Faculty and university administrators across the globe recognize the need for students to gain critical competencies to succeed in today’s interconnected world. Students, meanwhile, often crave the opportunity to actively engage in the world and begin to tackle some of the most complex global problems of our time.
Where would one start implementing a global learning program that gives students global experiences in and outside the classroom, helping them form new skill sets and set out on a path to becoming active global citizens?
FIU’s Global Learning Forum is a great start. This is what 50 representatives from universities across the U.S., Colombia and Chile expressed when they joined the virtual forum last month. Following the inaugural forum in Fall 2020, the faculty and staff of FIU’s Office of Global Learning Initiatives, in partnership with FIU Global, focused on the topics of enacting and assessing global learning.
For more than a decade, FIU’s Office of Global Learning Initiatives’ faculty and staff have created global learning programs which have resonated with the university community.
A total of 1,425 faculty and staff across 72 departments in all colleges have completed professional development training to infuse their existing undergraduate courses with global learning elements and/or to create new global learning designated courses. Through these courses, nearly 160,000 undergrads have broadened their global perspective, awareness and willingness to engage.
FIU’s global learning courses and programs have helped students become global citizens who are more adept at tackling global problems with diverse others in and out of the classroom. Through the Office of GLI, students gain access to high-impact programs such as the FIU Global Learning Medallion, the Millennium Fellowship and the Peace Corps Prep.
The faculty, staff and administrators who attended the 2021 Global Learning Forum welcomed the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of FIU administrators, faculty, staff and students who shared their respective experiences with global learning. Panthers shared tips on advising students on global projects; modifying a class to embed global learning components; assessing student learning outcomes for global competencies and much more.
To offer additional perspectives, Kris Acheson-Clair, director of the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR) at Purdue University, shared insights on her institution’s global learning assessment practices. Acheson-Clair joined CILMAR in 2018, which is widely recognized as a leader in assessing global learning.
“FIU and Purdue University have implemented quite different models of global learning assessment,” says Hilary Landorf, executive director of the Office of Global Learning Initiatives and co-author of Making Global Learning Universal (NAFSA, 2018). “I thought it would be a terrific learning experience to juxtapose our different approaches since there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to assessing global learning.”
Very few higher education institutions in the world have built as comprehensive a global learning program as can be found at FIU. FIU education scholars and staff are recognized leaders and have published extensively in the field. They are much sought after for their expertise.
“I am pleased to see that faculty and administrators from other institutions engage with us in these forums,” says Pablo Ortiz, vice president for Regional and World Locations. “Sharing and exchanging what works in curriculum internationalization is in itself a form of global learning which we are proud to advance.”