International Educator - March/April 2016 - 19

Florida International Started its Global
Learning Push for Reaccreditation

AT RIGHT: FIU; ABOVE: COURTESY OF MELANIE KORNER

For a growing number of universities, the reaccreditation process
provides the impetus for new or renewed global learning emphases
and activities. That was the case at Florida International University
(FIU) in Miami, which made "Global Learning for Global Citizenship" the focus of its 2010 Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). With
"international" in its name and a student body of 55,000 that is more
than 60 percent Hispanic, "one would think that we are international," said Hilary Landorf, director of the Office of Global Learning
Initiatives. But a self-study pointed to "an internationalization gap,"
Landorf said. "While most departments mentioned international
in their mission statements and goals, it was not reflected in their
courses and student learning outcomes."
"We developed three robust, deep, and broad student learning outcomes that became the North Star for our initiative: global
awareness, global perspective, and global engagement," said Landorf,
a onetime Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. "We probably had 75
iterations of the student learning outcomes but boiled it down to
these three and they've served us well."
Starting with the freshmen that entered in 2010, students must take
at least two courses infused with global learning content, one as part
of general education and the other in their major. Even faculty with
existing international courses had to revise them to pass muster with
a global curriculum committee. They also had to employ active learning strategies, assess the impact, and encourage cocurricular activities.
Today more than 160 courses carry the Global Learning designation.
One is Stephen Leatherman's popular earth science course on
coastal hazards. Leatherman is a widely travelled expert whose annual rankings of U.S. beaches have earned him the sobriquet "Dr.
Beach." He is an authority on hurricanes, tsunamis, rip currents,
and other ocean hazards that afflict coastal communities worldwide.
"I changed the syllabus drastically. Before it was two pages. Now
it's 11," Leatherman said. "I don't talk just about the United States

anymore or hurricanes hitting Miami. I talk about typhoons, their
equivalent in Japan, or cyclones hitting Bangladesh, which is one
of the poorest countries in the world, with millions of people living at sea level. When I tell students that 300,000 to 500,000 people
drowned in one event in the 1970s, they're staggered." Discussions of
why so many live so close to the sea and its dangers "get into politics,
economics, social (issues), and even religion" because Bangladesh is
a largely Muslim, patriarchal society where if the man doesn't want
to evacuate, "the whole family may drown," Leatherman said. He was
paid to attend a course development workshop. "They didn't really
have to pay me, but the workshop actually was very useful when
they talked about what they had in mind for global engagement." The
senior-level course, limited to 20 students, now maxes out each fall.
Through articles and presentations by Landorf and Associate Director Stephanie Doscher, FIU has gained a reputation as a pacesetter
in global learning. Their office has a $600,000 annual budget. In 2014

Melanie Korner, who received the Global Medallion at Florida
International University, had this photo taken while she was studying
abroad on a Semester at Sea program.

Florida International University international students celebrate Language Day.
M A R + A P R .16 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2016

Contents
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover1
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Contents
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 2
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 4
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 6
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International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover4
International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover1
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International Educator - March/April 2016 - F1
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International Educator - March/April 2016 - F20
International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover3
International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover4
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