“[This initiative] is about how we as educators help to pull that experience together for our students over the time that they are in our universities . . . We are walking our talk for our students. We are modeling the kind of change and the kind of institution that we say we want for them. Bringing [international and multicultural education] together, particularly in the twenty-first century, is a way to show that we have arrived, we understand. As institutions of higher education we are sophisticated enough to know that these two conceptual bodies of knowledge are not separate and students should not experience them separately. They should experience them as an integration.”
- Yolanda Moses, Professor of Anthropology and Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Excellence, and Equity, University of California, Riverside
As educators, our goal is to prepare students to effectively engage—as individuals and as part of the workforce—in a multicultural and global society. Colleges and universities are responsible for making sure that upon graduation students will be prepared to live in and meaningfully contribute to society. Society in the 21st century cannot solely be looked at in a local or even national context—it is global.
The rich mix of students from diverse backgrounds entering U.S. higher education—including nonimmigrant students of color, immigrant students, and international students—calls for the development of new frameworks for thinking about our student populations and our communities. It also requires new approaches for teaching about difference, promoting cultural understanding, and creating institutions that truly reflect the pluralism of American society. To become responsible, productive citizens and engage fully and successfully in the world around them, our students must possess an understanding of their own cultures and those of their neighbors at home and abroad. They also need the skills to analyze interconnections between global and local systems, which will prepare them for effective participation in our diverse society.
Multicultural and international education share the objective of educating students for this diverse, global society. Through strategic collaboration, the impact on student learning is powerful. As such, the At Home in the World initiative focuses on student learning as a core tenet of this collaborative work.