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Global Learning Initiative

GLI at a Glance

The purpose of Winthrop University's Global Learning Initiative (GLI) is to integrate intentionally global learning across the Touchstone (general education) Program.

The GLI defines "global" as "local, regional, national and/or international experiences that may differ from one's own culture." (see page 1 of the GLI Proposal).

The GLI will improve students' learning in three categories: global knowledge, global attitudes, and global engagement  (see page 14 of the GLI Proposal).
GLI Proposal

Winthrop University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master's, and specialist degrees. The GLI is part of Winthrop University's application for reaffirmation through this accrediting body.

The Quality Enhancement Plan is a five-year comprehensive initiative designed to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue or issues important to student learning. A requirement of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaffirmation of accreditation process, the plan must be linked to the institution's values and planning processes.

The GLI is a result of two years of collaborative work by Winthrop University faculty, staff, and students (see page 3 of the GLI Proposal).

The GLI is a five-year project, which started in the 2011-2012 Academic Year. (For a timeline of activities see page 31 of the GLI Proposal).

GLI Goals

The GLI Report identifies six implementation (or program) goals.

  • Goal 1
    To infuse Global Learning Components into ACAD101 (Principles of the Learning Academy) and HMXP 102 (The Human Experience).
  • Goal 2
    To integrate Global Learning Components into Touchstone Program courses as appropriate.
  • Goal 3
    To increase the number of Global Learning Cultural Events.
  • Goal 4
    To identify study abroad programs in each major that permit students to transfer courses to meet Touchstone Program requirements.
  • Goal 5
    To assess Student Learning Outcomes.
  • Goal 6
    To plan for the continuation and expansion of the Global Learning Initiative beyond 2016. (See pages 17-30 and 35-41 of the GLI Proposal).

GLI Frequently Asked Questions

QlogoWhat is the GLI?

AlogoThe Global Learning Initiative is a Winthrop University plan to integrate Global Learning intentionally into the Touchstone (general education) Program.

QlogoWhy did Winthrop University create the GLI?

AlogoIn 2010-11, Winthrop University underwent reaffirmation from its accrditing body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). SACS requires that each institution undergroing reaffirmation identify a component of its undergraduate program to improve. This is called the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The GLI is Winthrop University's QEP.

QlogoWhat is the purpose of the GLI?

AlogoThe purpose of the GLI is to improve student learning in three general categories; global knowledge, global attitudes and global engagement.

QlogoHow did Winthrop University choose the GLI?

AlogoThe GLI is the result of a two-year process that involved the entire Winthrop Community: faculty, staff, and students. The process involved focus groups and surveys and presentations of different project ideas. The GLI emerged from a consensus that today's college students need more information about, and experience with, the world in order to be prepared for life and careers in an increasingly integrated and globalized world.

QlogoHow will the GLI affect the student experience at Winthrop University?

AlogoStudents will encounter more Global Learning Components in their Touchstone Program courses, starting with ACAD 101 and HMXP 102. They will also see more Global Learning Cultural Events on campus and may even be required to attend some as class assignments. Students will learn more about study abroad opportunities in their major programs and perhaps be inspired to spend a semester or year abroad. Students may take part in global engagement experiences, such as appropriate service learning projects, or become Peer Mentors in ACAD 101. Finally, students may be involved in sponsoring or performing in Global Learning Cultural Events.

QlogoHow can students get involved in the GLI?

AlogoIn many ways, including

bullet Serving on one of the five committees involved with implementing the GLI;

bullet Sponsoring Global Learning Cultural Events as part of DiGiorgio Student Union Program Board or through their major programs;   

bullet Attending Global Learning Cultural Events;

bullet Participating in musical, dance, or theatrical performances that are Global Learning Cultural Events;

bullet Seeking out Touchstone Program courses that have Global Learning Components;

bullet Seeking out Global Engagement Experiences;

bullet Participating in short-term and long-term study abroad opportunities;

bullet Becoming a Peer Mentor

QlogoHow can faculty get involved in the GLI?

AlogoIn many ways, including

bullet Serving on one of the five committees charged with implementing the GLI;

bullet Sharing their experiences of integrating Global Learning Components into their courses;   

bullet Developing short-term study abroad courses;

bullet Encouraging students to study abroad;

bullet Participating in workshops and TLC sessions on the Global Learning Initiative;

bullet Sponsoring Global Learning Cultural Events;

bullet Developing Global Engagement Experiences;

bullet Recruiting students with international experiences to become Global Peer Mentors;

bullet Suggesting possible titles for the Common Book or for adoption in the HMXP 102 reader;

bullet Integrating new and/or additional Global Learning Components into their courses; and

bullet Teaching ACAD 101 and HMXP 102 if trained.

QlogoHow long will the GLI last?

AlogoThe GLI is a five year plan, which started in the 2011-2012 academic year and
will continue through 2015-2016. In the 2015-16 academic year, Winthrop University
will determine whether and how to continue and expand the GLI.

QlogoHow will we know if the GLI is successful?

AlogoKey personnel in University College, in conjunction with various faculty and staff committees, will regularly assess student learning outcomes in the three general categories (global knowledge, global attitudes, and global engagement), and adjust the program as appropriate.

QlogoWhere can I learn more?

AlogoRead the GLI proposal .

Executive Summary

Winthrop University, founded in 1886, is a comprehensive institution of higher education that enrolls over 6,000 students. Its mission emphasizes the university's collective responsibility to help students acquire and develop knowledge, skills, capabilities and values that enrich their lives and prepare them to meet the needs and challenges of the contemporary world. To address these objectives, Winthrop University faculty, administrators, students, and staff selected the Global Learning Initiative (GLI) as its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to be implemented and assessed through 2016.

The QEP's rationale stems not only from the institution's mission and student body demographics, but also from Winthrop's commitment to its students achieving the Winthrop University-Level Competencies, particularly Competency # 2 that requires students to take seriously the perspectives of others, and Competency # 3 that mirrors the mission's vision to prepare students for the contemporary world by helping them understand the interconnected nature of the world and the time in which they live. (University-Wide Academic Assessment Committee, 2010). Although Winthrop has worked hard to increase international enrollments, has several agreements and cooperative arrangements with international universities, sends a small number of students abroad for study every year, and even requires students to take three hours in a designated global course, more than brief interactions with and exposure to international students and international cultures will benefit Winthrop students. The GLI will build on these ongoing initiatives to promote greater involvement with culturally diverse people, practices, values, and beliefs through the curriculum and other campus-wide activities, thereby enhancing Winthrop's global learning environment.

The GLI's purpose is to integrate global learning intentionally across the Touchstone(general education) Program beginning with freshman year. For the GLI, Winthrop is using Olson, Green, and Hill's definition of global to mean local, regional, national, and/or international experiences that may differ from ones own cultures (adapted from, 2006, p. v).

The GLI will address five student learning outcomes (SLOs) through course work in the Touchstone Program. The SLOs are grouped into three general categories: global knowledge, global attitudes, and global engagement. These three areas first will be addressed in two Touchstone Core courses and then broaden to courses across the Touchstone Program. Not all courses will incorporate aspects of global learning; however, all graduates will have explored global influences, examined culturally diverse relationships, and will have come to understand how those intercultural dynamics impact their senses of self, their lives, and their careers to prepare them better for success in the contemporary world.

Winthrop will use a diverse set of direct and indirect assessment strategies to qualitatively and quantitatively measure progress on GLI implementation and student learning outcomes. These include adapting rubrics designed for current assessment efforts and designing new assessments specifically for the GLI, e.g., a Global Learning Questionnaire that will be administered to students at least three times during their academic careers.