Internationalizing General Education: Resources from NAFSA's 2014 Colloquium


Developing and Assessing Global Competencies in General Education

Deans and faculty members from around the world met at the NAFSA 2014 Colloquium on Internationalizing General Education to discuss best practices for designing general education programs to provide for students’ development of global competencies. Experts in the field guided attendees through strategies and techniques to help them incorporate the teaching of global competencies in their own general education programs. Participants discussed common challenges that they faced in both the design and assessment of international and intercultural programming for general education.

Presentation Materials

Colloquium Program (85kb Adobe PDF)
The colloquium was held in San Diego, California, in May 2014. Fifty-eight faculty, staff, and administrators heard presentations and participated in discussions and networking opportunities. The program provides the schedule of events, session titles, and the presenters’ names and institutions.

Global Competencies in General Education: An Overview
Kevin Hovland (NAFSA: Association of International Educators) provided an overview of global competencies in general education that included the following topics:

  • The role of global learning within general education programming;
  • Trends in general education design; and
  • How challenges in general education design can be addressed with global frameworks.

Publication: Global Learning: Defining, Designing, Demonstrating

A Holistic Institutional Approach to Global Learning in General Education:

Valerie Whittlesey (Kennesaw State University) spoke about the challenges her institution, Kennesaw State University (KSU), faced when incorporating global learning into its curriculum. These challenges involved issues concerning:

  • Leadership;
  • Financial resources;
  • Institutional infrastructure; and
  • Faculty, staff, and student buy-in.

Whittlesey also discussed the ways in which the results of KSU’s Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) affected the discussion on global learning outcomes, including statistics that were gathered in the process concerning:

  • Scholarships and funding;
  • Students’ perceptions of global engagement; and
  • The number of students meeting and exceeding criteria regarding global engagement.

Finally, she discussed KSU’s future goals and direction for its general education program.

Panel: How Are Global Competencies Developed and Assessed in General Education?  

This segment was presented by the following panelists:

  • Richard Cattabiani: The State University of New York - Ulster Community College
  • Michael Krenn: Appalachian State University
  • B. Runi Mukherji: The State University of New York College at Old Westbury
  • Rebecca Smolar: The State University of New York Levin Institute
  • Hope Windle: The State University of New York - Ulster Community College

The presentation included an overview of global learning, definitions of global learners and global learning, assessment tools, and case-specific information on the implementation of global learning initiatives at the institutions represented by the speakers.


Workshop: Incorporating Global Competencies into General Education Programming
Presenters walked participants through ways of incorporating global competencies into general education programming. Participants discussed the following topics in individual roundtable discussions:

  • Buy-in from faculty and international program directors;
  • Buy-in from administrators;
  • Buy-in from instructional design and professional development; and
  • Buy-in from assessment processes.

2015 Partners

NAFSA thanks its partner organizations, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) for their assistance with this colloquium.