviews, getting OIHS parent consent and OIHS student assent for the interviews, training the CSUEB students to conduct interviews, and coaching CSUEB students with their ethnographic papers.


Course Objectives: Advancing the Diversity & Social Justice Institutional Learning Outcome

"With its focus on immigration, this course helps students understand social diversity with the ability to read and understand academic studies on and critically analyze cultural representations of populations subordinated by race/ethnicity, social class, gender and sexuality." (from the syllabus)

"Through the class's partnership with the Oakland International High School ..., this course establishes community relationships with the ability to work collaboratively with community partners." (from the syllabus)


Course Assignment: Community Partnership and Immigration Ethnography

"During the month of February, you will be paired with several high school students from Oakland International High School, a school in which all of the students are recent immigrants to the U.S. You will serve as a college mentor for the high school students by giving them advice to help prepare them for college. In addition, you will be asked to show your high school mentees around the CSUEB campus and take them to one of your classes.

Your grade for the community partnership will be based on a one-page (200 word) write-up of the experience and the short evaluations that the high school students will be asked to write about you.

In exchange for your mentorship, you will be allowed to conduct ethnographic interviews of your mentees. Then, you will write a 1000-word or less ethnographic account of their immigration experiences. The ethnography should heavily incorporate and apply immigration theory from the course.

Additional details about the community partnership and the immigration ethnography can be found on Blackboard." (from the syllabus)


Oakland International High School Visit: How To List

Class Visits

  • We had the CSUEB students accompany the high school students to numerous classes across campus.
  • In order to garner professor support for the project, we used MyCSUEB to find all of the professors who were teaching classes during the time allotted for class visits. We then contacted each of those professors and asked if we could send a group of 4 to 5 students to sit quietly in their classes and observe. The CSUEB professors were very open to having visitors in their classes.
  • We also gathered information from the CSUEB students in SOC 4800 about their class schedules. If a CSUEB student already had class during the allotted class visit time, that student took 3 or 4 high school students to his or her own class.
  • We scheduled the remaining CSUEB students in SOC 4800 to accompany 3 or 4 high school students to the classes of the professors who had agreed to let us visit.

Daily Schedule

  • The daily schedule follows this how-to list. For future visits, we recommend ending the visit at 2:30 so that the high school students will be back in Oakland by 3:30. We learned that the high school students normally end their school day at 3:30. They were unhappy to learn that we were keeping them past their normal departure time.

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

  • We needed IRB approval to interview the high school students.
o Professor Kevin Brown is currently the director or CSUEB’s IRB. He can be reached at kevin.brown@csueastbay.edu.
  • OIHS distributed the consent forms to the parents prior to the campus visit, and brought the signed consent forms with them.
  • OIHS students signed assent forms just prior to their interviews.

Lunches

  • OIHS brought bag lunches for the high school students from their cafeteria.
  • CSUEB students were asked to pack their own lunch. Some CSUEB students requested that we provide bottled water for everyone in the future.
  • Oakland International High School Contact Information: Carmelita Reyes and Sailaja Suresh, Co-Principals, 4521 Webster St., Oakland, CA 94609, (510) 879-2142

Risk Management

  • We secured approval from the CSUEB Risk Management Department to host the 
high school students on campus.
  • Professor Austin consented to a criminal background check in order to obtain risk management approval to supervise the high school visit.
  • Contact: Nyassa Love, nyassa.love@csueastbay.edu.

Room Scheduling

  • We booked the El Dorado Room and accompanying BBQ area as a meeting place for the CSUEB and high school students. The closing activities were held in the El Dorado Room. It also provided some recreation such as billiards and ping pong for the groups that finished their interviews early.
  • Contact: Joenavee, 510-885-7444, or conferencehousing@csueastbay.edu.

Transportation

  • OIHS paid for BART tickets to get the students to the Hayward BART station. PEIL/DSJ funds rented a shuttle to transport the students from the BART station to the CSUEB campus.
  • TransMetro Shuttle provided the transportation. Contact: Fred Kahn, 408-210-8304, or fred@transmetro.org.

