First-Year Experience
Georgia Southern University

History of Global Citizens

The idea for a Global Citizens course on the Georgia Southern campus began with Charlie Crouch and John Steinberg, both in the History Department. They envisioned the course as part of a larger effort to internationalize Georgia Southern, and received a Department of Education Title VI grant to implement aspects of this in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

In Fall 2006, the Global Citizens course in roughly its current form was a recommendation of the 2006 FYE Faculty Task Force which was tasked with augmenting the academic component of FYE and to extend it into students’ second semester. Click here for the Global Citizens rationale, or here  to read the 2006 Task Force position paper calling for the course.

In Spring 2008, then-Provost Linda Bleicken charged a Global Citizens task force with writing a course description and learning outcomes for the course. The Task Force was co-chaired by Chris Caplinger (FYE) and Nancy Shumaker (Center for International Studies), and had one representative from each undergraduate college: John Barkoulas (COBA), Charlie Crouch (CLASS), Judith Repman (COE), Joelle Romanchik-Cerpovicz (CHHS), Paige Rutner (CIT) and Lorne Wolfe (COST).

Also in Spring 2008, Georgia Southern applied for and received a $50,000 grant from the University System of Georgia to develop Global Citizens. Although later reduced by $10,000 because of the budget crisis and a reorganization of the Office of International Education at the System level, this grant funded several mini-grants for faculty to develop versions of the course. As a condition of receiving a grant, faculty agreed to provide examples of their work for others to review. Some of this material is publicly available here.

Full implementation of the Global Citizens course, originally envisioned for Spring 2009, had to be postponed because of budget considerations. However, beginning in Fall 2008, FYE began to offer pilot versions of Global Citizens under its special topics course number, FYE 2090. Through Spring 2011, 36 faculty will have offered 40 sections of the course involving nearly 1,000 students. Funding for eight sections during 2010-11 was made possible through a no-cost extension of the CLASS Title VI grant.

In Spring 2010, the Core Curriculum Revision Task force, with input from the larger University community and approval of Faculty Senate, designated Area B, the Institutional Options area of the Core, “Global Engagement.” They also approved the following student learning outcome:

Students will identify major themes across diverse societies in their historical and cultural contexts and will apply this knowledge through engagement in local and global communities.

The following were members of the Area B subcommittee, chaired by Chris Caplinger in FYE, that drafted this outcome: student Christina Belge, faculty Godfrey Gibbison (COBA), Helen Graf (CHHS), Lissa Leege (COST), and John Steinberg (CLASS).

In Fall 2010, the larger Core Curriculum Task Force recommended that Global Citizens replace Turning Points and Connections in Area B of the Core for all students entering Fall 2011 or later. An expanded group convened to align the Global Citizens student learning outcomes with the Area B objective and to create a plan for assessing the Area B objective. This group included Lissa Leege and John Steinberg from the Area B subcommittee as well as Judi Repman (COE) and Nancy Shumaker (CIS) from the 2008 Global Citizens Task Force, and Todd Deal (Student Leadership and Civic Engagement), Trey Denton (COBA), and Ashley Walker (CHHS). The resulting course description and student learning outcomes for the course can be seen here. At its January 2011 meeting, Curriculum Committee approved Global Citizens (FYE 1410) as a mandatory course, effective for students who enter Fall 2011 or later. Also approved was a change in the title of Area B in the Catalog to “Global Engagement.” In February, the Faculty Senate and President Keel gave final approval to these changes.

Last updated: 6/3/2013

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