Internationalizing Education for the Health Professions: Resources from NAFSA's 2014 Colloquium


Identifying and Developing Global Competencies in Education for the Health Professions

Deans and faculty members met at the NAFSA 2014 Colloquium on Internationalizing Education for the Health Professions to discuss best practices for teaching global competence as part of their existing healthcare training curriculum. Experts in the field guided attendees through strategies and techniques to help them incorporate the teaching of global competencies into their programs. Participants discussed common challenges and ethical dilemmas that they faced in designing responsible international and intercultural programming.

Presentation Materials

Colloquium Program (290kb Adobe PDF)
The colloquium was held in San Diego, California, in May 2014. Forty-three faculty, staff, and administrators from health-related programs and organizations heard presentations and participated in discussions and networking opportunities. The program provides the schedule of events, session titles, and the presenters’ names and institutions.

"Framing the Future" - The Second 100 Years of Education for Public Health (385kb Adobe PDF)
Donna Petersen (University of South Florida) provided an overview of how global competencies are developed in public health programming. Her presentation began with an examination of how public health programs have evolved to respond to global needs and interests. The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) has provided leadership in guiding academic programs to respond appropriately to the increasingly global nature of public health through its "Framing the Future" initiative. One of the outcomes of this initiative has been the identification of essential global competencies for graduates. The University of South Florida has redesigned its programming so that graduates are well-equipped to practice public health in a global environment.

Panel: Global Competencies in Practice

Jessica Evert (Child Family Health International, University of California-San Francisco) and Jody Olsen (University of Maryland) provided examples of how global competencies may be developed in programming. Evert shared both an overview of the many definitions of global competencies that have been developed as well as how Child Family Health International programs incorporate the development of these competencies into international experiences. Olsen focused on the development of interprofessional competencies within international fieldwork. She also presented the results of an interprofessional task force charged with identifying those competencies that were essential for students to have to be successful in practicing healthcare in different environments.


Jessica Evert, Jody Olsen, and Donna Petersen (1.2mb Adobe PDF) led participants through a series of conversations about specific ways they could incorporate global competencies into their own educational programs. Participants discussed challenges and best practices regarding:

  • Credit transfer / joint-degree programs;
  • Ethics;
  • Risk management, safety, and security; and
  • Employability and career implications.

Workshop: Incorporating Global Competencies into Education for the Health Professions
Jessica Evert directed participants in a more in-depth look at how these best practices could be incorporated into programming.

2014 Agenda & Presenters

2015 Partners

NAFSA thanks its partner organizations, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) for their assistance with this colloquium.