On Wednesday October 19, a faculty forum was held to discuss Global Engagement teaching and opportunities.
Global Engagement is a UNCG five-year plan that strives to prepare students for the increasingly prominent global society through classes, academic and extracurricular events, and studying abroad. Examples of Global engagement programs include the Keker’s First Year Common Read (KFYCR) and Intercultural Competency Workshops.
Dr. Anne Wallace, chair of Faculty Senate, began the forum with a recap on Global Engagement’s goals and 2015-2016 school year statistics report.
According to Wallace, students are expected to reach four goals of global engagement. First, students are able to explain environmental, historical, social, economic, and cultural factors that lead to an understanding of contemporary issues. Second, students can identify at least two different perspectives on each contemporary issue and how those perspectives were formed. For the last two goals, students demonstrate a willingness to engage in diverse cultural situations and communicate in a culturally-informed manner in multicultural contexts.
In the 2015-2016 school year 1,858 students engaged in Keker’s First Year Common Read events, 34 First-Year Experience courses incorporated the KFYCR into their curriculums, and 1,141 students participated in the bronze, silver, and gold leadership challenges.
“It is important that students are involved in events and programs on campus related to globalization,” Wallace said. “In order to ensure that it happens, classes should improve problem-solving skills, ethical reasoning, and cultural openness and communication and should help students better identify with their subjects. From this, student interest in intercultural education and involvement will increase.”
Wallace then spoke on how the faculty can make classes more globally engaged and involve understanding different cultural perspectives. She mentioned several opportunities for professors to modify their courses in an attempt to achieve the goals of Global Engagement.
Examples included the International Travel Fund and the Kohler Awards; both involve international travel and the opportunity for faculty to earn awards and interact with colleagues from other countries.
After her presentation, Wallace broke up the audience into groups for discussion.
Music and World Culture co-Professor Sarah Dorsey has plans to rid students of preconceived ideas of different cultures and teach students about how diversity leads to the creation of new types of music and influences everyday life.
“I want my students to learn about several different cultures and realize how, in some ways, they are all interconnected,” Dorsey stated. “When a student makes cross-cultural connections, that contributes to the academic community of UNCG and the overall plan and success of Global Engagement.”
The next Faculty Senate meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 2 at 3 p.m. in the Alumni House’s Virginia Dare Room, and will be open to the public.