Higher Learning Research Communications

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Our nation’s colleges and universities have frequently adapted their educational approaches and their relationships with society to respond to new social, economic and environmental challenges. The increasingly interconnected patterns that link together our lives on a global scale have created a new reality. Globalization offers an especially exciting and challenging blend of generational change combined with the emergence of a set of complex, multi-faceted problems created by the global context in which we all now live and work. How shall we educate our students for life in this new era? What can we expect of our graduates in a global world? The answer to these questions is straightforward but will require our institutions to make significant changes in their approach to educating their students and in their interactions with the broader communities that they serve. The approach is shaped by a clear sense of what a globally prepared graduate knows and can do, guided by clear learning outcomes exercised along a sequential pathway of experiences extending from the first year of college through to graduation. These experiences are supported by the use of engaged learning practices that draw students into work that is both personally and socially meaningful cross-disciplinary inquiry that focuses on Big Questions with the goal of finding ways to address those questions in ethical and responsible and effective ways.