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ERIC Number: EJ891469
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
An Infusion Approach to Internationalization: Drake University as a Case Study
Skidmore, David; Marston, Jan; Olson, Gretchen
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v11 p187-203 Aug 2005
In higher education circles, it has become commonplace to observe that global awareness must be an important educational goal if students are to cope successfully as citizens and professionals with the challenges of globalization. Yet despite the growing acknowledgment that international education must be a central priority, most indicators suggest that American higher education as a whole is doing an inadequate job in helping students understand the world beyond the borders of the United States. The chief problem is that, in their international educational efforts, most schools offer adequate depth for the few, but inadequate breadth for the many. The resources devoted to international education tend to focus overwhelmingly on the needs of that small percentage of students who pursue a major in some international field of study. While there is no doubt such allocation is appropriate, the most glaring shortcomings in international education concern the vast majority of students who will not specialize in an international area of study, but nevertheless need some degree of global awareness and intercultural competence. The authors believe that the most promising approach to achieving broad yet meaningful levels of internationalization involves the infusion of international perspectives and opportunities throughout the institution. Infusion broadens the reach of international education beyond the small number of students who major in an international field, and does so in a manner that is more meaningful and relevant to students than the general education model. Infusion draws upon successful across-the-curriculum approaches applied in the areas of writing, speaking, critical thinking and citizenship, among others. Although an infusion approach to internationalization has been adopted at many schools, each such initiative must be tailored to the structure, mission and needs of particular institutions. Drake University's own internationalization program, still in its early stages, combines a number of elements that fit its particular needs as a medium-sized (approximately 3,000 undergraduates), private, comprehensive university located in the Midwest. This article takes a look at Drake's three major new internationalization initiatives: (1) the Center for Global Citizenship for the development of opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration around international themes; (2) a new and innovative approach to language training; and (3) the initiation of strategic partnerships with overseas universities in selected countries. While dependent upon support from the highest levels of the university's administration, the success of these programs also depends heavily upon the engagement of intersecting networks of faculty, staff and students. (Contains 1 table and 19 notes.)
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A