Campus: CSU Stanislaus -- April 04, 2003

CSU Stanislaus Selected For Global Learning Project


The American Council on Education (ACE) has selected California State University, Stanislaus as one of eight higher education institutions in the U.S. to participate in its “Global Learning for All” project.

Extending over two years, the program is designed to show how universities can provide international education to the "new majority" of students -- ethnically diverse, older, and working students who are traditionally under-represented at many institutions -- in planning for international educational initiatives. This time, "new majority" students will be the focus of the project that is expected to open the way for future grant funding opportunities.

“As world affairs become more dangerous and confusing, it is important that all U.S. citizens deepen their knowledge of the world, in order to understand what is going on and to make good decisions,” said CSU Stanislaus Global Affairs Director Linda Bunney-Sarhad. “But it is difficult for 'place-bound' students, with family and work responsibilities, to gain this benefit of learning deeply about the world outside the San Joaquin Valley."

Faculty and staff at CSU Stanislaus have worked hard over the past decade to create programs to answer this challenge. Examples include:

  • More than 20 professors participated in a Curriculum Revision Project to develop new or revised courses related to how the local region interacts with the world outside U.S. borders.

  • The campus received a $440,000 grant from the Keck Foundation for a state-of-the-art language laboratory that will help students develop usable language competency even if they cannot study abroad.

  • Language faculty have developed the STAN Language Assessment to document the foreign language abilities many students have gained at home.

Other initiatives have included a three-week winter term program in Cuernavaca, Mexico, providing a short-term international experience for 30 students each year. At the BRIDGE Center in Modesto, students can participate in a Southeast Asian cultural immersion experience without leaving Stanislaus County. And a newly-organized "Study Abroad in Stanislaus County" program will allow students to carry out service learning experiences in local communities where English is not the dominant language.

The ACE project will give national visibility to these CSU Stanislaus programs and provide faculty and staff the opportunity to work with other institutions on new initiatives. In this effort, the university will work with Merced College, one of its important transfer institutions, to ensure that students who take their lower division work at a community college will also have the benefit of an "internationalized" education from the beginning of their college education.
ACE said in its report about CSU Stanislaus that “reviewers were impressed with what you have accomplished thus far and how well positioned you are to take the next step.”

While the ACE project will give national visibility to CSU Stanislaus global education programs, it will also provide the opportunity for Merced College and CSU Stanislaus faculty to work together to create new, joint initiatives. The University chose to work with Merced College because the community college is an important university “feeder” school and the two institutions have worked successfully together in the past on joint international student recruitment efforts. Activities developed under this project will ensure that students who take their lower division work at Merced College will have the benefit of an “internationalized” education.

Contact: Linda Bunney-Sarhad, Director of Global Affairs
(209) 667-3997, lbsarhad@csustan.edu


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