Presentation on theme: "Paula F. Nadler, Ph.D. University of Maryland. Students who study abroad have a higher graduation rate, higher mean cumulative GPAs, and are better informed."— Presentation transcript:
Paula F. Nadler, Ph.D. University of Maryland
Students who study abroad have a higher graduation rate, higher mean cumulative GPAs, and are better informed about cultural practices and cultural contexts. (Georgia Learning Outcomes of Students Studying Abroad Research Initiative, 2010) Expanding opportunities for all of our students to acquire a nuanced understanding of the world as a place of difference and diversity across time and cultures, through increased participation in study abroad and international internships and other educational programs that promote global awareness. (ARHU Strategic Plan, 2009)
Provides for: ~ “An academically rich and personally rewarding experience abroad will become a normal part of a student’s university experience;” ~ Showcasing the University of Maryland as “an international center, the State’s window to the world, and a catalyst for educational, research and scholarly partnerships around the globe;” ~ “Dramatically enhanc[ing] its international character and reach… and increas[ing] opportunities for domestic students to study, work and do service abroad and to gain a deep understanding of other cultures and societies.”
If both students and advisors knew earlier which programs and specific courses would work for the various graduation needs and expectations for each individual major, it would promote the early planning process and augment active discussions about the goals of global engagement through study abroad opportunities.
College demographics: ◦ 4100 undergraduate students (University: 26,000 ug) ◦ 26 majors, including all languages, performing arts, art history, history, philosophy, communication, linguistics, women’s studies, classics, Jewish studies and American studies ◦ Centralized location right outside of Washington, D.C.
Starting Fall, 2009: A major undertaking to connect students with “real” global learning; accomplished in 2 parts: (1) Global Engagement Requirement: revising/expanding/rethinking the foreign language requirement (2) Curriculum Integration Project: in partnership with Education Abroad Office (formerly Study Abroad Office); supported by a grant from USAC (University Study Abroad Consortium)
Integrate study abroad directly into the curriculum; Expand student and faculty access to programs abroad; Increase understanding about various study abroad programs and options; Create individualized plans, by major, to enable early conversations between students and academic advisors; Foster conversations regarding the implementation of study abroad opportunities into a student’s academic plan.
Allows students and faculty to come to understand study abroad and global education as a functional part of the curriculum; Underscores the academic nature of study abroad as courses are for “resident” credit and grades reflect in GPA; Providing resident credits which dramatically expand degree options concerning when students can study abroad; Streamlines the study abroad approval process.
Step 1: Initiation phase: Fall, 2009 ARHU approached Education Abroad looking for a way to increase visibility for international programs; Site visits to Puebla, Mexico and London, England to explore programs and curricula; Education Abroad had a recently joined USAC consortium; they were looking for a pilot group for a curriculum project and secured a grant for a part-time graduate assistant to assist with project; Create a unique set of course numbers that could be used across departments in the College (269/369).
Step 2: Training and Outreach phase- Fall, 2009 – Spring, 2010 How do we communicate this to all these different people? Create a script to explain project, goals, and address credibility/oversight issues that might arise; Secure support from Dean and subsequent meetings with department chairs to review philosophy and articulate the goals of project; Simplify, simplify, simplify.
Step 3: Departmental Meeting Phase: Spring, 2010 – Fall, 2010 Decision to meet individually with each department to focus on streamlining the course approval process Prepared a script to do 3 things: ◦ (1) explain background of USAC ◦ (2) explain Curriculum Integration project ◦ (3) explain their role in the project Sent syllabi ahead of time, along with an evaluation form and an explanation of the project
USAC courses for UM residency credit Your department:_______________________________________ Course Number (if available): _____________________________ Title of Course: ________________________________________ Location of Course: _____________________________________ Course approved? _______yes_______no* Equivalent UM Course Number (if applicable): ______________________________ If no equivalent course exists, please indicate 269/369: __________________ Name of Evaluator (please print):________________________________ Date of Evaluation:___________________________________ *-if course is not approved please provide brief rationale (not appropriate for department, insufficient reading/readings out of date, week to week breakdown needed, in-class time not indicated, etc.) ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ If course is reworked to meet expectations, can it be reconsidered? ________ (Yes or No)
Step 4: Feedback to USAC Fall, 2010 Reviewed over 250 syllabi for 15 international study abroad locations (160 approved) for resident credit (listed on student’s transcript; calculated into GPA); Sent feedback regarding approximately 75 syllabi needing additional clarification/ information, etc. (remaining syllabi destined for departments in other colleges); ◦ Lesson learned: Most international syllabi are not viewed as contracts, and therefore not as comprehensive.
Step 5: Revisions back to departments and Individualized Major Forms Spring, 2011 USAC reached out to partner institutions/ resident directors for help with updating syllabi, articulating needed information. Revised syllabi sent back to departments; nearly 90% approval rate the second time (some courses that were not approved were sometimes adopted by other departments). Worked with departments to create individualized forms for them to link to on their websites for students, advisors, faculty, staff.
SuccessesChallenges Faculty support and responsiveness Increased emphasis on global education Adoption of international curricula for resident credit Uniform numbering system across college made for easy transition and identification Eases the advising process for college and departments Increased appreciation of the academic nature of study abroad experiences Time consuming and cumbersome Translating, both literally and figuratively, international syllabi Interpreting international course structure: ◦ Course content ◦ Contact hours ◦ Scope and weight of assignments ◦ Factoring in ambiguous descriptions and “value” of site visits ◦ Accountability
Contact Information: Paula F. Nadler, Ph.D. Assistant Director and Senior Advisor College of Arts and Humanities University of Maryland