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Best Practices Projects


A key goal for the Global Partners Project was to develop and support innovative practices in international education. As part of its second phase, the project funded three major projects designed to address critical issues in international education facing our colleges. Each project was collaborative, working over three years to develop innovative approaches to a particular issue. Each group produced models and materials shared among the forty-two Global Partners colleges. The projects promoted the goal of the Global Partners Project: to develop collaboration among our institutions, to help us all become more effective and efficient in fulfilling our commitment to international education as an integral aspect of a liberal arts education.

The Best Practices Task Force solicited ideas from across the Global Partners network. It received ten proposals, involving seventeen colleges across the three consortia. After careful review the task force decided to fund three proposals, involving seven colleges.

Below is a brief description of each project, including contact information.

Pre-Departure and Re-Orientation: Model Development and Symposium

For more information, see this dedicated page.

Creating Globally and Culturally Competent Citizens: A Collaborative Approach

These three colleges are similar and geographically close, although they have different strengths in international education. Over the next three years they will combine these strengths to think systematically about preparing globally and culturally competent citizens. Students, faculty members, and administrators will all be involved. Through a series of meetings in the first year, they will explore the concept of "global citizenship" and identify how each of the colleges strives to create globally and culturally competent citizens in the face of globalization, sharing our best practices and developing ideas for collaborative projects. During the second year they will focus on putting these ideas and practices aimed at creating globally and culturally competent citizens to the test in the field through collaborative on- and off-campus projects; and in the third year they will complete the circle by applying what we have learned and using new knowledge gained to reframe our ways of thinking about what we do as liberal arts colleges committed to preparing students for global citizenship.

In October 2003 the colleges organized a student conference at Wabash, "Transforming Education Through International Study." In November 2003 a group of faculty and students from the participating colleges visited the GLCA Border Studies program sponsored by Earlham. Here are some pictures.

For more information, contact Melissa Butler, Professor of Political Science Wabash College

Somalis in America: The Challenges of Adaptation

In recent decades many Somalis have immigrated to the United States. In Minnesota alone, Somali residents have grown from barely a few dozen in the late 1980s to approximately 10,000 in 2000 (U.S. Census figures). This population has brought into relief the challenge of creating cohesive, but multicultural communities, on our Global Partners campuses, the towns and cities in which are institutions are embedded, and in the entire United States. This project brought ogether key groups in Minnesota, the nation and beyond to have a comprehensive and open conversation about the challenges faced by Somalis resettling and their American host communities. By doing so, it sought to involve other faculty and staff from selected Global Partner institutions and to share our learning about the imperatives of multiculturalism and community development. The project involved consultations on major questions of relevance to the challenges and achievements of immigrants to the United States, with a special focus on what these questions mean for intercultural learning in the liberal arts tradition.
For more information, contact Ahmed I. Samatar, Dean of International Studies at Macalester College (


updated 4/19/06

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