Campus: CSU Long Beach -- November 9, 2005

CSULB Selected for National Initiative Designed to Help Campuses Develop General Education Courses Focused on Global Issues

California State University, Long Beach was recently chosen by The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in a competitive selection process to become part of a new network focused on developing general education courses focused on global issues.

General Education for Global Learning will engage and provide resources to teams of faculty and administrators as they develop general education programs designed to increase students' knowledge about the world, their understanding of the United States' position in the world historically and today, and about compelling and unsolved global problems.

The project is designed to help campuses as they restructure their general education programs to ensure that students encounter global issues throughout their undergraduate years and not just in a single required course.

"The schools chosen to participate in this cutting edge initiative are positioned to develop general education courses and programs that will be models for others as the academy seeks to better educate all students for the global challenges of our world," said AAC&U senior scholar Lee Knefelkamp. "We reviewed 89 applications and the schools selected will bring to the project a wide range of campus cultures, diversity and experience with global learning. We believe that they will have a series of rich conversations and that they will serve a significant leadership role as American higher education seeks to create true intercultural and global learning environments for all students."

The participating institutions chosen from a pool of 89 applicants include: Arcadia University (PA), Butler University (IN); California State University, Long Beach; Chandler-Gilbert Community College (AZ); Dickinson College (PA); Drury University (MO); Hawaii Pacific University; Marquette University (WI); Mesa Community College (AZ); Otterbein College (OH); Stephens College (MO); United States Military Academy (NY); University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Wyoming; Wheaton College (MA); and Whittier College (CA).

"Cal State Long Beach decided to become part of this AAC&U project because we feel that there is still work to be done to maximize the global experiences and aptitudes of our graduates," explained Ken Curtis, professor of history and principle investigator for the AAC&U project at CSULB. "Our faculty and our curriculum demonstrate tremendous strengths in the area of international education, yet we are not satisfied the our graduates have sufficient exposure to the learning opportunities available to them to prepare for global citizenship.

"Participation in the AAC&U program," he added, "will allow us to focus our energies on the general education curriculum to explore new avenues as we see to assure that all of our students graduate with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate an increasingly complex and interconnected world."

The project is funded with a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation and is part of AAC&U's signature initiative, Shared Futures: Global Learning and Social Responsibility.

"It is clear in today's volatile world that all college students need far more global learning if they are to thrive and become the visionary thinkers and problem solvers of the future," said Caryn McTighe Musil, AAC&U senior vice president and head of AAC&U's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives where this initiative is housed. "We are very excited to work with such a dynamic and diverse group of institutions as they restructure their general education programs to provide students both with the global learning they need and with opportunities to delve deeply into critical questions about our responsibilities as American citizens in an increasingly interconnected world."

As part of Shared Futures, AAC&U will also publish a series of reports on global learning over the course of the coming year.

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises 1,000 accredited public and private colleges and universities of every type and size.

The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., to honor his parents who were missionary educators in China. The Foundation builds upon the vision and values of four generations of the Luce family to broaden knowledge and encourage the highest standards of service and leadership. A commitment to increase America's capacity for international understanding is central to the Luce Foundation's mission.

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