Faculty Senate: University evaluating possible ‘cultural competency …

The university is working to evaluate a model for “cultural competency” courses, Ohio University interim Executive Vice President and Provost David Descutner told Faculty Senate on Monday night.

Descutner and President Duane Nellis opened the meeting by saying the university is working to prevent sexual misconduct, highlighting diversity and inclusion efforts such as the implementation of “cultural competency” courses for faculty and students and addressing $20 million in unallocated funds in the budget. Senators also discussed two resolutions related to students.

“We have 213 years of university history and 21 presidents, (OU has) had a lot of stability, which I think is a good thing for the university, but we have some challenges as well, as far as our financial situation, the need for creating a more sustainable model for our future,” Nellis said. 

Nellis will present “strategic pathways” in moving forward as a university at his investiture on Wednesday. That will include an outline that aims to establish OU as a “national leader” in diversity and inclusion. 

Descutner began his presentation by updating Faculty Senate on the discussion around implementing a “cultural competency” course by putting a group together to evaluate a model from Carnegie Mellon University and explore ideas. That course could be an additional general education requirement.

“I think (cultural intelligence is) a much better way of describing the course as I imagined it,” Descutner said. “Of course, however it unfolds is in the hands of the faculty, but it really is about cultural intelligence. … It’s about adaptability and it’s about being able to meet others with cultural sensitivity.” 

Descutner and Associate Provost for Academic Budget and Planning John Day gave an overview about budget challenges colleges will face next year. 

“I haven’t seen anything like this since 2008,” Descutner said. 

OU colleges are assessing a 7 percent budget cut, although the actual funding cut could be less than that. The 7 percent budget cut is partly the result of the statewide tuition freeze and limited funding from the state.

“There are circumstances where some colleges have already cut (their budgets) in recent years,” Day said. 

Faculty members asked how their colleges would be affected by next year’s budget. 

“There does seem to be some confusion in this room about what has been proposed and what has been decided, and I think it would be helpful if everybody involved in the conversation is getting a consistent story about what’s being proposed,” Faculty Senate Chair Joe McLaughlin said. “We have to get everybody on the same page.”

Later in the meeting, senate passed a resolution asking the university to rescind the interim “Freedom of Expression” policy.

The resolution was brought forward for the Executive Committee after senators discussed the interim policy at the September meeting. The resolution will establish a task force to evaluate the need for a policy, determine what that policy could entail and create a set of procedures for the university to follow during “situations of conflict.”

The comment period for the interim policy ends Oct. 20. The president’s council has discussed “next steps” for the policy, Nellis said.

@soveitkkitsch

sp936115@ohio.edu

Hennepin County’s teen birth rates decreased last year, but federal cuts will impact programming


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NPC tidbit:

Want to learn more about programs and student activities at Northland Pioneer College?

Come to the free EagleFest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Holbrook-Painted Desert Campus, 2251 E. Navajo Blvd. (next to the water tower).

There will be interactive booths, demonstrations, tour the Skills Center, live music, free food and fun activities for the whole family. Find out about dual enrollment and career training opportunities for high school students, how to apply for financial aid, personal interest classes for adults and summer STEM programs in NPC’s Kids College.

Learn how to save thousands of dollars in tuition by completing general education courses at NPC, then transferring to a four-year university.

Education dollars: $3m in jeopardy after audit

By DAVE SOLOMON
State House Bureau


October 16. 2017 10:02PM


CONCORD — The federal government is not happy with how New Hampshire accounted for millions in educational grants since 2014, and could demand that some of the money be repaid, depending on the result of an audit to be conducted early next year.

“Our estimate is that a little more than $3 million is at risk,” Commissioner of Education Frank Edelblut said. “Obviously we know a good bit of that was spent correctly, but can we substantiate that? We don’t know what will be clawed back or not clawed back.”

The programs in question support low-income families, English learners and disabled students through portions of education law known as Title I, Title II and Title III.

In 2017, those three programs, along with School Improvement Grants, brought nearly $55 million to local school districts, with 1 percent allowed for administration at the state level.

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education issued new guidance on how state education officials should account for the distribution of federal education dollars to local school districts. Several states, including New Hampshire, were audited to determine how they were complying.

The review concluded that the state did not adequately monitor federally funded programs at the local level or have accounting systems in place to ensure compliance with federal requirements by local school districts.

