Encuentro Immersion

Using Catholic teaching, tradition and scripture, the Encuentro Immersion provides Catholic educators with the opportunity to examine the current reality of immigration—nationally at the U.S.-Mexico border and globally across the world. This one-credit course, offered through Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human Development, includes monthly in-person sessions and a five-day immersion experience in El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico.

"The Bishops of the United States call upon the Catholic faithful to a conversion of minds and hearts, imploring us to communion and solidarity with diverse newcomers, and entreating us to find new and meaningful ways to welcome our immigrant sisters and brothers into our parishes, schools and communities." –USCCB website

Encuentro Topics

In addition to traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border in February, course participants meet in-person on the Boston College campus the first Saturday of each month in October, November, December, February, and March. In these monthly sessions, educators are invited to examine:
  • The current political, social and economic factors affecting immigration;
  • Theories of immigrant inclusion and exclusion;
  • Sociocultural competence;
  • What makes for a culturally sustaining school;
  • Instructional techniques for language learners; and
  • Family and community engagement practices that best serve immigrant children.


Course Information



The Encuentro Immersion is designed for elementary and secondary Catholic school educators.


REGISTER here for the Enucentro Immersion.

2021-2022 Dates

  • Course participants will meet in-person on the Boston College campus from 9:00 a.m. to noon the first Saturday of each month in October, November, December, February, and March. 
  • The Encuentro Immersion will take place the week of February 20-25, 2022, which is the week of winter break for schools in Massachusetts. (Exact dates will be determined based on lodging availability in El Paso, Texas.) 


REGISTER here for the Encuentro Immersion.

Costs / Certification

Total cost for the Encuentro Immersion is $2,500 per person, which includes:

  • one credit of graduate coursework from Boston College;
  • all coursework materials:
  • roundtrip airfare to and from El Paso, Texas; and
  • food, lodgining, and transporation while at the U.S.-Mexico border


REGISTER here for the Encuentro Immersion.


Registration is limited to 16 people. 

The deadline to register is August 1.

REGISTER here for the Enucentro Immersion.

About the Facilitator: Melodie Wyttenbach, Ph.D.

Melodie Wyttenbach

Dr. Melodie Wyttenbach is director of the Roche Center for Catholic Education, Boston College. Melodie has served in various leadership roles, always in service to Catholic schools. Most recently she was a faculty member and academic director for the Remick Leadership Program at the University of Notre Dame, and prior to that, served in urban Catholic schools as president, principal, and teacher. Melodie presents nationally on topics such as Catholic School Governance and Effective Board Management, Strategic Planning, Development and Enrollment Management Strategies, and Making Schools Culturally Competent for New and Existing Latino Families. She has a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.