College of The Albemarle (COA) has entered into a partnership with World View, a public service program at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, to support an emphasis on teaching about global issues and world regions to prepare students to work in a global economy and live in an interconnected world. As a result of this partnership, COA students now have the opportunity to participate in the North Carolina Global Distinction Program (NCGDP).
According to Dean Roughton, COA’s liaison for the NCGDP and the Dean of Arts and Science and Secondary Education, “A broad knowledge of other countries and cultures is important for citizens in today’s global community. In addition, employers increasingly seek globally competent/aware employees.”
Per the NCGDP website, the program involves several components:
- Students complete at least 15 credit hours of globally intensive courses.
- Students participate in eight international activities and dialogue.
- Students gain global experience (30 hours of participation in either study abroad or a domestic intercultural experience).
- Students give a capstone presentation related to their global learning participation.
This spring, COA’s Board of Trustees approved study abroad, a cornerstone of the Global Distinction initiative. The college already has two study abroad trips planned this year. The first involves a service learning project in Nicaragua, which will take place over winter break. Brian Edwards, COA’s Study Abroad Coordinator, sees value in such service learning trips beyond just the help that it provides to those communities: “Students gain exposure to other ways of life and see the needs of a particular community by working within it. They are then able to bring that experience home and become energized to participate in local activities to improve their own communities.”
Initiating such a global learning program could not have happened without the support of COA’s president and other key administrators. Dr. Evonne Carter, Vice President of Learning, has made professional development to enhance teaching a priority in general at the college. This program is no different: “As ‘citizens of the world,’ college faculty and staff often seek peers and resources to enhance their own learning and to share with their students or the campus community. This program offers many resources to instructors as they consider deeper globalization understanding and for incorporating global concepts into their teaching. There are numerous options for professional development, including workshops, conferences and teaching resources.”
Beyond what they are learning, students will receive more tangible rewards of the program as well. Roughton went on to say, “Participants who successfully complete the program receive ‘Graduated with Global Distinction’ on their transcripts as well as a joint certificate from COA and UNC World View recognizing this accomplishment. This academic honor can be listed on resumes or university applications.”
For more information on the NCGDP at COA, visit our program page or contact Dean Roughton at email@example.com.
For information specific to study abroad, visit the COA Study Abroad Facebook™ page or contact Brian Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: The Cathedral of Granada, built on the same site as the original 1525 cathedral