“This lack of fiscal oversight creates a significant risk that (local school districts) could mismanage federal programs, resulting in potential unallowable expenditures or instances of waste, fraud, or abuse,” according to the “Pilot Fiscal Review” from the federal Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The report was presented to the state Department of Education in July but not publicly released until late September. The state has until Oct. 18 to respond with a plan that addresses the most serious concerns.

Could prove costly

The practice that could prove most costly to the state is the method that was used to calculate how much of the federal money could be used to pay personnel in the Department of Education for administration of the grants.

The department determined a fixed amount from each grant for administration in its annual budget, and deducted the funds accordingly, in violation of the federal guidelines.

“Part of this uniform guidance clearly established that all personnel expenditures must be supported by records that accurately reflect the work performed,” said Edelblut. “It clearly says that budget estimates alone do not support the charges.”

Each pay period, NHDOE would allocate the total salary charged for each employee to individual programs according to the pre-determined percentages, with no after-the-fact evaluation as to whether the charges accurately reflected the actual time worked by the employee on activities related to any single program.

Edelblut, a CPA with extensive background in financial management, has since changed the accounting method.

“Employees now keep track of the hours they work on programs; we charge the programs for the level of effort expended; and we support that with the underlying documentation for the time claimed,” he said.

Claw back coming?

That’s going to depend in large part on an independent audit of the expenditures from fiscal years 2014-16 that the state is required to do as a result of the federal findings.

The accounting firm of KPMG has been retained and is expected to launch the $25,000 financial review some time after it completes the audit of the state fiscal year due by the end of December.

Gov. Chris Sununu said he found the results of the Pilot Review “disappointing and troubling.”

“I appreciate the work the commissioner and his departments have done to respond to the action steps, as well as their efforts to ensure that systems are in place to achieve compliance going forward,” he said in a statement.

dsolomon@unionleader.com

Education
State Government

Faculty Senate: University evaluating possible ‘cultural competency’ course model

The university is working to evaluate a model for “cultural competency” courses, Ohio University interim Executive Vice President and Provost David Descutner told Faculty Senate on Monday night.

Descutner and President Duane Nellis opened the meeting by saying the university is working to prevent sexual misconduct, highlighting diversity and inclusion efforts such as the implementation of “cultural competency” courses for faculty and students and addressing $20 million in unallocated funds in the budget. Senators also discussed two resolutions related to students.

“We have 213 years of university history and 21 presidents, (OU has) had a lot of stability, which I think is a good thing for the university, but we have some challenges as well, as far as our financial situation, the need for creating a more sustainable model for our future,” Nellis said. 

Nellis will present “strategic pathways” in moving forward as a university at his investiture on Wednesday. That will include an outline that aims to establish OU as a “national leader” in diversity and inclusion. 

Descutner began his presentation by updating Faculty Senate on the discussion around implementing a “cultural competency” course by putting a group together to evaluate a model from Carnegie Mellon University and explore ideas. That course could be an additional general education requirement.

“I think (cultural intelligence is) a much better way of describing the course as I imagined it,” Descutner said. “Of course, however it unfolds is in the hands of the faculty, but it really is about cultural intelligence. … It’s about adaptability and it’s about being able to meet others with cultural sensitivity.” 

Descutner and Associate Provost for Academic Budget and Planning John Day gave an overview about budget challenges colleges will face next year. 

“I haven’t seen anything like this since 2008,” Descutner said. 

OU colleges are assessing a 7 percent budget cut, although the actual funding cut could be less than that. The 7 percent budget cut is partly the result of the statewide tuition freeze and limited funding from the state.

“There are circumstances where some colleges have already cut (their budgets) in recent years,” Day said. 

Faculty members asked how their colleges would be affected by next year’s budget. 

“There does seem to be some confusion in this room about what has been proposed and what has been decided, and I think it would be helpful if everybody involved in the conversation is getting a consistent story about what’s being proposed,” Faculty Senate Chair Joe McLaughlin said. “We have to get everybody on the same page.”

Later in the meeting, senate passed a resolution asking the university to rescind the interim “Freedom of Expression” policy.

The resolution was brought forward for the Executive Committee after senators discussed the interim policy at the September meeting. The resolution will establish a task force to evaluate the need for a policy, determine what that policy could entail and create a set of procedures for the university to follow during “situations of conflict.”

