The 2008-2016 Centennial plan "Transforming our Future" identified Accelerate Global Learning as one of three goals to transform student learning.
In 2009, legacy differential tuition funding was used to initiate the International Fellows Program (IFP) and, shortly thereafter, with the approval of the Blugold Commitment Differential Tuition program BCDT), the Faculty Led Intercultural Immersion Experiences (FLIIE). Since their inception, these programs have helped increase participation in learning abroad by providing shorter-duration, lower-cost options for students who would likely not otherwise study abroad. These initiatives, as well as the Domestic Intercultural Immersions (DII) program, directly align with the guidepost to provide 100% of students a high-impact practice by providing opportunities for students to participate in immersion experiences and increase their intercultural competency.
Furthermore, in 2013 the Council for Internationalization and Global Engagement (CIGE) was established by Interim Chancellor Gilles Bousquet. The Council was charged with creating, in collaboration with the Center for International Education (CIE), an overarching vision for international education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UW-Eau Claire) and conducting an inventory and assessment of international programs, activities, and resources. Realizing that approximately 75% of UW-Eau Claire students do not participate in learning abroad programs, the Council identified these students as a key focus group, and set out to establish campus events and learning opportunities to meet the global learning needs of this group. The Council was recommissioned by Chancellor James Schmidt in 2015 to continue the work under its original charter and was further charged with (1) identifying ways to make learning abroad more accessible to all students, (2) incorporating learning abroad experiences into all graduation plans, and (3) utilizing local business and civic leaders more effectively to help advance the University's internationalization efforts.
Concurrent with the work of CIGE, the campus established Global Perspectives (R2) as one of three responsibility learning outcomes in the Liberal Education Core . This learning outcome requires students to "evaluate the impact of systems, institutions, and issues in local and global contexts and across cultures" and requires that we assess that learning. The rigorous assessment of global learning represents a long overdue departure from our previous assumption that students automatically become globally aware (and competent!) simply by participating in an international experience. The Global Perspectives (R2)learning outcome has moved us toward a shared understanding of what we want students to learn and how we will assess that learning. Analysis of assessment data, along with evaluation and refinement of this outcome and its associated assessment rubric, will help continuously improve global learning at UW-Eau Claire. Through the work of CIE staff and a group of faculty, study abroad experiences have been approved to meet the Integration (I1) learning outcome. The group has conducted pilot assessment and data will be used to determine how to best help students take advantage of the opportunities available for integration during a study abroad experience.
The Academic Master Plan seeks to build upon the prior and ongoing work of CIE, CIGE, and the Blugold Commitment funded programs.
UW-Eau Claire will prepare students, faculty, and staff for active, informed, and ethical participation in a pluralistic and globally interdependent world through meaningful learning opportunities on and off-campus. We nurture a campus culture of global awareness and engagement and cultivate commensal relationships between our university community and people, places, and cultures beyond the borders of the United States, as well as with multi-ethnic individuals and populations in our region.
Priorities + actions
The Academic Master Plan seeks to build upon the prior and ongoing work of CIE, CIGE, and the Blugold Commitment funded programs through the following actions:
Increase participation in learning abroad from 25% to 35% of the student body.
- Embed learning abroad opportunities into each department's four-year degree plans and identify the optimal semester(s) for students to study abroad or participate in learning abroad activities.
- Develop international department-to-department collaborations to increase UW-Eau Claire student mobility through activities such as research, semester-long study abroad, and short-term immersion.
- Increase from 18% to 25% the number of students participating in semester-long study abroad by cultivating at least ten new cost-neutral (same cost of attendance) learning abroad programs with international partners.
- Increase student participation in short-term immersions by developing faculty-led programs that accommodate larger numbers of students (up to 20) per experience.
- Include Departmental Evaluation Plan (DEP) language to recognize faculty for developing and leading international immersion experiences such as the International Fellows Program, Faculty-led International Immersion Experiences, Domestic Intercultural Immersions, and learning abroad experiences embedded in department programming and curricula.
Double the number of opportunities for faculty to teach abroad.
- Develop international department-to-department collaborations that include a faculty exchange arrangement.
- Develop and invest in new international teaching opportunities and invest in teach abroad programs at existing partners such as Harlaxton and Kansai Gaidai. Prioritize new teaching abroad opportunities in collaboration with Admissions to enhance international student recruitment.
Increase and improve global learning opportunities on campus.
- Incorporate global connections and international perspectives into curriculum in all programs.
- Develop a series of programs similar to the Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity (CERCA) for returning students to bring their international learning back to campus.
- Collect, analyze, and use assessment data to refine the Global Perspectives (R2) learning outcome and its associated rubric.
- Collect, analyze, and use assessment data to refine the role of learning abroad experiences in meeting the Integration (I1) learning outcome.
- Promote campus and community-wide programming and activities such as the cultural insight photo contest, international folk fair, fall festival, the annual symposium on Eastern Europe, and international musical performances.
- Cultivate a program of visiting scholars from around the world who are part of the student learning experience.
Internationalize campus further by increasing international student enrollment from 290 to 350 per year.
- Develop international department-to-department collaborations to increase student exchange opportunities.
- Target majors with capacity for increased international student enrollment.