Oregon State University gets support in making its students global citizens


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University is one of only 32 schools in the nation selected to participate in “General Education for a Global Century,” a curriculum and faculty development project offered through the Association American Colleges and Universities.

OSU was selected along with schools such as Carnegie Mellon University and the College of William and Mary to participate in the national project. A total of 140 colleges and universities applied.

At the heart of the project is reframing the way universities shape their core curriculum in order to better prepare students to be global citizens and keep pace with high-achieving students around the world. Faculty will be provided with opportunities to design and teach courses that focus on real-world global issues.

OSU’s development team will spend fall and winter term looking at the university’s current education goals and inventory of classes and programs on campus that focus on global learning outcomes.

In the summer of 2011, teams will participate in an intensive summer institute to work on areas of common interest and concern, and develop plans to integrate campus efforts into a larger general education plan.

OSU has already been going through a long-term examination of its baccalaureate core, and the faculty senate recently approved a comprehensive set of learning goals for OSU graduates, including competency in multiple fields, critical thinking skills and global competence.

The university’s strategic plan states, “OSU prepares talented young people from all backgrounds to be leaders and productive members of our society by helping them become critical thinkers, global citizens and skilled professionals.” This mandate aligns with the focus of the “General Education for a Global Century” project.

“Participation in this national conversation with the AAC&U offers great potential to help OSU along our committed path to a vitalized general education experience replete with intellectual challenges of a global scale,” said Susie Brubaker-Cole, associate provost for academic success and engagement and team leader.

Brubaker-Cole said one of the first tasks OSU needs to accomplish is to align the learning outcomes of the bacc core with the newly passed learning goals for graduates.

“OSU’s Global Century group will focus intensively on those outcomes and goals related to global competence,” she said.

The OSU team working on implementing the Global Century project includes Brubaker-Cole and professors Bill Bogley, John Bailey, Vicki Tolar Burton, Susana Rivera-Mills and Jim Coakley. Other OSU faculty will be invited to join the project in the coming month once the team has received further details from the AACU.