Published: Aug 2, 2007
By Robin Roger
summer, the International Programs Office received a 2-year, $165,000
grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand its offerings,
revise existing classes and train faculty to implement the new
“This grant comes at a crucial time because we’re
at a critical juncture about where internationalization is going at UT,”
said Dr. James Harf, director of international academic programs.
office will use the money to design new courses, including a senior
research seminar for the International and Cultural Studies major, a
capstone course for the Certificate of International Studies Program and
four language-for-travel courses.
Introductory Arabic will be
added the first year, and both introductory and intermediate courses
will be available the following year. Students studying abroad in
individualized programs will take a pre-departure course before leaving
the country, and all students can take advantage of four new
“language-for-survival” non-credit weekend classes.
global issues courses also will be created, and two specific issues will
be selected each year to form the substance of these courses. For
instance, students may study global pandemics or human trafficking as
part of these courses.
Existing global issues classes will be
revised to fit a common analytical framework, to make the courses more
consistent across the board. The IPO will also introduce contemporary
issues to the courses required for the International and Cultural
Studies major. A contemporary world literature class may include
literature that relates to a contemporary global perspective, Harf said.
The grant will also be used to establish a speaking series with
two campus-wide programs each year. George Ritzer, author of “The
McDonaldization of Society” is slated to speak this fall.
will receive additional training, and two per year will participate in
summer seminars held by the Council on International Educational
Upon satisfactory completion of the first year of the
program, the University can receive an additional $83,000 in funding the
“This grant will allow us to engage the faculty
in a way we haven’t been able to engage them before and expand our
offerings in international studies,” Harf said. “It also energizes the
faculty to get more and more involved and think about ways to improve
our offerings beyond the grant.”
The International Programs
Office will develop an outcomes assessment model, which will test
students on things like their oral proficiency of foreign languages and
their baseline geography and will include a debriefing before and after
international travel. This assessment will help to measure the students’
international skills, global knowledge and cross-cultural attitudes.
global issues classes, the pre-departure classes, study abroad
experiences and capstone courses will integrate all of the students’
experiences, and connect them to what’s happening in the global
“This will allow us to link activities to current
global issues,” said Marca Bear, associate dean for international
programs. “It will provide our students with 360 degrees of global