The Refugee Collaborative
The Refugee Collaborative is a group of campus and community leaders who meet on a quarterly basis to promote the following goals:
- assist refugees in rebuilding successful lives in Southwestern Idaho,
- educate our students and our community toward these efforts, and
- make the resources of Boise State fully accessible to refugees in Idaho.
This initiative was launched in August, 2009 by the Boise State Provost and Executive Director of Mountain States Group (now JANNUS) to further a mutually beneficial partnership. The current memorandum of agreement (see in the next section) outlines the activities of the group.
Membership has grown to include the Executive Directors of all local refugee resettlement agencies, and campus leaders representing experiential learning, curriculum development, research and grants, and student support.
Please contact Mike Stefancic for more information.
Memorandum of Understanding
Boise State University (Boise State)* and leaders of the refugee resettlement community desire to further a mutually beneficial partnership.
Boise State with Jannus, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and other listed agencies** (referred to as agencies) share common interests and a commitment to assisting refugees to rebuild their lives and contribute to the greater community. This includes educating our students and our community toward these efforts and making the resources of Boise State fully accessible to refugees in Idaho.
- Using asset-based approaches to build upon the strengths of the individual, agency and university.
- Leveraging shared resources for mutually beneficial outcomes.
- Focusing on capacity building to build more resilient and sustainable communities.
Boise State* commits to:
- Sponsoring and participating in the annual Northwest Conference on Resettlement
- Hosting Refugee resettlement partner workshops and educational opportunities
- Provide experiential learning opportunities that align with agency needs that, include (internship, service-learning, work-study, and project-based)
- Identifying a co-lead of the group who is a full-time employee at the university.
- Share data on metrics for success according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
- Provide a welcoming environment on campus to students with refugee backgrounds.
- Offer one minor or major certificate covering the Global (or Local) Refugee Experience.
- Share refugee resettlement research and new content knowledge development
- Commitment to providing transparency to the university network of individuals and coordinating outreach/request for partnership
Refugee Resettlement agencies** commit to:
- They provide quarterly updates on the resettlement process through their website and invite to community coordination meetings.
- Host Boise State faculty, staff, and students in experiential learning opportunities
- Identifying a co-lead of the group who is a full-time employee at one of the listed agencies
- Provide expert knowledge on the refugee resettlement process through speakers with lived experience and/or community members who are subject matter experts.
- Provide feedback on the performance of partnership principles
- Organized opportunities for engagement and provided clear pathways for requests.
(*) Boise State leadership includes representatives from the following offices: Provost, Center for Global Education, Service-Learning Program, Admissions, Advising, Student Affairs, and representatives from every college.
** Jannus includes (Global Talent, English Language Center, Idaho Office for Refugees, and Agency for New Americans) and International Refugee Committee, One Refugee, Idaho Museum of International Diaspora.
Metrics of success to achieve in the next year:
- Expand programs and support services for prospective and current college students who identify themselves with a refugee past or refugee family background.
- Expand service-learning, work-study, and internship opportunities for Boise State students to work with refugee populations
- Sponsor and participate in an annual conference on refugee issues that addresses the needs and interests of Boise State faculty and students, refugees, governmental agencies, school districts, health care organizations, social service agencies, employment programs, and others.
- Identify collaborative research projects regarding refugee issues using mutually developed protocols for considering potential research studies; pursue grants that might be available for such research.
- Increase campus and public awareness through publications, media, events, and other joint activities about and with people who arrived as refugees.
- Support existing and potential certificate programs and other academic offerings in refugee services and refugee studies that prepare students of all majors with diverse perspectives.
- Cultivate a commitment from Boise State campus leaders to support faculty access to local community resources that provide opportunities to infuse global perspectives in the classroom.
- Cultivate a commitment to inclusion among Boise State and community leaders with a particular focus on students with a refugee background.
- Advance the vision that Jannus, the IRC, and Boise State together can become an important resource for addressing refugee resettlement successes, serving Idaho and beyond.