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The Global Partners Project : A Set of Initiatives to Strengthen
International Study for Liberal Arts Colleges

Funded by the
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

 

The Global Partners Project was a collaboration among 42 liberal arts colleges that comprise three consortia: the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, the Associated Colleges of the South, and the Great Lakes Colleges Association, Inc.

Global Partners worked to reconceive existing study-abroad programs through increased collaboration among the three consortia and their 42 member institutions. We believed that by working together on specific projects we could develop new models to address shared problems with greater resources and greater efficiency.

To achieve these goals, the Project undertook a set of initiatives, engaging administrators and faculty from each consortium.

  • The Best Practices Task Force found effective and innovative models for off-campus study, preparation, re-entry, faculty and professional development, and elimination of redundancy and inefficiencies.
  • The Language and Technology Task Force developed ways to support the study of less commonly taught languages such as Swahili, Turkish and Russian and to connect language faculty across our campuses.
  • A series of Strategic Briefings brought together presidents, chief academic officers, and chief financial officers to look at the role of international education in the liberal arts, and institutional issues connected to off-campus study.
  • A set of Regional Alliances assessed the state of international education connected to three particular regions, identifying challenges and opportunities, and looking for ways to cooperate and avoid redundancy. ACM will work with the alliance for East Asia, ACS will lead the alliance in France, and GLCA Inc. will build an alliance for East and South Africa.

Task Forces met three times a year, both in person and through online conferencing via the Global Partners Web Board.

The Project also worked through three area centers, each operating under the guidance of a task force of faculty from ACM, GLCA and ACS colleges. Among other activities, the centers hosted faculty seminars, sponsored faculty travel grants to the regions, established clearinghouses for faculty opportunities, and created new study abroad opportunities for students. ACM coordinated work in Central Europe and Russia at its program sites at Kuban State University in Krasnodar, Russia and at Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. GLCA, Inc. established an International Learning Center at the University of Nairobi in Kenya and assisted with Global Partners activities in East Africa. ACS continues to administer a Center in Turkey that supports faculty and students interested in Turkey, as well as neighboring regions and coordinates a fall semester program for students.

Global Partners worked to improve current international programs administered by colleges from the three consortia, and created a framework for identifying strong programs and expanding opportunities for students and faculty in cost-efficient ways. The staff of the three organizations worked closely with academic deans, faculty and off-campus study directors on the 42 campuses to establish priorities and promote faculty participation. Global Partners helped faculty, administrators and students at member institutions improve their activities in international education.

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