You are on page 1of 4

Global Learning Presentation

02 November 2016
Global Learning is a relatively new field in education although the process of
international and global learning has existed since the 1980's, it has become
more relevant since the events of September 2001 (J. Knight, April 2015) Many
Americans could not understand the origin and motive for the attacks which was
a reflection of the lack of understanding and knowledge of countries and cultures
outside our borders. According to an article in Inside Higher Education regarding
global awareness, there is an embarrassing gap in our General Education
programs, one that reflects something missing in American society as well;
knowledge of and interest in other lands and peoples. For years, as many surveys
pointed this out, many assumed that the ignorance was on the part of those who
had not been to college. (https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2015/03/23/essaproblems-american-ignorance-world)
A National Geographic survey taken in 2016 indicated that even people who
have been through college are still not gaining a basic level of understanding
about how the world and how things are connected to each other
(http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/09/survey-geographic-foreignrelations-americans-students/) A study conducted by the National Survey of
Student Engagement in 2011 concluded that educating students for a global
future is vitally important. It requires that students acquire inter-cultural and
international understanding and learn to act as responsible, knowledgeable
informed global citizens.
An increasing number of institutions are emphasizing global learning and
integrating global and diversity issues into classrooms (NSSE Annual Survey
Results: Diversity and Global Awareness, 2011, p18). The Association of American
Colleges and Universities strongly supports and recommends making Global
Learning part of a General Education: AAC&U supports colleges and universities
in their efforts to create settings that foster students understanding of the
intersection between their lives and global issues and their sense of responsibility
as local and global citizens. AAC&U works to increase the capacity of colleges and
universities to help all undergraduates understand and engage the diversities and
commonalities among the worlds peoples, cultures, nations and regions.
(www.aacu.org/resources/global-learning) Several previous attempts have been
made at SLCC to establish global/international learning in the curriculum. In 2010
the Dean of General Education proposed the creation of an international/global
course designation. In 2011 a taskforce at SLCC consisting of four deans, a
department chair, a program coordinator, and seven faculty reiterated that
proposal and further recommended that students who graduated with sufficient
credits from such courses be recognized on their diploma and transcript. It is time
to finally act on these recommendations from national bodies and SLCCs internal
voices.
Globalization has reshaped the world we live in today including the education we
provide for students to prepare them for their fields of study and future

employment. The globalized environment in which we live will requires students


to be skilled and versed in international and inter-cultural understanding who can
also possess the knowledge and ability to interrelate as informed global citizens.
To achieve these objectives, it is imperative that a Global Learning component
becomes part of the General Education Program at Salt Lake Community College
to fill this void and provide our students with improved preparation for the future
as outlined the Colleges Strategic Plan (Transforming General Education: Improve
Preparation & Clearer Pathways)
The traditional or long standing approach to global learning has been study
abroad programs that have sought to achieve the goal through living in and
experiencing a foreign culture first-hand. This type of study although beneficial
has financial limitations that are both personal and institutional. A comparative
study of semester long global learning courses and study abroad conducted by
Jonathan Gordon of the Georgia Institute of Technology determined that students
enrolled in semester long global learning courses benefitted more than study
abroad students in terms of International Development Inventory. (Improving
and Assessing Global Learning; Case: Study Jonathan Gordon, Georgia Institute of
Technology, p17). The IDI designation used in the study was composed of a set of
questions to assess the understanding and retention of cultural settings, beliefs
and issues. The semester long learning global learning courses required to
students to attend or participate in multiple cultural events to broaden their
educational experience.
The on campus, semester long global learning courses would be beneficial to
students for the reasons mentioned in the Georgia study. The numerous cultural
events and celebrations of the multi-cultural society of the Salt Lake Valley (Greek
Festival, Scottish Festival, Asian-Indian Festival, etc.) would provide students with
exposure to a variety of nationalities and their customs/traditions to supplement
their global learning experience.
A survey conducted by NSSE consisting of 18,000 students (Seniors) from 53
institutions revealed a huge gap in encouraged coursework in global learning by
discipline/major. The results showed that coursework in global learning was
present in 60% of Arts & Humanities courses, Social Science 66%, Education
56% , Biology 37%, Business 49%, Physical Science 31% and Engineering 21%.
(NSSE Annual Results 2011, p18). Several other studies indicated that as much as
70% of General Education course taught some degree of global learning, but that
most students taking those courses were unaware of it. If these values are still
about the same as the 2011 survey, it is indicative of a nation wide gap in global
learning that needs to be addressed.
In 2010, Florida International University created the International Program
which incorporated a series of courses to gauge student learning in global
oriented courses over a period of 10 years ending in 2020. The program was
constructed around three student learning outcomes; Global Awareness:
Knowledge of interrelatedness of local, global, international and inter-cultural
issues trends and systems; Global Perspective: The ability to conduct a multi-

