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TCSPP explores ‘Identity in Context’ study abroad course and trek to South Africa

TCS International (TCS) brings together five universities—including TCSPP—for a cross-disciplinary, three-month course and 10-day, study abroad experience in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Faculty Dr. Cynthia Langtiw discusses ways to enrich this experience.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is offering the opportunity for faculty and students to travel to Cape Town and Johannesburg for 10 days as part of a three-month online course called “Identity in Context: Examination of South Africa.” The Fall 2018 interdisciplinary course will offer participants the opportunity to learn more about psychological, social, educational, legal, and healthcare perspectives from other working professionals and students with the help of TCS Education.

Dr. Cynthia Langtiw

“I recommend every single one of our students take a trip abroad, specifically a course abroad,” says Dr. Cynthia Langtiw, an associate professor in TCSPP’s clinical psychology department. “There’s so much that we can learn in this program, and studying abroad gives us the chance to learn on a community level. As a clinical/community psychologist, that’s really important to me. Even in an American context with an American lens, it’s important to broaden one’s lens. Expansion of perspectives and the deepening of learning is why international courses are so important.”

While this will be Dr. Langtiw’s first study abroad course, it won’t be her last. The Haitian American professor has her eyes set on expanding community mental health across the globe in the Caribbean and the African diaspora. After recently earning a small grant from Faculty Development and Promotion Committees at The Chicago School, as well as an internationalization grant from TCS Education System, first on her checklist is to create a course in Ghana.

She visited the University of Ghana and the University of Cape Coast in 2017 and plans to complete her overseas course by the summer or fall of 2019.

“When I was there in December 2017, I provided workshops on trauma-informed care and qualitative psychology,” says Dr. Langtiw. “I plan to develop trainings on trauma-informed care, as well as global and professional identity components. And with respect to the course that we’ll be teaching in South Africa, the online portion of the course is almost entirely about learning who each individual in the course is with respect to themselves and their personal and professional identity. South Africa is unique in that there’s been so many rapid changes over the last 20 years post-apartheid.”  

Dr. Langtiw is also looking forward to seeing how students from different professions can collaborate with each other.

“Ideally once the course is complete, our law school students at The Colleges of Law will have a different view of the law,” she says. “And our psychology students will have a different view of psychology. The same goes for education students at Pacific Oaks and nursing students at the Dallas Nursing Institute. The beauty of this course is that we will all be learning from each other.”

The online course, which is scheduled to run from October 5, 2018 to December 16, 2018, has a sign-up deadline of August 1, 2018. Topics in the course will include acculturation and impact on families; cultural competency; advocacy; legal aspects; and mental health.

Faculty leads representing each school include Dr. Theopia Jackson, Saybrook University’s department chair for the Clinical Psychology program; Dr. Marcia Bankirer, the dean of Pacific Oaks’ San Jose, California campus; Dr. Iris Hobson, an ADN instructor for Dallas Nursing Institute; Jason Dominguez, J.D., an adjunct faculty member for The Colleges of Law’s Master of Legal Studies program; and Dr. Langtiw.

Last year, a Saybrook alumna and TCSPP faculty and students also participated in a 10-day trip to South Africa during the Online Ed.D. in Educational Psychology and Technology course.

This will be the second cross-study course for TCS Education System colleges. The first trip that all five universities participated in was a trip to Berlin, Germany for the “Immigration in Context: Examination of Germany” course in 2016.



For more information on the “Identity in Context: Examination of South Africa” course and/or to sign up, click here.

Shamontiel L. Vaughn

Shamontiel L. Vaughn joined TCS Education System’s Marketing Department as the Editorial Writer in February 2017. She has previously worked in digital media with the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Defender, CBS Chicago, and Sun Times Network.


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