The comment period for the interim policy ends Oct. 20. The president’s council has discussed “next steps” for the policy, Nellis said.

@soveitkkitsch

sp936115@ohio.edu

HCC wins federal grant – Connecticut Post

  • Housatonic Community College's Commencement 2017 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn., on Thursday May 25, 2017. With 612 graduates, this is the college's 3rd largest graduating class in its history. Photo: Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media / Connecticut Post

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BRIDGEPORT — Housatonic Community College has received a five-year $1.3 million federal grant to help strengthen its student success and retention programs.

The Housatonic Student Success Grant proposal was a college-wide effort according to Paul Broadie, president of the two year college.

“This is a proud moment for the college as we continue to make a profound impact on the lives of our students,” said Dr. Broadie


The Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) helps higher education institutions expand their capacity to serve students by providing funding to improve and strengthen the institution’s academic impact and institutional effectiveness.

Alese Mulvihill, the grant writing team chair for Housatonic said the money will help reinvent the way students engage across the college.

At Housatonic, the 57 percent of full time students in 2015 returned in 2016 according to the U.S. Department of Education. Among part time students, the retention rate was 46 percent. The overall graduation rate was 10 percent.

The U. S. Department of Education awards Title III grants to institutions of higher education where at least 50 percent of the students receive need-based assistance or grants.

Telling Adjuncts to Quit Is Giving Up on Education

 

 

 

I am an adjunct who did what Claire Potter recently suggested in Inside Higher Ed.

I quit. 

It took me sixteen years to do it, but I quit. For the vast majority of that time I had no desire to quit. I loved the work. Unlike many adjuncts, I was almost always full-time at a single institution with benefits. At the low end I made around $3200/course. At the high end, $6000/course.

Even at the end I had no desire to quit, but having finally reached a definitive dead end with the last tenure track job I could apply for going to someone who wasn’t me, I saw little choice. I called this space Just Visiting at the outset, because I knew no matter how much I tried to make where I’d landed a home, it probably wasn’t going to pan out, and I was right

My enthusiasm for teaching was undiminished, but I could see trouble on the horizon, consigned to a single course, semester after semester, no room for growth or new challenges. I didn’t want to be angry, or worse, bitter.

Because I had some advantages, my transition was easy. I was already making more money writing than teaching. I have an emotionally supportive partner who also could support us financially without me earning a dime.

On my way out the door I sold two book proposals, and dipping my toe into speaking opportunities[1] allows me to earn more with three one-day campus visits than teaching a single course for an entire semester. To tell people who have no financial cushion to “just leave” when even that poorly paying work may be the only thing between them and defaulting on loans or putting rent into arrears strikes me as some pretty casual cruelty.

Even with my cushy landing spot, the psychological barrier to stopping teaching was considerable and required a step-down process from full-time to single course to now, nothing. Financially, professionally, I will do far better having made this move than I could’ve sticking with the full-time instructor life, and yet, many days, I wonder if I made the right choice.

I’m hoping someday relatively soon the new life will be sufficiently established for me to consider adjuncting in the way it was intended, a professional person in the community who has some time and the desire to teach and doesn’t mind it’s basically volunteer work.

Prof. Potter is right that adjuncting PhD’s or other academic castaways can survive outside the academy. She says we “feel more trapped than we actually are,” which is probably true. Highly educated people do tend to do better in the world than others. Over my “career” I’ve encountered dozens of contingent faculty who have left higher ed and gone on to better things, financially anyway.

I believe Prof. Potter is also right that while unions and other collective labor organizing will improve some individual situations, they are unlikely to effect systemic change. The lot of non-tenurable faculty may improve, but they will not suddenly become tenurable.

But I am significantly more skeptical that a sudden uprising en masse of contingent faculty of all stripes quitting their jobs would result in any structural changes either. For sure, this kind of act would be disruptive, but who really believes that school administrations would suddenly see the light and reverse the decades-long trend of labor casualization?

Recommending that contingent faculty quit and move on is good advice at the individual level.

But I think a lot of the people who give this advice aren’t considering what this means in the bigger picture. If all adjuncts are to quit, what’s left?

Will this sort of action cause a giant pot of money to fall from the sky? Will it suddenly alert tenured faculty to the existence of a thirty-year-long trend? For fields like composition, it has never been the lack of jobs, but the largely arbitrary classification of some jobs as beneath security or reasonable pay – and all the attached rationales – that has resulted in the status quo. The conditions which allowed this to happen don’t suddenly change when adjuncts walk away.

