Integral Field Course This November in El Salvador
August 14, 2007 08:00

From our dear friend Gail Hochachka:

Dear Ken,

This November, we are offering an Integral Field Course to complement the on campus and online courses at JFKU. I wanted to send you information on this, to see if you could post it on your blog for the integral community to check out. These field courses will ideally run every year, with this inaugural course taking place in El Salvador this fall.

We already have nine students committed to taking the course, and hope for more. Students at other universities can take this and transfer credits to their home program, and non-degree students can also take this by registering through Continuing Education at JFKU.

Vernice Solimar and I are organizing and teaching it. We are partnering with two Salvadoran organizations (one of whom has followed your writing very closely and uses an Integral approach in community development work, and the other is the leading environmental organization in the country.)

The full information is attached. Sean thought it would be something of interest to people who reads your blog; we really hope you can post it there!

We are very excited by this course offering! It creates a unique space for learning, integration, and service. If you have any thoughts or suggestions for how we can develop this curriculum, please let me know.

Thanks so much....


Gail Hochachka
Integral Studies Department
John F. Kennedy University


Integral Field Courses
Learn how Integral Action can serve the planet.

“Wilber issues a clarion call to liberate all perspectives into an integral chorus of inclusion-in-diversity. He invites everyone to be Spirit in this world, to be in compassionate relationship with all beings and their perspectives, and to be able to take on viewpoints that differ from or contradict one’s own. All individuals are embedded in communities of understanding, which create various horizons of meaning. The interplay of these horizons of meaning is what gives the global village such a dynamic potential and why an integral understanding of Being-in-the-World is so essential.”

(The Simple Feeling of Being, p. 197)

JFKU’s Integral Field Courses offer students opportunities to apply Integral Theory to real-world situations.

Field courses will be offered annually, highlighting different countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. They are coordinated in partnership with organizations from the global south and are connected to local community projects. They offer students opportunities to work dynamically with global issues using the Integral Model, to learn about the dynamic potential of the global village, and to deepen an integral understanding of Being-in-the-World.

The inaugural integral field course takes place November 15-25th, 2007 in El Salvador.

This two-unit elective offered by the Integral Studies Department will focus on individual, community, and environmental well-being in a global context. Students will learn about issues that range in scope, such as post-conflict and healing; environmental degradation and sustainability; food security and organic agriculture; self-empowerment and gender equity.

The field course will involve:

  • Deep and applied learning of integral applications through daily activities, field lectures, assigned projects, and experiential practices.
  • A focus on self-development, critical thinking, integration of theoretical experiences, and self-awareness practices.
  • Community building with students and teachers, as well as with the organizations and people we visit.



Place: El Salvador

Dates: November 15-25, 2007, with one Friday evening meeting prior and two meetings upon return (online students will do an online equivalent).

Cost: $1550 Includes airfare, accommodation, transportation within the country, drinking water, some food expenses, and coordination of activities.It does not include JFKU tuition. Note: the cost may increase or decrease slightly depending on the number of students enrolled AND the cost will differ for students who purchase their own plane ticket. Students will be required to cover their own personal costs, such as medical insurance, gifts, refreshments, recreation, some food expenses, and extra-curricular activities. Please note all students are REQUIRED to have country-specific vaccinations prior to leaving.

Who should take this field course? Individuals interested in how Integral Theory is, or can be, applied to pertinent issues in today’s world, such as: coaches, consultants, activists, and other social change agents. This course is also open to non-degree students who enroll via Continuing Education at JFKU for a reduced tuition. Please call Gail Hochachka (925) 969-3137 or (510) 552-1017 for more information.

Academic credits: This is as a two-unit course. Depending on your program of study, this course can be credited as an elective, professional development, or in lieu of a core course. Please speak with your program director about how this can align intelligently with your particular program of study.

Grade evaluation criteria: Participation in field lectures, daily activities, and experiential exercises; Journal Assignments (short writing assignments during course); Small Group Work in an applied learning format while in El Salvador; and a Final Presentation which occurs upon return and involves a sharing circle with the JFKU community. Draft of syllabus available upon request.

Prerequisites: (please contact faculty if it is unclear.)
For on-campus, online, non-degree or continuing education students: sufficient cross-cultural experience and familiarity with Integral Theory, to be determined by faculty.
For on-campus students: Social and Cultural Psychology and Integral Psychology A
For on-line students: Cultural Development and Intro to Integral Theory-Five Elements.

Pre-readings: Will be expected of the students and reading lists will be provided at the first meeting.

How to Apply: Please write a two-page essay question. The essay question is: Describe your understanding of what an Integral Approach consists of and relate that with a specific global issue that is of primary concern to you. The essay question must be 1.5 spaced and submitted to Gail Hochachka as soon as possible. Late-comers are welcome but will only be accepted according to availability of space in the course.

Faculty Bios:

picVernice Solimar—the playfully erudite, salsa dancing social activist and integral academic—is chair of the Integral Studies Department at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California. Overseeing the three MA programs offered in the department (Consciousness Studies, Holistic Health Education and Integral Psychology), she has been among the first to incorporate the AQAL model into an accredited university's course curriculum. Vernice's passionate inquiry into human development and the nature of consciousness, and her pursuit of an in-depth application of the integral vision to personal and social transformation has taken her around the world to study cross-cultural spiritual practices and global diversity. With no shortage of adventures under her belt, she has traveled as far as the Ecaudorian rainforest and the mountains of Peru to live with several indigenous communities and healers in order to more fully investigate and refine her understanding of the relationship between body and spirit.

AppleMarkGail Hochachka is core faculty of JFKU’s Integral Psychology Program; Co-Director of Integral International Development Centre of Integral Institute; and Founder/Program Director of the Canadian NGO Drishti–Centre for Integral Action. She has been engaged with an Integral approach in sustainable development for seven years working in El Salvador, Peru, Ethiopia, and Nigeria, building capacity for integral praxis in the field of sustainable development, and carrying out research and writing on an Integral approach to global issues. Much of her work is documented in various publications such as World Futures Journal and AQAL Journal, including a book entitled Developing Sustainability, Developing the Self: An Integral Approach to International and Community Development. These experiences and inquiry suggest that the most comprehensive work in sustainable development co-arises in resonance with the astounding complexity of the world today, with the evolution of our depth in all dimensions, as well as with the radical recognition of Spirit in this and every moment.


For more information, contact:

Gail Hochachka
925-969-3137 or 510-552-1017


Integral Field Courses are experientially grounded, academically rigorous,
and dynamically intertwined with our world.


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