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International Studies and the Global Community: Transforming the Agenda

Heidi H. Hobbs, Harry I. Chernotsky and Darin H. Van Tassell


Comment on this article   A student came into the office to discuss a topic from a recent class. Before leaving, she said, “my Mom keeps asking me ‘what exactly does it mean for you to be studying International Studies? And by the way, will it help you find a job after you graduate?’ My Mom wants me to explain what my major is about when I come home for the holidays.” While it was a deceptively simple set of questions, the issues raised represent some of the more pressing questions confronting the growing number of multidisciplinary International Studies programs at colleges and universities across the country. What exactly should students know and what can International Studies prepare them to do? Can some core elements be identified that contribute to the knowledge base being sought from a broad array of disciplinary homes? The development of International Studies majors reflects broader trends toward internationalizing American higher education. Prompted by the desire to enhance the global preparedness of their students, a growing number of colleges and universities across the country have taken steps to extend their commitments to international programs and activities. These efforts have taken many forms and have been pushed, in part, by the increasing interest of students in gaining broader exposure and experience. American Council on Education (2002) surveys have reported, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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