Internationalized Graduate Experiences & Curricula

The subcommittee recommends the University work to ensure that all of its graduate offerings incorporate relevant understandings of ongoing economic, social and political globalization and not merely various specialized fields and curricula, as these trends are shaping ways of life for broad populations across the globe. This focus suggests an integration of these concerns into relevant programs, rather than the addition of such matters as “add-ons” to curricula already otherwise regarded as “complete.” Internationalization may include not only incorporation of relevant course material, but also the provision of opportunities to conduct research or coursework at international institutions or study-travel abroad programs as well. Put differently, the university should continue to ensure that its graduate students, irrespective of programmatic interest, enjoy opportunities for internationally focused learning and research. These will require appropriate preparation, including language facility when necessary. Faculties will need to design carefully the various elements of pre-experience programs, whatever the specific character of the contemplated initiatives, so as to ensure integrated learning experiences. Virginia Tech possesses a solid infrastructure and resources (research institutes, National Capital Region facilities and programs, international centers/programs, alumni, etc.) that can be leveraged to promote the visibility and impact of its graduate programs on a global scale. Along with other relevant existing professional graduate degrees and certificates, the International Research and Development and International Research Abroad graduate certificates represent additional supportive curricular steps in this direction. Nonetheless, the university’s current organizational structure and operating environment, both internal and external, present significant barriers to the development of international programs. In order to be competitive globally, Virginia Tech must continue to become a flexible, adaptive university…. whose work processes are shaped by an organizational culture that rewards imagination and risk taking and embraces continuous experimentation, change and learning.

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