Weaving Language and Global Competencies Throughout the CSULB Curricula
We live in an interdependent and globalized world where political, economic, and social interactions across borders are increasing at an exponential rate. Accordingly, it is vital that students graduating from all of CSULB’s diverse programs hold the skills to consider their professions in a context of global literacy and competencies.
International Education at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is at a crossroads. Components of international education are highly developed at The Beach. There is a broad array of short term study abroad courses, a thriving Center for International Education providing infrastructure for study abroad and international students, a model International Studies major, active and innovative language and linguistics departments, and a clearly articulated “Global Perspective” component in its mission statement. This proposal is written to bring the pieces of the international education puzzle together and to move from providing structures and concepts in international education to ensuring the development of student global competencies, particularly in areas traditionally underserved by international education programming. To this end, we will undertake five (5) projects with the intent of operationalizing the Campus Strategic Plan international elements and connecting the Strategic Plan to the mission statement:
- Develop a Language and Global Competencies General Education Theme
- Create a Language and Global Competencies Honors Track
- Develop a minor in Khmer Language for Heritage Speakers in coordination with the UCB/UCLA Khmer Language Consortium
- Development of new tools for the Department of Romance, German, Russian Languages and Literature (RGRLL). Specifically: develop a French/Italian Language-Culture Certificate and a Spanish Language Certificate for Heritage Speakers with a specific focus on competency development within high unit and technical majors.
- Develop Global Nursing programming.
The Global Studies Institute will coordinate efforts between units and will develop global learning outcomes and measures across in concert with the individual departments. Each of these tasks has both an international student integration and a study abroad option component. The Center for International Education will provide direct support to departments for programmatic development in these areas.
The Global Learning Inventory
The Global Learning Inventory is an in-depth look at the modes in which CSULB delivers global learning throughout the diverse curricula and the potential learning outcomes that result from it. It is conducted biennially to cover all courses taught in a given academic year across the university.
As the Global Studies Institute began working on global competencies assessment measures in Spring 2013 it became clear that we don’t yet know enough about what we do at CSULB to deliver on the global competencies promise. We therefore decided on an intermediate step. The Global Learning Inventory (GLI), conducted in Summer 2013, is an effort to gain a better understanding of the ways in which we deliver international education on our campus.
The Global Studies Institute conducted its first Global Learning Inventory in 2013. This GLI was conducted by creating a database of indicators derived from the AAC&U Global Learning VALUE Rubric. A team trained by the director analyzed all syllabi for the 2012-13 academic year and codified them into the database along modes of international education delivery, indicated global learning outcomes (where they exist), and potential global learning outcomes. The highly successful endeavor led to opportunities to focus funding support and help departments overcome specific blockages to implementing global learning initiatives. A new inventory was conducted in 2017 in order to compare 2013 to 2017 to measure successful change from funded interventions and set out a new benchmark for global education in the curriculum.
The 2017 inventory expanded to include not only all sections of all courses during the 2016-17 academic year but also faculty-led study abroad courses from 2010-2016. The data from this study was used to evaluate the impact of Internationalizing Teaching and Learning investments over time and to unpack how we teach global learning in General Education. The GLI was also used as data for workshops to support Internationalizing Teaching and Learning Award applicants, Center for International Education short-term study abroad course development, and other activities. At the request of specific departments, the GSI drilled down on department-specific data from the Inventory to identify gaps, challenges, and opportunities. This informed the application process and the curriculum design changes for those departments.
Subsequent rounds of the GLI were conducted in 2019 and 2021. Variables for student writing were added to the previous inventories.
The findings of the second Global Learning Inventory have been presented with robust reception at a NAFSA: Association of International Educators Teaching and Learning Knowledge Community Webinar, at the NAFSA Annual Meeting, as well as an interdisciplinary teaching and learning conferences.
The Consortium for Analysis of Student Success through International Education (CASSIE) is led by the University System of Georgia (USG) in coordination with the Institute of International Education and funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s International and Foreign Language Education Office. The CSULB Global Studies Institute, Office of the Associate Vice President for International Education, and Office of Institutional Research have partnered with CASSIE to study the impact of international education experiences – study abroad, taking a foreign language, Title VI program participation–on student success outcomes.
As framed by the USG, “The CASSIE data-base and co-laboratory promises to influence national policy regarding the return on investment in international education.” CSULB has worked with USG to tailor research questions and investigate specific issues including the relationship between international education experiences and graduation rates, first generation college students, world language acquisition, and other factors.