University of Portland Bulletin 2020-2021

Sojourner Scholar Certificate Program

Eduardo R. Contreras, Ed.D., Assistant Provost for International Education, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Sojourner Scholar Program is a certification program that allows students various pathways within their degree programs to demonstrate the highest level of the University’s Global and Intercultural Learning Outcomes. A Sojourner Scholar is prepared to work in the world on global issues with care and understanding for the complexity of human interactions and how they are expressed in cultures around the world. A Sojourner Scholar can use a second language confidently as a means of bridging cultures and developing empathy and shared understanding in a variety of contexts.

Elements of the Program:

Second-language proficiency and significant intercultural and international undergraduate experiences are key components of the program. Sojourner Scholars will work closely with a faculty mentor in their degree programs to create a pathway and to present their experiences and work to the University of Portland community.


I. Language Requirement: 

All Sojourner Scholars must demonstrate proficiency in at least one language other than English. This is defined as achieving the equivalent of Intermediate High in French, Intermediate High in Spanish, Intermediate High in German according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, or for other languages the equivalent level according to the Defense Language Institute.


II. Required Courses:

All Sojourner Scholars will be required to take:

  1. POL 205 World Politics — 3 credit hours
  2. An intercultural competence course from the following — 3 credit hours:
  • SW/SOC 325 Cultural Diversity and Cultural Competence
  • CST 431 Intercultural Communication and Identity
  • CST 411 Communication Across Barriers
  • CST 432 Gender and International Development.

Other intercultural competence courses may be added to this list upon petition to the CISGO Executive Committee.

  1. One course in Political Science or History from the following — 3 credit hours
  1. Prior to the first study abroad experience, Sojourner Scholars must take CHN/FRN/GRM/SPN 191 Maximizing Study Abroad — 1 credit hour
  2. Sojourner Scholar Seminar. In this seminar, students will create a portfolio that will demonstrate how they have accomplished the outcomes of the program. — 1 credit hour

 Total credit hours of required courses: 11

*Note: In the case that a student has completed a course that is equivalent to a required course, the student may submit a petition for a Sojourner Scholars course exception to the Executive Board of the Collaborative for International Studies and Global Outreach (CISGO.)


III. Courses in students' degree programs (6 credit hours). Some or all of these courses may be taken abroad.

Students in CAS:

Two additional courses from the following (6 credit hours total):

Note: Professional school students with a second major in the College of Arts & Sciences may follow the CAS pathway or the pathway associated with their primary major.


Students in Pamplin School of Business:

Two additional courses from the following (6 credit hours total):

Students in School of Nursing:

Two additional courses/sections (6 credit hours total):

One NRS 4XX - specific course will be developed to meet the criteria for the program. The second course will be designated separate sections of NRS 440 Social Justice and Population Health. These courses will explore the differences in healthcare culture and delivery in other countries, and specifically evaluate the health outcomes of those in the target population.

Additionally, the following opportunity is available to upper division nursing students:

  • Participation in the capstone experience with Faith in Practice

Students in School of Education:

Two additional courses from the following (6 credit hours total):

Note: Specific programs within these schools may develop special pathways by petitioning the CISGO Executive Board.


IV. Abroad Experiences:

All Sojourner Scholars must have at least one significant international/intercultural experience meeting the requirements described below. In some cases, a student may have two or more international/intercultural experiences none of which by themselves meet the requirements, but which taken together are able to do so. It is the responsibility of the student to make the case in the portfolio that the learning outcomes have been met through the conjunction of these experiences.

  1. Experiences must meet 4 of the 7 criteria for the Sojourner Level of Immersion listed here:
    1. Duration — 12 weeks to one year
    2. Required language  — work or instruction is conducted mostly in the host language
    3. Faculty (or supervisor) interaction — mostly host faculty or supervisor, e.g., direct university enrollment with host faculty
    4. Course work — advanced course work in host language only
    5. Mentoring or guided cultural reflection — orientation, re-entry program, ongoing reflection program, and required participation in-country activities or mentorship
    6. Experiential learning initiatives — extensive community service, volunteering, local club activities, language exchange, etc.
    7. Housing — homestay, international student dorm, or host roommate
  2. The student may combine several abroad experiences in making their case for Sojourner designation.

Note: If the student’s destination host language is English, students will be asked to describe the ways in which American English differs from the English spoken in their host country in an essay that demonstrates their understanding of the nuances between different types of English. For Sojourner Scholar designation, the student who studies in an English-speaking country will also need to demonstrate proficiency in a language that is not English.

V. Portfolio

All Sojourner Scholars will compile a portfolio of work (which will include a final paper) that they will use to document how they have achieved the learning outcomes of the program. Their Sojourner faculty mentor will advise them in putting together the experiences and documentation that will form their portfolio. Additionally, the one-credit Sojourner Scholar Seminar will support and guide them in assembling their portfolio. The CISGO Executive Board will evaluate the completed portfolios and students will present their portfolios in a public presentation open to the University of Portland community.

For further information, contact the Collaborative for International Studies and Global Outreach (CISGO), 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798, (503) 943-7857, or