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Global Need Exists for Greater Exposure to the Competencies Offered by an International Education Experience

The Global Studies Institute (GSI) was established in September 2012 in service to the university community. Housed in the College of Liberal Arts, inaugural funding for the Institute came from the Haglund Global Studies Endowment gifted on the founding premise that students graduating from all of CSULB’s diverse programs will have been sensitized and exposed to global issues. Its mission is to incentivize, infuse, and serve as a conduit for international curricular and co-curricular innovations throughout campus.

In 2013 GSI completed a Global Learning Inventory of international education across CSULB curricula and a year later led a successful multi-unit, multi-college writing effort for a U.S. Department of Education Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages grant. The grant focuses on five areas of development creating a Global Honors Track, Global Nursing Opportunities, Global GE Pathway, Khmer Language Consortium, and new language certificates that take particular advantage of our significant Spanish Heritage Speaker population. It has also funded a faculty member to work with the Center for International Education in the College of Continuing and Professional Education to develop articulation agreements between CSULB academic departments and our international partners. GSI has already begun working with academic units and community college partners on pipelining global learning opportunities and outcomes.

The GSI has created global learning outcomes and global assessment tools aligned with the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics, applying them to the Global GE initiative and consulting with the university General Education Governing Committee to create a framework for global learning outcomes and assessment for the university’s Global Capstone course requirement. The advantage of the rubric has been the ability to align and imbed global learning outcomes within articulated General Education learning outcomes associated with written and oral communication, and critical thinking. It has created a workshop series focusing on helping faculty develop tools for integrating global learning outcomes and assessment tools in their standard course outlines. At the same time, it launched a new Global Fellows Program, providing promising undergraduate students a stipend, budget, and mentoring to undertake their own global education projects. The first three awardees resulted in a CSULB Sustainability Award and a US Congressional Award of Recognition.

A new chapter begins in 2016-17 with the concretization of its existing work effort and a new endowment for an eminent Global Issues Speakers Series. These initiatives come at a propitious time. Higher Education is in a period of significant change. Given the global competencies required for success in nearly every profession, it is more important than ever to recognize that international education is not in competition with these other challenges but rather is a vital, interwoven component of them seminal to primary activities of Academic Affairs and, increasingly, other aspects of university business.

Teachers huddle around a table looking at work.
Celebrating the new Global Studies Institute and International Studies Program offices in February 2015. From left to right: Yousef Baker, Caitlin Fouratt, Ken Curtis, Laura Ceia, Elaine Haglund, David Dowell, Richard Marcus, and Kandis Pogoda.

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