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The Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement, and Education is an initiative between Vassar College, Bard-Annandale and Bard-Berlin colleges, Bennington College, Sarah Lawrence College, The New School, and the Council for European Studies. Founded in 2016 and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Consortium seeks to explore while role institutions of higher education can play in addressing issues of unprecedented global migration and forced displacement.


At the center of the initiative is a shared curriculum in Migration and Displacement Studies, which is designed to harness the energy and ideas of the Consortium’s students and faculty, and offer rigorous, community-engaged courses across all of our campuses. The Consortium organizes related scholarly conferences, lecture series, teaching labs, student-initiated projects, international study, research opportunities, and more with the goal of creating a well-rounded, historically, geographically, and disciplinarily-comprehensive understanding of migration. The Consortium is committed to learning with and from displaced people, as well as to developing digital, transnational classrooms in an effort to find democratic solutions to this global challenge of migration and displacement.

New Americans Summer Program

Vassar has developed a signature project that is housed in the Urban Education Initiative that reflects long-standing commitments to make education more accessible. Vassar College’s “New Americans” engages Vassar faculty and students in direct work with forcibly displaced individuals. The program introduces refugee and migrant youth who have been resettled in the U.S. in the past few years to the liberal arts, and aims to prepare them for the college application process. The summer program builds on Vassar’s substantial experience with existing transition programs that make higher education accessible to previously underserved populations: Exploring College, Exploring Transfer, the Vassar Posse programs for US veterans, and the newly launched initiative to establish a “Vassar-Dutchess Community College Scholars Transition” program. Read more about the first session of New Americans.