CSU ‘Best Prepared’ to Advance International Studies

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Columbus State University has captured a competitive grant that signifies the university as “best prepared” among its university system peers for “taking major steps forward in building international perspectives and global competencies into the fabric of undergraduate education.”

The 2009-2010 “Internationalizing the Campus” grant from the University System of Georgia provides $25,000 to bolster Center for International Education initiatives related to study abroad programs, programming on campus and internationally themed classes.

Spending will target the following:

• About 25 “International Learning Community” course sections of internationally themed and linked classes ranging from environmental science and entrepreneurship to community counseling: Supported by CSU’s Faculty Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, the learning community also involves internationally focused student field trips, faculty and curriculum development, international film screenings and guest speakers such as international journalist David Tereshchuck, who appeared in late March.

• Further internationalization of academic degree programs and majors.

• Development of study abroad programs aimed at first- or second-year students taking general education classes.

This year, International Learning Community classes impacted 736 students. “These are a mix of general education and advanced classes in all colleges, said CIE Director Neal McCrillis. “Through this integration, students gain a better sense of the relevance of global learning in all disciplines and seek study abroad and related opportunities.”

McCrillis said the learning community’s effectiveness magnifies the commitment of CSU faculty and administration to international education.

“Our faculty are at the core of campus internationalization,” he said, “They design the curriculum and provide the instruction, so international content is dependent upon their work. In addition, the learning community depends upon faculty members who freely join and involve themselves and their students in the related lectures, films and programs.”

Ultimately, the students enhance their prospects for career success by participating.

“All university graduates need to be globally competent to be able to function effectively in an interconnected global economic, political, ecological and cultural world where, nevertheless, communities and nations still retain their distinct languages and cultures,” McCrillis said. “University graduates who will be our teachers, doctors, judges, and business leaders among other professionals, need to have the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will empower them to work with the diverse persons at home and abroad.”

For more information about international studies at Columbus State, go to http://cie.colstate.edu or call 706-565-4036.