History of Collaboration
As stated in the university’s strategic plan (PDF), “Collaboration is no longer an option. It’s a necessity.” North Carolina State University (NCSU) has been fortunate to enjoy collegial relationships between diversity and internationalization offices, both situated structurally under the provost’s leadership. However, the two areas had not historically made intentional efforts to collaborate.
Catalyst for Advancing Collaborative Efforts
As a land-grant institution, NCSU has articulated its vision as being “locally responsive [and] globally engaged.” With close ties to industry through a strong cooperative education program, extension offices in all 100 counties of North Carolina, Centennial Campus partnerships, and the nearby Research Triangle Park, NCSU is uniquely well positioned to collaborate with future employers on the global and cultural skills they need most, so that students can contribute meaningfully and compete successfully in a multicultural world and global marketplace.
NCSU sought to develop an education model that included both curricular and co-curricular components to enhance students’ cultural competence.
The following initiatives were undertaken:
- Develop courses that enhance cultural competence.
a. A piloted course, Foundations of Cultural Competence for Professional Success (administered in fall 2011 and spring 2012), is being evaluated for inclusion as a general education requirement.
b. Faculty Fellows program was developed and funded to assist faculty in the creation or significant revision of courses across a wide range of disciplines, to include concepts of both diversity/multicultural education and global/international education. Ten selected faculty members received $4,000 grants.
- Leverage current programs for collaboration and growth, and increase participation of underrepresented students.
a. Partner with the Diversity Abroad Network to provide resources to campus community (e.g., online diversity awareness module).
b. Establish a marketing campaign to encourage underrepresented groups to study abroad (e.g., “People Like Me”) .
c. Student scholarships—Received $8,000 from the provost for scholarships for study, research, internships, and service-learning abroad.
The biggest impact of engaging in the At Home in the World (AHITW) project is that those in diversity or in international programs now more naturally think about the other unit when developing initiatives. Collaborative efforts will continue to have a growing impact and become part of the culture.
Sustaining Efforts and Next Steps
NCSU has the following plans to sustain its AHITW initiatives:
- Continuing regular monthly team meetings to maintain collaborative momentum.
- Providing ongoing support to the 2013 Faculty Fellows cohort, including advertising the new courses and providing additional funding to complete modules, to ensure full approval of their courses. The Faculty Fellows program will be offered again in the 2014–15 academic year.
- Student Activity Grants (PDF) : This parallel program to the Faculty Fellows will provide students with grants to expand co-curricular options in support of AHITW goals. Eight student proposals were selected for funding for the 2013–14 academic year.