perspective analysis of local, global, international and inter-cultural problems;


Global Engagement: Willingness to engage in local. Global, international and
inter-cultural problem solving.(Improving and Assessing Global Learning; Case
Study, Hilary Landorf & Stephanie Doscher, Florida International University, p11).
The initial data collected indicated that students had difficulty in achieving high
levels of Global Perspective compared to Global Awareness and Global
Engagement. (Landorf & Doscher, p18). It should be noted that the learning
outcomes created by Florida International University have been successful and
that the International & Global Learning definition at Salt Lake Community College
is similar in substance and learning objectives.
In conclusion a Global Learning designation as part of General Education at Salt
Lake Community College would be integral and beneficial in providing students
with a quality education that prepares them for the future. By integrating Global
Learning into General Education, students will understand how the course or
discipline they are in is practiced in another country. Students graduating from
Salt Lake Community College would be better prepared for future employment
opportunities by gaining a better understand of the globalized world they live in.
This would fulfill one of the Colleges Strategic Goals of graduating students that
are well prepared for the future.
HOW THE GLOBAL LEARNING DESIGNATION FULFILLS THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES
1. Provide the best possible educational solution for our students that will prepare
them for their next steps in life (transfer or career pursuits) and for lifelong
learning
As described in the literature and studies, global learning is and should be
integral part of a student education as it will make it easier for students to
function in an increasingly globalized world. The use of inter-cultural and
international knowledge and skills are paramount to student success in post
education employment, but are also skills and knowledge that are beneficial as
part of a lifelong learning process.
2. Keep it simple
a. General Education categories should be intuitive and rational, not cause an
undue burden for students (especially one that outweighs the benefit
received)
b. Student decision making should be easy
c. Have a clear set of criteria for the category with a specific educational goal
in mind
The designation provides a clear set of criteria with a specific educational goal
which is to provide the student with an education in global learning. The primary
objective of this category is to provide students with inter-cultural and
international skills and knowledge that specifically demonstrate how the course

and its content are practiced in another country and how that information is
relevant.
3. Provide a format that ensures maximum integration across required
designations
The study Global Awareness and Engagement. Allison BrckaLorenz and Jim
Geiser, Nov. 2011, p11" indicates that a large number of General Education
courses impart some degree of global learning. As many General Education
courses should and do integrate knowledge and information from other courses,
global learning knowledge will be integrated into other General Education courses
either directly or implicitly.
4. Have minimal impact on department/division enrollments and budgets.
a. Encourage faculty to consider re-classification of some courses into one of
the new, or existing Gen Ed categories.
b. This includes addressing the ID/In problem in a way that is clearly defined
The establishment of the Global Learning as part of General Education would
have minimal impact on most departments with regard to enrollments as
budgets. Many existing courses fit the designation with little modification as was
demonstrated by the list of courses that would fit this designation that was
distributed in the General Education meeting. Some courses might need to be rewritten to meet the designation learning outcomes. The designation might be
able to absorb some of the courses that currently have the ID designation.