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

TCS International (TCS) brings together five universities—The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law, Pacific Oaks College, Dallas Nursing Institute, and Saybrook University—for a cross-disciplinary, three-month course and 10-day, study abroad experience in Cape Town and Johannesburg. COL faculty Jason Dominguez, J.D., discusses ways to enrich this experience.


The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law 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.” Open to Rising 4L students, the Fall 2018 interdisciplinary course will offer participants the opportunity to learn more about psychological, social, educational, legal, and health care perspectives from other working professionals and students with the help of TCS Education.

Jason Dominguez, J.D.

“It’s important to be exposed to different ideas and concepts, and to learn about different cultures and ways of thinking about and approaching life,” says Jason Dominguez, J.D., an adjunct faculty member for COL’s Master of Legal Studies program.

This will be Dominguez’s second time traveling to Africa. He was once a legal officer in West Africa who worked on humanitarian law and war crimes for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal.

For the upcoming course, he will be the COL faculty lead, teaching a module on how law shapes one’s identity and culture while working with staff to make sure the activities map to the syllabus and learning outcomes.

In the case of COL students who are interested in this course, Dominguez says, “I think legal and nonlegal students will benefit from seeing a very different system of law. The American system is based on common law. And the South African system is based on civil law, which goes back to Napoleonic code. Those are the two dominant categories of law in the world. It’s important that people in the northern hemisphere have a chance to meet with people in the southern hemisphere, who may have a completely different way of looking at the world.”  

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; Dr. Cynthia Langtiw, an associate professor in The Chicago School’s Clinical Psychology department; and Dominguez.

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.

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