Internationalizing the Student Experience
As part of its accreditation process in 2005-2006, MSU identified campus internationalization as a core priority. Aligned with this process, the University President’s strategic plan, Boldness by Design, articulates expanding international reach and enhancing the student experience as imperatives.
In keeping with MSU’s land-grant tradition, President Simon had discussed her vision in the context of moving from “land-grant” to “world-grant,” suggesting that the local and global are connected and that MSU faculty, staff, students, and alumni should not only serve Michigan and its residents, but also the broader global community.
Finally, during the process of defining campus internationalization at MSU, a process based on the Boldness by Design plan, a committee of faculty, staff, and students adopted the MSU Liberal Learning goals as the frame for articulating MSU’s Global Competencies. This committee defined “internationalization” as a process of creating “global-ready citizens, scholars, and professionals,” and it aligned the institution’s Liberal Learning Outcomes with its statement about global learning outcomes.
The committee understand that we live and work in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. Thus, Michigan State University seeks to provide opportunities for its students, faculty, and staff to engage the world as professionals and citizens who will demonstrate leadership in their professional, personal, and civic lives.
Internationalizing the Student Experience seeks to advance internationalization at Michigan State University by integrating global perspectives into the institution’s identity thereby providing opportunities for all MSU community members to increase their capacity to engage effectively in a global society.
All members of the MSU community—students, faculty, administrators, staff, and stakeholders—will recognize, value and act upon the idea that being a Spartan means living, working, and learning as global citizens in the 21st-Century.
Internationalization is an evolving process; however, at its core, Internationalizing the Student Experiences has the following primary goals:
- To make internationalization[i] integral to all aspects of the institution as a means of increasing MSU’s students’ global competency and learning;
- To prepare and support graduates as global citizens able to contribute personally, intellectually, and professionally to the world; and
- To facilitate collaborations between units on campus as a means of enhancing students’ ability to experience and apply the Global Competencies in interdisciplinary ways.
We will implement our mission toward the achievement of our goals by:
- Networking and liaising with campus and community partners and stakeholders;
- Supporting initiatives—through human, intellectual, and financial resources—that advance the ISE goals and the development of Global Competencies for both on and off campus communities;
- Designing and implementing faculty, staff, unit, and student development programs as a means of building capacity and fostering shared understanding of the global competencies;
- Identifying, promoting, and facilitating curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular linkages and programming;
- Providing communication and outreach products and services to both on and off campus communities; and
- Assessing, researching, and publicizing our efforts.
MSU—recognizing that its students live and work in an increasingly complex and interconnected world—provides opportunities for its students to engage the world as professionals and citizens who will demonstrate leadership in their professional, personal, and civic life.
More specifically, MSU graduates will possess global competencies as related to the following goals:
- an understanding of themselves culturally and the ability to use this knowledge to live and work effectively in diverse settings and with diverse individuals;
- the knowledge and skills associated with international, global, and intercultural content areas such as language, geography, history;
- a desire and ability to seek out and use diverse sources of information to inform their decision making; and
- a desire and ability to engage in communities of practice as citizens and scholars.
In the context of MSU’s land-grant tradition, MSU will provide opportunities for all its undergraduate students to become globally-competent professionals and citizens, people with the following knowledge, attitudes, and skills:
Graduates will demonstrate Analytical Thinking to:
- Understand the complexity and interconnectedness of global processes—such as environment, trade, and human health—and be able to critically analyze them, as well as compare and contrast them across different cultures and contexts.
- Synthesize knowledge and meaning from multiple sources to enhance decision-making in diverse contexts.
- Use technology, human and natural capital, information resources, and diverse ways of knowing to solve problems.
Graduates will demonstrate the Cultural Understanding to:
- Understand the influence of history, geography, religion, gender, race, ethnicity, and other factors on their identities and the identities of others.
- Recognize the commonalities and differences that exist among people and cultures and how these factors influence their relationships with others.
- Question explicit and implicit forms of power, privilege, inequality, and inequity.
- Engage with and be open to people, ideas, and activities from other cultures as a means of personal and professional development.
Graduates will demonstrate Effective Citizenship to:
- Develop a personal sense of ethics, service, and civic responsibility that informs their decision-making about social and global issues.
- Understand the connection between their personal behavior and its impact on global systems.
- Use their knowledge, attitudes, and skills to engage with issues that address challenges facing humanity locally and globally.
Graduates will demonstrate the Effective Communication to:
- Recognize the influence of cultural norms, customs, and traditions on communication and use this knowledge to enhance their interactions across diversity.
- Employ a proficiency in a second language and understand how language relates to culture.
- Use observation, conflict management, dialogue, and active listening as means of understanding and engaging with different people and perspectives.
- Communicate their ideas and values clearly and effectively in multiple contexts, with diverse audiences, and via appropriate media and formats.
Graduates will demonstrate Integrated Reasoning to:
- Understand their place in the world relative to historical, geopolitical, and intellectual trends, including the geographic, socio-cultural, economic, and ecological influences on these trends.
- Perceive the world as an interdependent system, recognizing the effects of this system on their lives and their personal influence on the system.
- Frame, understand, and act upon their judgments from multi-disciplinary perspectives and worldviews.
- Understand how different disciplines contribute to knowledge of global processes, such as those related to health, food systems, energy and other areas.
- Understand the cultural, disciplinary, and contextual role, potential, and limits of problem-solving techniques and that cultures and disciplines conceptualize data, methodologies, and solutions differently.