The actual administrative responses that would come are fairly predictable because they are the same ones that have been happening. Tenured faculty may be asked (required) to pick up some of the slack, but there is far too much slack to be taken up. If adjuncts have truly disappeared, credentials for teaching will be lowered or credit requirements will either be changed or offloaded to “alternative” providers. MOOCs may be a “failed product” when measured against genuine high contact instruction, but if the alternative is nothing at all, institutions will do what must be done. There is no bridge too far. As long as the credential can be granted, anything goes.

It will be fairly straightforward for more selective publics to require some equivalent of courses that depend on contingent labor, like first-year writing, prior to matriculation. This will be a boon for the College Board and their AP exams, but it won’t be a benefit to quality education, and the cost of those credits will fall on students

Gazing into my crystal ball, institutions will start touting a “streamlined path to a degree.” You’ll see plenty of op-eds celebrating the end of “pointless” general education courses and more direct path to “career readiness.”

The devaluing of the labor of teaching is a fait accompli. In a lot of ways, it’s the dedication of contingent faculty that keeps the old traditions alive, attempting to do the work as best we can under the circumstances.

Until tenured faculty – en masse – recognize that the first priority must be to protect the value of academic labor, even if that means a diminishing of their status or comforts, no action from adjuncts will result in any meaningful change. 

I don’t expect anything so radical to happen, however.

Telling adjuncts to “just quit” is giving up on education, and only hastens the ultimate demise of security for any faculty.

 

 

 

 

[1] I’m hoping to jump in with my full body on this front in the future, once these books are in the can. Email me. 

UC Davis Sponsored Research Funding Increases to $783 Million

The University of California, Davis, received $783 million in external research funding for fiscal year 2016-17, up $23 million from the previous year. UC Davis remained fourth overall among University of California campuses, which received a combined total of $6.08 billion from all external sponsors during fiscal year 2016-17, about 1 percent above the previous year.

“It’s clear that public agencies and private companies are depending on UC Davis’ innovative spirit and expertise to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges,” said Chancellor Gary S. May.

Federal government remains top source of funding

Awards from the federal government again topped the list for 2016-17, totaling $384 million, but were down slightly from $391 million the previous year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services accounted for the largest source of federal funding with $221 million in awards, up from $213 million in 2015-16. The next highest federal awards were from the National Sciences Foundation at $40 million and the Department of State at $32.6 million.

Funding from the state of California made up a significant portion of the awards at $160.6 million, down slightly from the previous year’s award of $170 million. Businesses grants totaled $61.5 million, and higher education grants increased by $10 million to $41 million. 

Top awards tackle infrastructure, public health

A program that will help improve California’s infrastructure, specifically California roads, received the largest university grant during fiscal year 2016-17. Programs that address public health issues made up other top awards, including tracking cancer data for use in research, identifying and responding to viruses that have the potential to create global pandemics, reducing illness and mortality from tobacco, and improving nutrition for low-income Californians.

$29.6 million for ‘Partnered Pavement Research Center 2017-2020’ from the California Department of Transportation

The UC Davis Pavement Research Center works collaboratively with the California Department of Transportation on research, development and implementation of a wide range of pavement technology, management, cost and environmental topics. This three-year contract includes projects in improved pavement design methods, performance-related specifications for construction, recycling of pavement materials and waste tires, development and implementation of systems to collect environmental data and assess sustainability, materials and construction specifications for quieter and smoother pavement, and avoidance of early construction failures. The contract also includes enhancements to the Caltrans pavement asset management system for selection of maintenance and rehabilitation timing and to the life cycle cost analysis system for comparison of treatment type alternatives. Principal investigator: John T. Harvey; co-principal investigators: David J. Jones and Jeremy D. Lea.

$26 million for ‘California Cancer Registry’ from California Department of Public Health

Since 2012, the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement has partnered with the California Department of Public Health to run the California Cancer Registry, or CCR, one of the world’s leading resources for population-based data on cancer. The award is used to support the California Cancer Reporting and Epidemiologic Surveillance (CalCARES) Program. CalCARES conducts the day-to-day operations of the statewide registry and promulgates a number of cancer surveillance reports each year. CalCARES staff members also conduct population-based research about cancer.

