Teaching for a global century

Nebraska Wesleyan University is one of just 32 institutions selected to participate in the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ (AAC&U) “General Education for a Global Century.” The curriculum and faculty development project is part of AAC&U’s Shared Futures initiative.

Over 140 institutions applied to be a part of the initiative. Nebraska Wesleyan was the only Nebraska school selected.

Nebraska Wesleyan will revise its general education curriculum as part of the project to better prepare NWU students for socially responsible citizenship.

“This project comes at an ideal time in the evolution of Nebraska Wesleyan’s commitment to liberal arts education,” said Provost Judy Muyskens. NWU completed a three-year self-study process just last year for continued accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission. The university’s previous strategic plan, Archways 2010, articulated a future that advances teaching and learning to better prepare students to thrive in a diverse world.

“The university is poised to reaffirm and clarify its learning goals, re-imagine general education, renew its emphasis on engaged and experiential learning, and blend academic affairs and student life,” said Muyskens. “Our general education program has had a global focus for 15 years. Participation in this national effort will inform our work as we explore what we mean by global citizenship in the 21st century.”

This new project builds upon innovative efforts to reframe general education courses and programs, and create coherent curricula that address global issues across divisions and disciplines. In concert with the Global Learning Leadership Council, Nebraska Wesleyan will help lead a national effort to:

  • articulate essential global learning outcomes for all students;
  • refine and share adaptable models of global general education;
  • help faculty design and teach interdisciplinary courses on global issues; and
  • develop rubrics to assess global learning outcomes.

NWU and the 31 other selected institutions will spend the winter on their home campuses refining general education reform strategies for global learning. They will also look for ways to integrate curricular and co-curricular opportunities for global learning into their general education efforts. The institutions will use social networking to share common areas of interest and concern. Those areas will serve as the project’s central focus during an intensive institute this summer.