Jesuit Worldwide Learning: Higher Education at the Margins (JWL) is a collaborative global partnership comprised of organizations, institutions, companies and, above all, people, to provide tertiary education to those who would otherwise not have access to higher learning opportunities. It draws on the rich and centuries long Jesuit tradition of higher education and through a blended on-site and on-line approach mobilizes the resources of Jesuit and other worldwide networks of educational institutions.
Work accomplished from many volunteers, strong on-site and virtual partnerships, a lean executive team and the commitment from the students over the past five years continues to move JWL forward in achieving its mission: “Learning Together to Transform the World”.
In 2010, a private donor supported a three-year pilot project which became known as Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins (JC:HEM). During the pilot phase, JC:HEM developed a sustainable, scalable, transferrable model to ensure those who live at the margins have access to higher education. In this phase, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) was the sole on-site partner, and two academic programs were developed to serve students: The Diploma of Liberal Studies and Community Service Learning Tracks (CSLTs). The programs were developed through input from refugees and host community members, and with input from JRS, faculty, and Universities.
Since 2010, in partnership with JRS, professors and Universities around the world, more than 1,900 students have studied in JC:HEM programs, 28% of whom are women and 14% from the local populations.
In the JWL virtual global classroom students are in sections of 15 students for each course. Of the fifteen students, 8 to 10 countries are represented, with Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and local religions represented. As students learn together in the virtual classroom, the curriculum transformation integrates authors and literature representative of middle-eastern thought, western ideas, African theories, Asian principles, Latin American wisdom, and more. The transformation of each course, linked to the final learning outcomes of the program, gives life to the JWL Mission: Learning Together to Transform the world.