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Custom Faculty-led Programs Interview with Professor José Henry Pino, Mercer University

  1. Why did your group choose to go to (destination) for a faculty-led program?

We all chose it because of the quality of the programs and the safety/security aspects of each one. At the same time, all my students loved the activities included in the programs and the service learning work that was prepared/organized by Spanish Studies Abroad.

  1. What were the key elements of the program and what educational outcomes were you hoping to attain?

The Service Learning and the medical aspects of the programs were not only fundamental, but also related to our educational outcomes. Two of the educational outcomes that were achieved through SSA are the following:

  1. To identify and analyze health issues (Explore level) related to the Hispanic community, especially in Havana, Cuba, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  2. To develop critical thinking and problem solving skills through their Service Learning.
  3. Do you feel that you were able to achieve the educational outcomes that you sought?

Yes, students demonstrated it through field journals, class presentations regarding solutions (proposals) to problems seen within the community, journals, class discussions, observations and reflections.

  1. What were your expectations for Spanish Studies Abroad’s assistance in this trip?

Spanish Studies Abroad has been the best and the ones who really take into account our students interests and needs, so I was just confident. I know they do a great job from day 1, which is helping teachers writing the proposals, then preparing the program, organizing everything, accompanying the group, etc. until the last day, which is helping them again writing the final reports.

  1. Did SSA meet or exceed those expectations? If so, how?

They exceeded our expectations because they went beyond what was on the contract and their duties. My students told me that they were always available and ready for any situation or request. I also liked the good & strong rapport they established with my students.  Their work, assistance and preparedness for emergencies or unexpected situations were the best.

  1. Is this the type of trip that you think you will repeat in the future?

Yes, definitely

  1. Would you be willing to give us a quote about SSA’s support during the trip?

Again, Spanish Studies Abroad has been the best and the ones who really take into account our students interests and needs. At the same time, the kind & friendly people of SSA make a big difference. In fact, all my students stated that the quality of the program, including safety & security, the rapport, and their support during the whole program were just great.


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