New Certificate in Global Engagement Helps Prepare Students for Leadership, Service in 21st-Century Global Society
- A team of 12 Baylor psychology and neuroscience students, two faculty members and two medical doctors partnered with Life of Hope Ministries and Dustinâ€™s Dream Memorial Foundation to serve in clinics and medical outreach activities in Guatemala City and surrounding rural cities. (Morty Ortega/Baylor University)
- Baylor's Certificate in Global Engagement immerses students in global culture and prepares them for greater awareness and engagement with global challenges.
by Jessie Jilovec, student newswriter, Baylor University Media and Public Relations
WACO, Texas (Feb. 22, 2019) – To help students become academically and cross-culturally prepared to adapt and succeed in a diverse and multicultural world, Baylor University’s Center for Global Engagement now offers the Certificate in Global Engagement that immerses students in global culture and prepares them for greater awareness and engagement with global challenges.
The program is part of Baylor’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), “Global Baylor: Addressing Challenges to Human Flourishing,” an initiative led by Jeffrey Hamilton, Ph.D., vice provost for global engagement. The Global Baylor QEP was a requirement of the University’s reaccreditation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which approved the project. Launched in fall 2018, Baylor’s goal is to promote internationalization across campus in support of the University’s mission to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service.
“We know the world abounds with challenges to human flourishing. We want our students to recognize some of those challenges and become engaged in the search for solutions to global problems, such as how health issues impact all of human society,” Hamilton said. “A concrete example of this is the Certificate in Global Engagement, which is a combination of curricular and co-curricular activities designed to knit together our students’ undergraduate experiences, not only what they learn in the classroom but how they apply it to their lives.”
The Certificate in Global Engagement is designed to enrich the undergraduate academic experience at Baylor, helping students develop globally essential skills and knowledge that will better prepare them to serve and succeed in a 21st-century global society.
“The reason the certificate is special is because every undergraduate student can obtain it and students will receive a line on their academic transcript upon completion,” said Holly Joyner, program manager for Global Baylor. “Therefore, this is highly recognized by the University and allows students to have a way to display all the global things they are doing.”
Examination, exploration and engagement
Sixty-five students are enrolled in the program, which is open to all Baylor undergraduate students in any major and involves a mixture of curricular and co-curricular requirements. Throughout the certificate program, students rise through three levels of global engagement, from examination to exploration to engagement.
Emma Weatherford, a senior University Scholar from Flower Mound, Texas, is a part of the program because she realized her activities throughout her time at Baylor lined up with the program’s requirements. She said she was excited about aligning her completed activities into a coherent mission and gaining awareness of cultures beyond her own.
“The various things I have done towards the Global Certificate have really expanded and introduced a good deal of nuance into my understanding of the world,” Weatherford said. “I have gained an appreciation for the variety of ways a person might approach a given issue and seen how one can respect these different approaches without giving up a strong opinion to that issue.”
The examination level explores appreciation of other cultures and the early stages of how cultural exposure impacts one’s world view. Students gain points by choosing among a variety of options from joining student organizations with a global engagement focus to participating in multicultural or religious events to attending lectures, performances and films on global issues
The exploration level requires active involvement on campus so students can discover their passion and begin to develop knowledge in specific areas. Student again can select from a variety of choices, including taking two 3000-level global engagement courses, getting involved in PAWS (People Around the World Sharing) or participate in peer mentoring and community service opportunities.
The engagement level is the final level and puts prior learning to tangible practice as students engage in meaningful cross-cultural experiences and research. Students can study abroad or serve with Baylor Missions, take 4000-level global engagement courses, participate in a poverty simulation, complete an international internship or conduct research on a global topic
The certificate program brings students who have interest in global affairs and students who have not been exposed to cultures, languages and issues outside of their own together to learn and grow. Students have opportunities to network and built community with other students in the program.
For more information about Global Baylor and the Certificate in Global Engagement, visit www.baylor.edu/globalbaylor.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.