- Jeff Shultz, Professor of Education, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ellen Skilton-Sylvester, Professor of Education, Director of Global Connections, and Chair of the Department of Curriculum, Cultures, and Child/Youth Studies, email@example.com
History of Collaboration
Arcadia University is known for its international and global focus—its College of Global Studies is one of the largest campus-based providers of study abroad in the United States for their own students and those from other institutions. The university also has a strong commitment to multicultural education, striving to elevate diversity initiatives and to find ways to demonstrate how a focus on domestic issues can enhance the depth and breadth of its international brand. The institution has focused on the curriculum as a way to showcase the synergies and benefits of integrating domestic diversity and internationalization.
Catalyst for Advancing Collaborative Efforts
In 2007, the university established a Global Connections Experience and Reflection requirement for all students. The Global Connections Experience and Reflection provide all Arcadia students the opportunity to explore new places and cultures. The institution has identified ways for students who cannot study abroad to fulfill this requirement. This involved thinking creatively about how students could explore new places and cultures both locally and globally.
The Arcadia team addressed the project primarily through curricular changes.
The changes are:
- Altered the Preview experiences, which are short-term study abroad programs for first-year and transfer students, to include a domestic diversity component to the international travel component. Through the Global Expo, students showcase their experiences from the international and local perspectives.
- Enhanced the Global Connections requirement by including opportunities for a domestic study-away experience. The goal of this experience, whether accomplished globally or locally, is for students to explore, participate in, reflect on, and document new places and cultures through a sustained cross-cultural experience.
The steering committee brought together academic leadership, practical expertise, and passion for the issues in ways that had never happened before on the campus, which allowed imagination and creativity on the issues of diversity to transcend departmental silos, as well as domestic or geographic boundaries. The framework that was created continues to lead to actions that greatly increase and improve the coordination and intersection of the issues related to At Home in the World (AHITW). This strategic collaboration has resulted in curricular and co-curricular outcomes that transform student learning.
Sustaining Efforts and Next Steps
Arcadia is going to continue expanding opportunities for domestic experiences to enhance the global and international dimensions of the educational experience for which the institution is known. In previous years, participation in AHITW-related issues for the Preview experience has been voluntary. However, conversations have now started about how to implement the AHITW theme in more of the programs, intentionally and by design, for 2014.