2017 Heiskell Award Co-Winner: Internationalizing Minority Serving Institutions
Nomination submitted by: Kelley Brayton, Dean, International Education
Santa Monica College is a highly diverse minority serving institution that also serves the second largest international student population among community colleges nationwide. Its Global Citizenship Initiative has internationalized the college’s mission, culture, and values and yielded a community that works together to create global citizens—students who are knowledgeable of peoples, customs, and cultures beyond their own world; understanding of the interdependence that holds both promise and peril for us all; and committed to fostering a livable, sustainable world.
Through a concerted college-wide effort that grew out of a faculty task force convened in 2008, Global Citizenship is now a part of the college fabric and is reflected in the mission "Changing Lives in the Global Community through Excellence in Education". Year-round programming, including an annual Global Citizenship theme woven into the curriculum, International Education Week, and an end of year Research Symposium with a focus on global issues, furthers dialogue, engages international students, and ensures that the community remains active and engaged in global issues.
Faculty mini-grants bring innovative internationally oriented programs to campus from events such as the fourth annual "Ecofeminism Conference" to a faculty-led cultural tour of Los Angeles’s ethnic communities. The college introduced short-term programs that are more affordable for low-income students, who traditionally do not participate in study abroad, and has set aside $75,000 in Global Citizenship scholarships to enable these students to take part. Professional development programs abroad for faculty to destinations such as Salzburg, China and Turkey require participants to develop course modules and lesson plans that integrate the history, politics, culture, economy and social issues of the visited countries. These activities have worked individually and collectively to internationalize the college community. Since the establishment of an Institutional Learning Outcome focused on global citizenship, an average of 86% of students each year have achieved mastery in this area as measured by course-related learning outcomes. This is a remarkable achievement and demonstrates the commitment of the college community to preparing its students for careers in a globally connected world.
“This initiative was developed and implemented by our faculty, with support and funding from the college administration, and is a testament to how college communities can and do work together to pursue a collective vision. Every single one of us had a role to play in carrying out a plan that began as a strategic initiative and has become a part of the culture of our college.”
-Georgia Lorenz, Vice President, Academic Affairs