Academic journal article Catholic Education

The Internationalization of a Catholic University's Graduate Education and Professional Programs: Preparing Global Educators, Family Therapists, Counselors, and Leaders for the 21st Century

Academic journal article Catholic Education

The Internationalization of a Catholic University's Graduate Education and Professional Programs: Preparing Global Educators, Family Therapists, Counselors, and Leaders for the 21st Century

Article excerpt

Catholic colleges and universities are preparing Pre-K-12 educators, clinicians, and leaders who bring international perspectives and experiences, can think and practice globally, work for social justice and equity, and can demonstrate foreign language competencies in their professional work. Recruiting informed faculty who can develop international partnerships that foster and extend student learning and training programs is one way to produce globally competent and culturally proficient professionals. This can only be achieved if Catholic institutions of higher education and its colleges, schools, and programs of education develop globally relevant and informed graduate programs, course curricula, research agendas, and applied professional experiences, including a professionally meaningful international experience requirement for graduation.

This focus section continues the earlier conversations of Reyes Quezada and Paula Cordeiro, dean of the University of San Diego's (USD) School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES), in their roles as guest co-editors of the winter 2007 issue of Teacher Education Quarterly entitled "Internationalizing Colleges and Schools of Education: Educating Teachers for Global Awareness." The purpose of the theme issue was to feature effective programs and best practices that have been initiated by colleges and schools of education. Quezada then expanded this work to an international audience by guest editing a special issue in the journal Teaching Education that is published at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. The special issue was entitled "Internationalization of Teacher Education: Creating Global Competent Teachers and Teacher Educators for the Twenty-First Century," and was intended to stimulate dialogue at an international level among teacher educators. That special issue focused on identifying effective programs and practices specifically in teacher education programs. This focus section builds on the previous work by inviting Catholic colleges and universities, particularly schools and colleges of education, to articulate their strategies for preparing students to succeed professionally in an increasingly interdependent world, including providing students with international training experiences and a globally in formed program of study. It is critical to recruit diverse faculty with international experiences and backgrounds, and to provide professional opportunities for faculty to develop as global educators, scholars, and practitioners. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it is critical for the leadership of Catholic colleges and universities to embrace openly and support international and global initiatives. Examples include articulating the relationship of internationalization to the Catholic identity, mission, and vision of the university; providing opportunities and financial support for faculty development; and providing institutional support for international partnerships, student and faculty exchanges, and curricular offerings.

The articles in this issue address and demonstrate some of the following questions: How do we as faculty define and pursue internationalization in Catholic colleges and universities? How do we operationalize and assess international competence in Catholic higher education? And, how can Catholic colleges and universities ensure that all of its graduates acquire the cross-cultural knowledge, skills, dispositions, and best practices of their respective disciplines in an era of globalization?

In the fall of 2007, SOLES began planning for the implementation of an international experience requirement for all graduate students in the Department of Learning and Teaching, Leadership Department, Marital and Family Therapy Program, and the Counselor Education and Clinical Mental Health Programs. The adoption of an international experience requirement was a response to a university-wide mandate. This mandate supports the notion that USD will become a more culturally diverse and culturally competent community through recruitment at all levels, and through deepening transborder and international educational partnerships and involving students and faculty in international learning experiences. …

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