Dominican Republic

June 26 - July 10, 2006

Proposed Course Outline and Expenses



Course Description:


This 3 credit course is designed to provide an introduction to the analysis of social policies in the Dominican Republic through an understanding of the Sociocultural/political history of the Dominican Republic and includes a 2 week field experience.  It will provide an opportunity for the comparison of U.S (or other country of origin/interest of the student) and DR systems of government in promoting the socioeconomic development for the well-being of the populace.  The field experience provides an opportunity to research social policy planning issues and visit agencies and institutions (both government and nongovernment [NGO]) delivering services as well as historical and cultural settings.  The required classroom hours will also be available on-line for those who are unable to attend class sessions prior to and after the field experience.  The class is a joint project between the Community College of Rhode Island and the University of Rhode Island.



            William J. Pellicio, LICSW, LCDP

            Associate Professor

            Community College of Rhode Island

            400 East Avenue

            Warwick, Rhode Island 02886


            phone: 401-825-1125

            fax:  401-825-1127


Course Objectives:


  1. Knowledge Objectives
    1. Understand comparative social policy analysis by contrasting USA (or country of interest) and DR policies of human services and socioeconomic development.
    2. Understand and contrast the goals, objectives, policies and programs of the USA (or country of interest) and DR in the context of social policy planning.
    3. Relate the structure of each socioeconomic system to its societal goals, policies and programs.
    4. Understand the socioeconomic dynamics of policy field research in a foreign country.


B.  Value Objectives

1.  Appreciate ideology, values and cultural differences in the context of   social policy planning.

2.  Appreciate the applicability of distributive justice, equality, and self-determination in the design of social policy in each system.

3.  Develop an appreciation for the organization and delivery of services in different forms of government.


            C.  Skill Objectives

1.  Develop skills in policy field research; including observation,   interviewing, data collection, analysis and synthesis, and identification of cultural diversity.

2.  Develop skills in comparative social policy planning.

3.  Function constructively on a social policy planning team.

4.  Identify ideological and cultural imperatives in policy analysis.

      5. Construct a synthesis of research findings, and develop an ability to see  

      the total picture from observing its parts.


Course Requirements:


A.     Participants will select area of research study and form research teams (where applicable):


1.      Health

2.      Education

3.      Housing and Urban Development

4.      Economic Development

5.      Social Welfare

6.      Criminal Justice


B.     Each research team will present research findings prior to field experience that include:


1.      Literature review of policies in the DR

2.      Goals of field research

3.      Sources of information in the field

4.      Expectations in the field (findings, difficulties, hopes)

5.      Outline of proposed research plan in the field


C.     Field Research:


1.      Each team will be responsible for facilitating meetings/lectures with the agencies and individuals held in the field, including specific questions to be asked, research to be obtained, follow-up sessions needed, alternative resources, etc.  (All agency meetings and lectures will be set up by staff prior to arrival.  A team may also request a meeting with a particular agency, institution, or individual if they are important to the teamís area of study).

2.      Each team will be responsible for obtaining the information necessary to effectively reach policy analysis goals.

3.      Each team will be responsible for reflection/process session following the agency visit/lecture with the class.


D.     Research Report and Presentation:


1.      Each team will provide a written report and class presentation that includes:

a.       Experience in DR

b.      Critical analysis-synthesis of research data and findings

c.       Key social and economic strategies and the role of key institutions in the development process

d.      Comparative policy analysis

E.  On-line course participants will have the opportunity of working together through WEBCT managed email, bulletin, board and chat rooms.  The WEBCT course management tool will provide the opportunity for both on-line and in-class participants to work together and participate in the research projects.



Proposed course schedule:


Class meetings:


            Five 3 hour meetings prior to departure for DR (Sessions 1-5) and two 3 hour meetings on return (Sessions 6 and 7)


  1. Session No. 1:  


a)      Introduction to the course

b)      Formation of task forces

c)      Selection of class presentations

d)      Defining social policy

e)      Comparative social policy

f)        Geography of the Dominican Republic



  1. Session No. 2:


a)      Social policy as process

b)      Analysis of social policy

c)      History of Dominican Republic

d)      Afro-Caribbean history and race relations

e)      Government of Dominican Republic

f)        The Constitution of the Dominican Republic

g)      Guidelines for field research


  1. Session No. 3


a)      Concepts in public policy decision making

b)      Economics of the Dominican Republic

c)      Team presentations

d)      Guidelines for field research


  1. Session No. 4:


a)      Contrasts in social policy decision making

b)      Culture and people of the Dominican Republic

c)      Afro-Caribbean culture

d)      Team presentations

e)      Guidelines for field research


  1. Session No. 5:


a)      Team presentations

b)      Guidelines for field research

c)      Guidelines and preparation for traveling to DR


  1. Session No. 6:


a)      Process field experience

b)      Team presentations of field research


  1. Session No. 7:

a)      Team presentations of field research

b)      Final research papers submitted

c)      Course evaluations and wrap-up



Proposed Field Sites in Dominican Republic:


    1. Santo Domingo

a)      Courts, Jail

b)      Public Hospital

c)      Casa Rosada (Orphanage for children with HIV)

d)      Organismo Rector (Office of Child and Family Protection)

e)      La Universidad de la Tercera Edad (UTE)

f)        Visits to Ministries (or lectures by representatives from): Health, Education, Welfare, Housing

g)      Colonial City (History, culture and politics)


    1. Santiago

a)      Psychiatric Hospital (Dr. Ramon Gomez Estrella, Centro Medico Cibao

b)      Culture and arts events


    1. Costanza

a)      Visit to a community cooperative (horticulture and agriculture)

b)      Lecture: Tomas Villman


    1. South DR

a)      Delivery of services in poorer areas of the country

b)      Visits to NGOs and government programs


    1. Altos de Chavon

a)      Visit University

b)      Influences of tourism in the Dominican Republic

c)      Two nights on ocean prior to return to US for processing experience, debriefing, and team planning of research reports



Approximate Fee:  $1600.00  

Includes:  All  tuition fees, lodging, meals, ground transportation, interpreter and site visits in Dominican Republic.


Does not include:  Airfare is not included