In the summer of 2015, the Center successfully launched the Summer Peacebuilding Program (SPP), a three-week long intensive training program designed to bridge the theory and practice of building peace in societies that are emerging from conflict, violence or war.

SPP 2015 built on the ‘Peace’ dimension that was explored for two years (2013 and 2014) in the Peace, Trade and Development program.

The 17 SPP participants came from very diverse backgrounds and with varied interests. Nine UWC participants received full scholarship for this program. Over a span of three weeks, participants had the opportunity to learn from the experiences and approaches of our faculty and lecturers who work on some of the most difficult challenges our world faces today, including: resolving conflict, ending all forms of violence, providing social justice, and creating more secure and developed societies by transforming the conditions and relationships of conflict.

Classes ran from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm with a few breaks including a lunch break. A significant number of evenings included lecturers from leading practitioners.

Sites visits included interactions with Ranch Cielo, Salinas, the Salinas Police Department, Salinas Valley State Prison and the Ceasefire group in Oakland.

As part of skills training, participants worked on a real world challenge question. These challenge questions were given by four organizations - Partners for Democratic Change, International Rescue Committee, CAO office of the World Bank and the Catholic Relief Services. Participants received feedback from these organizations on their approach, their strategies and methods for resolving these conflicts.

This blog maintained by the participants and this podcast put together by a participant will provide details of their experiences and will also serve as a testimonial of our transformative program.

SPP Date & Venue

The 2015 program ran from July 27 to August 14, 2015. The first and second week of SPP was held at the MIIS campus in Monterey with a lodging option within walking distance to campus. The third week of SPP was residential at the Mount Madonna Center in Watsonville, CA.

SPP 2015 Faculty

SPP core faculty and lecturers were a mix of scholars and practitioners from various academic institutions, policy think tanks, NGO leaders and social activists. Dr. Pushpa Iyer, Director of the Center for Conflict Studies and Associate Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS), is the lead coordinator of the SPP.

SPP Admission

Below was our admission criteria for 2015:

  1. Proficiency in English language
  2. Academic or equivalent work experience
  3. Clear personal and career goals
  4. Ability to meet SPP financial requirements

SPP Certificate

Participants received a Certificate of Completion from the Center for Conflict Studies.

SPP Program Cost

The SPP program cost, which covered lodging for three weeks, board for week one and all course related expenses for three weeks was USD 3500.

Course Fee for Middlebury College (Vermont) Students was USD 3000.

Non-residential course fees for MIIS (Monterey) students was USD 2000.

Students had the option to receive academic credits for the program (paying additional tuition fees as required by their own educational institution). MIIS conflict resolution certificate students could count some of these credits towards required practice credits.

SPP Scholarships

There were two types of scholarships available:

  1. An early bird discount. Those applying before midnight on March 1, 2015 can take USD 250 off the program cost.
  2. Two merit scholarships of USD 500 available to highly qualified and deserving candidates.

The two scholarships could not be combined.