Welcome Tour

  • Enrolment Services provided a campus tour. Contact: Jessie, 510-885-2556.

Oakland International High School Visit: The Schedule

Oakland International High School (OIHS) Campus Visit
Monday, February 3, 2014

9:20-10:00 Two Shuttles from Hayward BART Station to CSUEB Welcome Center

  • There will be 1 TransMetro bus that makes two trips.
  • CSUEB student attendance not mandatory

10:00-11:00 Campus Tour – Leaves from the CSUEB Welcome Center

  • OIHS students meet with Enrollment Services and take a campus tour.
  • CSUEB student attendance not mandatory

11:00-11:30 Lunch – Pioneer Heights Student Housing, El Dorado Hall

  • OIHS students eat a sack lunch provided by OIHS.
  • CSUEB student attendance not mandatory

11:30-12:00 OHIS and CSUEB Students Meet and Form Groups
- Pioneer Heights Student Housing, El Dorado Hall

  • CSUEB STUDENT ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED

12:00-1:50 Class Visit – At Multiple Classrooms around Campus

  • CSUEB students escort OIHS students to a college classes.
  • If the class ends before 1:50, begin ethnographic interviews.
  • CSUEB students may choose to leave class at 1:10.
  • CSUEB STUDENT ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED

1:50-3:15 Ethnographic Interviews – At Multiple Locations around Campus

  • Ask OIHS students to sign the assent forms.
  • Record the interviews so that you may transcribe them later.
  • CSUEB STUDENT ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED

3:15-4:00 Dr. Austin's Immigration Class
- At Pioneer Heights Student Housing, El Dorado Hall

  • Dr. Austin will lead some group activities and wrap up the day.
  • CSUEB STUDENT ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED

4:00-4:40 OIHS Students Return to Hayward BART Station


Important Role of the Student Assistant

On January 7, 2014, Student Assistant Meleana Akolo gave a guest lecture on several of the theories of immigration presented in the book Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Era of Economic Integration (2002), by Massey, Durand, and Malone. The guest lecture was well prepared and informative, and it gave Ms. Akolo an opportunity to teach a college classroom. Later in the quarter, Ms. Akolo also led one of the activities from the book Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice (2007), edited by Adams, Bell, and Griffin.

Ms. Akolo has considered becoming a college professor. When she applies to graduate school, Dr. Austin will write her a letter of recommendation that highlights her skills in the classroom.


Additional DSJ Teaching Method: Use of Guest Speakers

"Cicily Cooper is a volunteer with No More Deaths." No More Deaths is an organization operating in the Sonora Desert of Arizona whose mission is to end death and suffering on the U.S./Mexico border through civil initiative. No More Deaths volunteers work openly and in community to uphold fundamental human rights by providing humanitarian assistance to migrants crossing the border. Ms. Cooper and one of her colleagues visited Dr. Austin's SOC 4800: Crossing Borders, Crossing Boundaries class during the Winter 2014 quarter to provide their personal perspectives about providing aid to migrants in the Sonora Desert. During the Winter 2014 quarter, funds from PIEL's Diversity and Social Justice Fellowship paid Ms. Cooper a modest honorarium for speaking in Dr. Austin's class.

Agent Jim Hernandez serves as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent along the California/Mexico border. Students in Dr. Austin's SOC 4800: Crossing Borders, Crossing Boundaries study issues of border security from multiple perspectives. During the Winter 2014 quarter, Agent Hernandez visited the class via video chat to discuss his personal experiences patrolling the U.S./Mexico border.

Helen Zia, PhD (Honorary), is an American journalist and scholar who has covered Asian American communities and social and political movements for decades. She is the author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People (2001), a book that students in Dr. Austin's SOC 4800: Crossing Borders, Crossing Boundaries class are required to read. During the Winter 2014 quarter, funds from PIEL's Diversity and Social Justice Fellowship paid Dr. Zia a modest honorarium for speaking in Dr. Austin's class." (from the syllabus)

  • Print This Page
  • Bookmark and Share