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Globalization of curriculum purpose of professor's research proposal

2/20/2007 —
Over the past few years, Penn State Greater Allegheny Associate Professor of Sociology, Dr. Verónica Montecinos, has spearheaded initiatives to internationalize the curriculum. Since 2004, the campus has instituted international programs focused on Haiti, Africa, and India to advance the understanding of global trends through the education of its undergraduate students. Speakers, art exhibits, films and other cultural programming have been scheduled at the campus to expose our students to economic, social, cultural and historical issues. Faculty have also been encouraged to incorporate the country of focus in course readings, assignments and lectures.

Dr. Montecinos has received funding of her 2007 Research Development proposal to develop a "comprehensive strategy" aimed at the internationalization of the curriculum. The purpose of this strategy will be to afford our students a range of opportunity to acquire intellectual and practical skills necessary in today's global society. The establishment of a series of innovative programs, some combining academic and service components, will strengthen the commitment to global citizenship. The experiences of the past four years at the campus will serve as benchmarks for the programs we hope to implement. The success of the plan will depend on several factors:
• Appropriateness of the internationalization paradigm being used
• Availability of resources for professional development
• Commitment of faculty, staff, and students
• Ability to interact with other university units, academic institutions, and a variety of community groups and organizations.

In helping to design the campus's strategy for the globalization of its curriculum, Dr. Montecinos –recipient of the Commonwealth College Diversity Award in 2005- will review the literature on the internationalization of undergraduate education, examine a variety of internationalization models used in higher education, organize a faculty seminar to discuss conceptual and implementation issues, work with colleagues at Penn State Greater Allegheny to develop new course and/or revise existing courses, explore new forms of course delivery, and identify modes of integration of the "mobile" and "stationary" components of internationalization (including study abroad, international exchanges of faculty and students, international service learning, course assignments, and on-line cross-country cooperation).

Research Development Funds are allocated through the Office of the Vice President, Commonwealth Campuses to the various Penn State locations. Competitive proposals are solicited from the campus faculty at each campus and funds are awarded by the Chief Academic Officer based on the worth and significance of the project both to the campus and to the professional development of the authoring faculty member.
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