The Global Competence Committee was formed last academic year to address Goal #5 of the university’s strategic plan which is to achieve distinction in globalizing the university. The committee focused on creating educational experiences and programs for students that prepare them to be successful in an increasingly interconnected and globally oriented world.
The committee made major progress under Sara Weigle’s leadership. It defined global competence, developed a Global Education Initiative, and expanded the definition of what it means to undertake an International Signature Experience. It also defined what it will mean to become a Global Fellow and proposed that the university provide Global Competence Awards to students, faculty and staff.
Global competence is defined as: “the skills, knowledge, and awareness that enhance the ability to function in a global environment.” Each of these aspects of global competence can be further subdivided as follows:
- Foreign language skills: the ability to communicate in a language other than one’s own
- Communication skills: the ability to communicate with diverse audiences and with people from different backgrounds and learning styles
- Analytical skills: the ability to analyze and synthesize comparative and cross-cultural information with sound judgment
- Comparative grasp of human cultural and social systems (e.g., political, economic, religious, artistic) and an understanding of the historical and geographic influences on such systems
- Recognition of global interconnectedness and conflict, including an understanding of the international nature of the intellectual enterprise
- Ability to think critically about one’s nation and see it in a global context
- Openness to different thoughts, ideas, and perspectives; curiosity; adaptability; flexibility in ambiguous or unfamiliar situations as well as in international or intercultural environments
- Willingness to stay abreast of international current events and seek out new intercultural opportunities at home or abroad
- Appreciation of and respect for difference and diversity
A seven person Global Education Initiative (GEI) steering committee developed a plan to increase the number of internationalized courses at GSU. The Committee on Academic Programs approved the plan last spring, the Office of Strategic Initiatives and Innovations provided funding, and an application process was completed. A set of multidisciplinary trainers was selected and a training of trainers’ workshop was held in March. A total of thirteen (13) faculty members received $2,000 each to support course development. They attended a 2-day workshop and worked with the trainers to identify global learning outcomes, expand their teaching strategies and develop course materials, activities and assessments. The courses were revised and are being taught during the current academic year. The steering committee will assess outcomes and make recommendations once reports are received.
The committee also expanded the definition of an International Signature Experience that takes it beyond study abroad to include domestic and international service with organizations, resources, projects, events, and programs that have global focus and/or impact. This proposal is to be put before the Admission and Standards Committee.
The Global Competence Committee also developed a Global Fellows Designation that is to go before the Admissions & Standards Committee. Students can earn the designation, which will be recorded on their transcripts and diplomas, by achieving the following:
a. A minimum GPA
b. Complete an International Signature Experience
c. Take 5 certified 3000 – 4000 level global education (“G”) classes, at least 2 of which must be taken outside their major
To encourage others, the committee also proposed that these students should be celebrated in interviews on WRAS and in other ways.
Finally, the committee proposed that we develop Global Competence Awards that recognize exceptional commitment to internationalization. OII will take the first steps to implement this recommendation during International Education Week (November 12 – 16, 2012) when student and faculty awards will be presented at an International Honorary Luncheon on November 14th.
Based on these accomplishments, it is clear that the Global Competence Committee has made major strides since it was formed. We are well on our way to achieving Goal #5 and preparing our students for global citizenship.