Redefining Liberal Arts Education: Global Learning for Washington and Lee in the 21st Century: An update, February , 2011
Professor Laurent Boetsch, Director, Center for International Education
The following is a progress report on our strategic initiative for global learning. This report has several objectives: 1) to provide an update on the status of the plan and its implementation; 2) to suggest "talking points" as we continue the conversation about global learning on our campus and among our various university constituencies; 3) to assure that the work is producing encouraging results.
Each summary is in direct response to the recommendations contained in the Strategic Initiative. It remains important that the various aspects of our initiative and their implementation continue to integrate themselves into our classrooms, our conversations and our discussions. The commitment of the Faculty is the best assurance of our ultimate success.
INTRODUCTION OF THE INITIATIVE
• After receiving the proposed plan form the Steering Committee in June, Provost Aprille introduced it to the Faculty for its review at the September University Faculty meeting and posted the report on the website of the Office of the Provost. Implementation of the Consolidation Phase of the recommendations began thereafter.
• At the November Faculty meeting President Ruscio announced that the Board of Trustees had approved a recommendation to incorporate the renovation of DuPont Hall into the Capital Campaign project and to designate DuPont as the future Center for Global Learning.
The Provost convened a committee to develop a vision statement to help conceptualize an ideal program for an internationally-themed building. That statement is appended to this report. Subsequently, another committee has begun work on creating such a program and planning the space for it in a totally renovated DuPont to include academic office and classroom space in addition to the Center for Global Learning.
CIE/IEC IMPLEMENTATION PROGRESS
In response to the specific "suggestions" that accompany each of the Strategic Initiative's seven recommendations for the Consolidation Phase, the International Education Committee (IEC) and the Center for International Education (CIE) have undertaken the following:
• In addition to its regular work the IEC has responded to the strategic initiatives in a variety of positive ways including: a review of the current Learning Outcomes for Study Abroad and their potential measurement; the formation of sub-committees will report back to the full committee on areas including pre- and post- study abroad objectives, study abroad advising strategies, foreign language based programs versus non-language based programs, and "value added" potential for certain types of study abroad experiences.
• Students who have studied abroad have been incorporated into every study abroad information and orientation session. A Winter Study Abroad Fair for interested students is scheduled for February and will be led by students with study abroad experience. Also, summer internship students abroad from programs such as the Johnson Opportunity grants and Shepherd Poverty Program will now participate in CIE orientation and "de-briefing" programs.
• In addition to the regular debriefing and orientation sessions for Spring Term Abroad directors, a Faculty Academy provided an information session led by experienced directors for faculty interested in developing new Spring Term Abroad courses.
• The CIE has proposed a Global Learning Faculty Liaison program meant to begin in Fall, 2011. This will be a faculty committee representing our diverse academic areas that will work with the CIE to become informed advocates for global learning within the body of the faculty. Among the tasks will be: program site evaluation visits abroad; assisting department heads with study abroad course authorization; serving as initial contacts for professional development opportunities abroad for faculty; assisting in the advising of students for study abroad opportunities appropriate to specific academic disciplines.
• In collaboration with the Shepherd Program the CIE has proposed that the Campus Kitchen find a permanent home in the International House and that service and internationalism become the theme of the house.
• Discussions are underway to expand our institutional relationships with St. Andrews University, Scotland, and John Cabot University, Rome, Italy. Both efforts are meant to increase opportunities for students and faculty as well as potential possibilities for staff.
• Direct communication links with administrative assistants now provide information to departments regarding their students abroad or returning from abroad, a checklist of things for faculty to consider when working or travelling abroad, calendar information regarding STA deadlines.