Seminars & Immersion Simulations
Whether short, half-day or multi-day seminars, Forage Center programs strengthen students' knowledge of humanitarian and peacebuilding work in a safe, closed environment.
Empowering Emerging Humanitarians
The Forage Center partners with colleges, universities, and organizations to deliver custom training, programming, and events centered on empowering emerging humanitarians. Whether that's short or half-day in-person and/or virtual seminars or multiday immersion simulations, our programs are designed to provide students with competency-based training such as negotiation techniques, communication styles, humanitarian competencies, or peacebuilding approaches.
During our annual multiday immersion simulation field exercise students travel to Costero, a fictional country, and meet with their team, stakeholders, NGOs, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) while planning for long-term humanitarian assistance to IDPs. Over 500 students have participated over the last 20 years.
Additional programs and sessions can be taught by Forage Center staff as "Forage Corps training officers" or as skillset trainings without a connection to the Forage Corps immersion scenario.
Our half-day programs allow students to act as Forage Corps staff members and meet with role players portraying community stakeholders in Costero. Students gather information from stakeholders and engage in Forage Corps planning meetings. Students are also asked to participate in reflection sessions out of character to discuss learning objectives and lessons.
Objectives and Evaluation
Forage Center training objectives reflect the humanitarian standards and protection principles set forth by the 2018 Sphere Handbook and professional standards published by the International Committee of the Red Cross and other organizations. Exercises are designed with the needs of faculty and training staff in mind — more specifically, with an understanding that our partners often require demonstration of mastery of skills or alignment with other education and curriculum goals. Our activities are designed to encourage students and practitioners to consider how their actions form part of a larger humanitarian response, how they can empower community stakeholders, and why it is critical to consider the larger historical context of understanding crisis escalation and the sustainability of humanitarian assistance.
Learning objectives are measured directly through observational assessment by Forage Center training staff, and participants will be asked to complete self-report questionnaires to assess learning through indirect assessment data. Forage Center staff have obtained Institutional Review Board approval to collect these data to assess our own curricular design and contribute to the growing body of peer-reviewed literature covering experiential teaching and learning.
If faculty members from our participating institutions would like to collaborate with Forage Center staff on a particular aspect of data analysis, these opportunities can be explored.
The land of the Forage Center's training facility in Western Maryland was once the traditional home of the Massawomeck and other Indigenous people. We are grateful to work, live, and educate here, and are committed to donating 10% of the net revenue from our programs held on this land to Indigenous causes.
2023: Forage Center Exercise Tests Students’ Abilities to Deal with Humanitarian Need
2022: Immersive Humanitarian Response and Disaster Relief Training Resumes in Maryland
2021: In-person Programming Resumes With Simulation at Arcadia University