Institute of Global Engagement
2009 Heiskell Award co-Winner: Internationalizing the Campus
Nomination submitted by: Elizabeth Beaulieu, Dean, Core Division
Champlain College seeks to initiate meaningful global dialogue between its students and their counterparts at 14 colleges around the world though its Global Modules program. These four-week, intensive thematic online projects are embedded into Champlain’s core curriculum. Participation in the Global Module project not only raises cultural awareness for all Champlain students early in their college careers, it also allow students to speak freely with students from all over the world, from Mumbai to Uganda, from Jordan to Australia.
Typically, Global Modules begin with students in both countries reading a common text, and participating in online discussions facilitated by the instructors on both campuses. Students then join together in virtual groups composed of U.S. and international students and complete a collaborative assignment. Over the past year, Champlain students discussed globalization with Indian students, peace activism with Austrian students, ecological impact with Kenyan students, and women's issues with Moroccan students.
First piloted with one class in 2003, Global Modules are now incorporated into a required first-year course and other key courses across the curriculum. “These efforts are successfully providing each student—each year—with a significant month-long dialogue with global partners as part of a required, graded course,” explains Champlain College President David F. Finney.
Global Modules have also proved an effective catalyst for institutional partnerships. “As we have developed our Global Modules relationship for our students, our institutions have also begun to build important academic bridges,” explains Professor F.Q. Gravenir, Director of University Advancement at Kenyatta University, a Kenyan institution that participates in the Global Modules.
Recognized as an effective, low cost way to internationalize the campus using technology, Global Modules will link over 3,000 students in 12 countries this year and is poised for expansion.