As One of 32 Participating Institutions, Minneapolis Community and Technical College Will Revise General Education Curricula To Better Prepare Today’s Students With Skills and Knowledge Essential for Socially Responsible Citizenship
The Association of American Colleges and Universities announced today that Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) has been named one of 32 colleges and universities chosen in a competitive process to participate in General Education for a Global Century, a curriculum and faculty development project that is part of AAC&U’s Shared Futures initiative and is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. Over 140 institutions applied to be part of the initiative.
“Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) has a long tradition of preparing students to live and work in an increasing global society,” said President Phil Davis. “Our faculty have been vigilant about maintaining a general education curriculum that fulfills our global education goals. This grant will help us to strengthen our commitment to preparing students to be engaged, global citizens.”
The institutions selected are from all regions of the country and include institutions of many different types—including two-year and four-year, public and private institutions. MCTC is the only college from Minnesota selected.
“Increasingly, in their mission statements and strategic plans, colleges and universities promise that their graduates will develop the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to act as responsible and productive global citizens in an interconnected and interdependent world. Yet in most cases general education curricular designs have not kept pace with the rhetoric,” said AAC&U Director of Global Learning and Curricular Change Kevin Hovland. “These selected institutions will all be working together to create clear and creative pathways—horizontally and vertically—through which students can connect their learning and achieve essential global learning outcomes. Many of these schools have already made significant progress in reimagining general education for a global century and, in this project, they will be able to test new curricular models, assess global learning outcomes, and share insights with each other and with the larger higher education community.”
This new project builds upon innovative efforts to reframe general education courses and programs, and create coherent curricular designs that address complex, global issues across divisions and disciplines. In concert with a Global Learning Leadership Council, MCTC will help lead a high profile, national effort to:
- Articulate essential global learning outcomes for all students;
- Refine and disseminate models of global general education curricula that can be adapted across all institutional types;
- Provide faculty development opportunities to assist college faculty in designing and teaching interdisciplinary, integrative courses that focus on real-world global issues; and
- Develop rubrics to assess global learning outcomes.
Institutional teams will spend the fall and winter on their home campuses refining general education reform strategies and strengthening connections between existing general education goals and outcomes and essential global learning outcomes. They will also inventory the curricular and co-curricular opportunities for global learning that already exist on their campuses and ways those opportunities could be better integrated within their larger general education efforts. Working through a social networking website, team members will help identify common areas of interest and concern. Those critical issues will be addressed in the project’s central activity—an intensive summer institute in 2011.
“It was gratifying to see how many campuses applied to be part of this initiative,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “It is testament to how seriously today’s academy takes the challenge of preparing college students to participate effectively and responsibly in an interdependent global community. Both their future employers and our society need students with much higher levels of global knowledge and skill. This initiative will help the higher education community graduate students with these critical capacities. The Shared Futures initiative and this work on general education are important foci for AAC&U’s ongoing work to connect liberal education with the needs of a fast-changing world.” For additional information about the initiative, see: http://www.aacu.org/SharedFutures/global_century.
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 1,200 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges and universities of every type and size.
AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education at both the national and local levels and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges. Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at www.aacu.org.