‘Making Global Learning Universal’, FIU scholars publish how it’s done

In 2010, the university launched its Global Learning for Global Citizenship initiative to prepare students with a deeper understanding of global issues and the collaborative spirit and perspective necessary to tackle complex problems.

To sustain the initiative, more than 1,500 faculty members throughout all disciplines have been trained in utilizing global learning strategies with an emphasis on measurable student learning outcomes. FIU’s schools and colleges now offer hundreds of global learning course sections and tens of thousands of undergraduate students have taken at least two global learning courses. Recognized as an innovative and successful model, Global Learning for Global Citizenship earned FIU the Institute for International Education’s 2016 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education. 

Now, FIU scholars are sharing how it’s done in a new book titled Making Global Learning Universal – Promoting Inclusion and Success for All Students. A first-hand account of how faculty, administrators and students successfully implemented the Global Learning for Global Citizenship initiative, the book is co-published by one of the world’s largest organizations advancing international education — the Association of International Educators (NAFSA). It’s proof yet again that FIU is a national leader in international education.

For anyone engaged in campus internationalization, and particularly interested in integrating global learning in the curriculum and co-curriculum, the book offers more than merely a historic account from the FIU perspective. It serves as a guide for replicating the FIU global learning model at other campuses. This is very timely, as per the American Council of Education, which reports a growing trend among college leaders planning to implement global learning programs and internationally focused faculty professional development (Mapping Internationalization on U.S. Campuses, 2017).

Making Global Learning Universal also comes at a time when students’ critical thinking skills must be combined with the ability to make connections between what they learn on campus and what is happening in their interconnected local and global communities. First author Hilary Landorf, associate professor and executive director of the Office of Global Learning Initiatives, says “this connection-making is a signature feature of the culture of global learning that now permeates the FIU college experience. It leads our students to persist in their studies, overcome challenges and seek experiences after they graduate that they might not have otherwise.”

To celebrate the book release as well as the initiative’s success, FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg honored the authors — Landorf; Stephanie Doscher, director of the Office of Global Learning Initiatives; and Jaffus Hardrick, former vice provost for Student Access & Success and vice president of Human Resources. (Hardrick now serves as interim president of Florida Memorial University).

From left to right: Provost & Executive Vice President Kenneth Furton, author Jaffus Hardrick, Sr. Vice President Elizabeth Bejar, student Emmanuel Arreola, author Hilary Landorf, student Danielle Lyn, student Camila Uzcategui, author Stephanie Doscher and President Mark Rosenberg

Also in attendance were faculty colleagues and administrators who supported the development and implementation of the initiative, or who completed the professional development and whose courses are now certified global learning courses. The highpoint of the evening were reflections shared by three students who recounted how the collaborative connections-making and problem-solving experiences in their global learning classes profoundly changed them:

  • Camila Uzcategui, a 2016 graduate with a bachelor’s in anthropology and physics, had been intent on becoming a medical doctor who would see and heal patients. She recalled that global learning courses instilled in her the desire to not only work for communities, but in partnership with communities. She is now focused on bio-materials and on her way to earn a Ph.D. in materials science engineering with the goal of developing medical devices accessible around the world.
  • Danielle Lyn, a 2017 graduate with a bachelor’s in communications, said her awareness and mindset of global connections were altered through the weekly Tuesday Times Roundtable discussions — FIU’s weekly series of moderated conversations (organized by the Office of Global Learning Initiatives), where students, faculty and staff share the views on The New York Times articles.Having left behind her former career goal of being a sports broadcaster, Lyn will now turn her attention to democracy studies and is applying to law schools.
  • Emmanuel Arreola, a first generation student and 2018 graduate with a bachelor’s in social work, found the Office of Global Learning Initiatives to be a home away from home. It was the staff’s guidance and inspiration that sparked his interest in the Peace Corps program. He is currently preparing his departure for two years of service in Thailand, where he will volunteer on projects in education and youth development and also learn to speak Thai.

For an opportunity to meet two of the authors, Landorf and Doscher, the public is invited to a book signing at the FIU Barnes & Noble store located in the Graham Center at Modesto A. Maidique Campus on Tuesday, Nov. 27, from noon to 2 p.m.

Making Global Learning Universal is co-published by Stylus Publishing and NAFSA and is available for purchase here.

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