Founded in 1988, the CCR collects information about almost all cancers diagnosed in California — over 4 million cases to date, with more than 175,000 new cases are added annually. The data in the registry are used to develop strategies and policies for the prevention, treatment and control of cancer, and have been the cornerstone of a large amount of research that has advanced knowledge about cancer over the years. Numerous UC and other investigators use data from the CCR in their research. Principal investigator: Kenneth W. Kizer.

$20.5 million for ‘Emerging Pandemic Threats Program 2 PREDICT-2’ from U.S. Agency for International Development 

The multi-institutional PREDICT initiative provides rapid detection and response to emerging viruses such as Ebola and SARS that move among people, wildlife and livestock. The program currently operates in more than 30 countries around the world. The project is part of USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threats program and is led by the UC Davis One Health Institute in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The implementing partners are the United States Agency for International Development, Wildlife Conservation Society, EcoHealth Alliance, Metabiota and the Smithsonian Institution. Principal investigator: Jonna Mazet.

$14.4 million for ‘California Tobacco Control Program’ from California Department of Public Health

The UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement, in partnership with the California Department of Health, has operated the internationally acclaimed California Tobacco Control Program, or CTCP, since 2012. Originally established in 1989 after passage of Proposition 99, the CTCP seeks to improve the health of all Californians by reducing illness and premature death attributable to the use of tobacco products. The CTCP has helped to dramatically reduce the use of tobacco in California, which now has the second lowest rate of smoking among all states. Through leadership, experience and research, the highly successful CTCP empowers statewide and local health agencies to promote health and quality of life by advocating social norms that create a tobacco-free environment. The funds are used to, among other things, develop and support a wide range of community-based programs to accomplish these purposes. Principal investigator: Kenneth W. Kizer.

$10 million for ‘University of California CalFresh Nutrition Education Program’ from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through an agreement with the California Department of Social Services and Food and Nutrition Service

The University of California CalFresh Nutrition Education program has served California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) communities for more than 20 years. In 2016, the program operated in 31 counties. Using a “school as the hub” model, 89 percent of UC CalFresh’s 116,505 direct education participants are preschool and school-aged youth. Adults receive food resource management education to promote food security at school and community sites. Direct education is delivered at 861 SNAP-Ed eligible sites. The integration of policy, systems and environmental change initiatives has contributed to establishing a bedrock of opportunities for communities to create long-lasting change — decreasing obesity and chronic disease rates — and increasing healthy lifestyles. Principal investigator: David C. Ginsburg.

Other significant awards include $8 million for the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center, $7.6 million for the comparative effectiveness of breast cancer screening and diagnostic evaluation by extent of breast density, $7.3 million for support of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, $6.8 million for the UC Davis Suisun Marsh Study, and $6.5 million for the UC Davis Center for Occupational and Environmental Health.

Where funds are awarded over several years, but distributed in yearly increments, the money is counted in the year received.

Awards by college and school

Based on principal investigators’ home departments, the UC Davis School of Medicine received the largest allocation of research awards at $298 million, followed by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at $162.5 million, the College of Engineering at $82 million, the School of Veterinary Medicine at $71 million, the College of Letters and Sciences at $48.3 million, and the College of Biological Sciences at $47 million.

Momentum for research remains strong

“UC Davis remains one of the top public research universities and remains on an upward trajectory,” said Cameron Carter, professor of psychiatry and psychology and interim vice chancellor for the Office of Research. “Our success in research funding reflects the hard work of a faculty who are the top scientists in their field, and of a university that is always striving to make discoveries that make a difference to the lives of Californians.”

General education requirements see change

Published 10/16/17

Elizabeth Caputo

Contributing Writer

During the summer, new general education requirements were put into place, allowing three less hours for incoming freshmen to complete. The new requirements also set into place some other changes, such as getting rid of the general education capstone, more humanities classes to choose from, and broader math options that meet the needs of all majors.

Kristen Keyser, degree audit specialist in the Office of the Registrar, has been working diligently all semester with students and advisers to help make the transition into the new general education requirements.

“The gen eds are going down in hours, but students still have to have 124 to graduate,” said Keyser. “We’re really excited about the options this now gives students. They can now use that extra three hours as a free elective and choose a class that really interests them.”

These new general education requirements affect the freshmen students entering college, but the requirements can also be added to the degree audit of all other students if their adviser thinks it would benefit them.

