The Fischer Institute: Bringing International and Cultural Learning to the Campus and Beyond

Every year, Nichols students are exposed to a variety of cultural events through The Fischer Institute. The Institute provides events and activities that enable students to expand their cultural horizons and examine important events and issues from a different perspective.

For example, last spring offerings ranged from a film screening and discussion about the war in Uganda, a Poetry Showcase featuring guest poets, a performance by Tibetan monks, and an outdoor acoustic guitar concert that showcased Nichols students.

This past spring, we looked at the program and discussed the ways we could benefit our students and also offer a quality program. We used to require 28 cultural credits for students to graduate. Given that high number, it meant that it was difficult to offer significant, in-depth opportunities for students. With the reduction in number of cultural credits to 16, the change should provide a rebirth of the Institute while maintaining its core values, mission, and purpose, i.e., to enhance the business curriculum by broadening student awareness of public policy and other issues.

Another benefit of the program is its ability to focus on current issues and link to class curriculum. The on-campus CCCI (Cross Campus Critical Issues) program and a number of classes will focus on the theme of Income Disparity and Social Mobility. Given that this is an election year, later this fall the Institute and several faculty members will be organizing activities with the goal of encouraging students to engage in the political process.

I believe it is imperative that all students attain some degree of cultural sensitivity. Fortunately, here at Nichols this can be achieved through study abroad or on-campus activities that provide insights into different cultures. The Fischer Institute’s approach to critical issues such as business practices, diversity and equal opportunity, access to education for all citizens, and key economic and social issues in geographic regions around the world benefit our students immeasurably.

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