“What happens is the global perspective section where you previously needed six hours, now is only three,” said Rebecca Falling, academic adviser. “People who haven’t taken those two global perspective classes yet or aren’t in a major that requires those can switch and take one of those courses instead of two.”

Once it has been decided that it would be beneficial for a student to switch over to the new general education requirements, the request is sent to the Office of the Registrar where Aimee Swensen, academic resource specialist, processes the requests and submits the changes.

“This is very beneficial for students because they don’t have to take unnecessary courses now,” said Swensen. “There have been a ton of students opting for the new gen eds because they are tailored in such a way that helps students achieve their degree faster and more efficiently.”

Along with the three hours less of global perspectives, students now have a broader selection of classes to choose from for their math and humanities requirements.

Math courses have been specified to majors now, meaning that students on the new general education requirements will have more freedom in choosing a math requirement that benefits their degree plan and their line of study. Students have the option of choosing from some recommended math courses for their degree plan. A statistics class has now been added as a potential class as well, and is recommended for social and behavior science students.

Three humanities courses have also been added to the list of possible classes that count for that requirement. Women and gender studies, rock music history, and jazz appreciation are all classes that can now count to a student’s humanities requirement.

Many students are excited about the possibilities the new general education requirements create in their degree program.

“I’ve been pushing my math requirement back until the last possible second because I’m not good at math at all,” said Brianna Hadley, Oologah sophomore. “Knowing that now I’ll be taking a statistics class instead of college algebra is better. It fits around my degree plan more than actual algebra would.”

While the general education requirements help benefit freshmen the most, Keyser encourages all students to check with their adviser to see if switching over would be the right course for them.

“There are some students who could be really struggling with their gen eds right now and they may have no idea of the changes that have taken place and how much it can really benefit them,” said Keyser. “We’ve really tried to make them as bearable as possible, and we hope students are pleased with the changes.”

For more information, call Kristen Keyser at 918-444-2254 or email her at keyser@nsuok.edu.

WVU to launch global competency certificate program – Charleston Gazette

Next fall, West Virginia University is planning to launch a new global competency certificate program that will require students who participate to study abroad for at least one semester or participate in an international internship.

School officials said they hope the new program will encourage more students to study abroad and will give students a leg up on other graduates in an increasingly global economy, said William Brustein, the school’s vice president for global strategies and international affairs.

“The goal is to integrate international, global perspectives into what students learn on campus,” Brustein said.

Brustein launched a similar program at The Ohio State University when he worked there under then-university president Gordon Gee. Brustein said Gee, now at WVU, brought him to the Mountain State to launch similar international initiatives like the certificate program.

At WVU, Brustein said he is replicating two programs he spearheaded in Ohio. The first involves WVU partnering with foreign universities to expand the school’s academic reach. Already, WVU has started partnering with a private university in Bahrain. The global competency certificate, which Brustein calls the “Global Mountaineers” program, is the second.

The new certificate program will likely launch for undergraduates next fall, then for graduate students soon after, according to Lisa DiBartolomeo, a professor in the school’s Department of World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics who is heading up designing the program.

If all goes as planned, she said the program should be “relatively flexible” so students in nearly every major can participate. The university hopes that non-traditional students who might have already graduated will consider taking part in the program.

“We’re hoping this will be a really attractive opportunity for students throughout West Virginia, and not just students in college or community college,” DiBartolomeo said. “It’s for people in the community, too, people who might be looking to move up in their career path or looking to add an additional credential. Based on our peer institutions, we think this is a very competitive program that will be attractive for a lot of people.”

The program will begin with a one-hour credit class online which introduces students to the basics of world geography, data analytics and comparing and contrasting different cultures and regions of the world.

From there, DiBartolomeo said students will need at least six credits, or two classes, in a foreign language. Many WVU students already are required to take two foreign language credits, and those credits would be able to count toward the certificate.

Students will be required to take six credit hours in core course material — many of which will overlap with the school’s existing general education curriculum — and an ending assessment. Students will also need to complete some sort of education abroad program, which DiBartolomeo said could be an international internship or could be the traditional study abroad program WVU already offers.

“It is tricky in this age when we’re really trying to think about college affordability to say we’re going to require a study abroad component, I fully recognize that represents a significant financial commitment for a student.”

But without that component, she said the certificate program wouldn’t be competitive with other similar certificate programs.