Global Certificate Programs

Some institutions and institutional collaborations are creating certificate programs that focus on building global knowledge, skills, and dispositions of future teachers. These programs also act as laboratories for materials and course development that benefit all teacher candidates. The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s School of Education has designed a certificate in Global Perspectives for prospective teachers. Students must take 21 general education courses in the following areas: 3 credits in U.S. or European history; 3 credits in global cultures, world geography, or cultural anthropology; 12 credits drawn from a list of non-Western/non-European courses that focus on two world areas; and a special 3-credit course on Education and Globalization. The program includes a teaching unit as a capstone assignment that integrates what students have learned into their teaching practice. Credits used to fulfill the certificate requirements can also help students meet other requirements.

Michigan State University’s College of Education embarked on a five-year process to create the Global Educators Cohort Program (GECP). With help from an advisory board, the program was structured around specific learning outcomes and the necessary strategies to achieve them. These strategies include identifying appropriate liberal arts courses, revising teacher preparation courses, developing field experiences in the U.S. and abroad, and creating extra-curricular activities including seminars and a mentoring program with international students. Because the program is part of a larger initiative to internationalize the entire teacher preparation program, the revised course materials, resources, and sample lessons are available to all faculty. A one-credit GECP seminar course was developed to engage students from multiple disciplines in considering how to take what they learn across their university courses and apply it to their work in education. Courses developed specifically for GECP students are available to others if space is available. A dedicated advisor works with GECP students throughout the five-year program to help them prepare an internationally focused educational plan. Advising materials and tools developed for the GECP program are shared with other advisors.

World Savvy, Teachers College at Columbia University, and Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning partnered to create the Global Competence Certificate (GCC) for educators.  The program is unique because it was created in partnership with nonprofits and a college of education, but provides transferrable credit.  In-service teachers can enroll in the program for either continuing education credit (CEUs) or graduate credit through Teachers College - either to transfer to TC or another graduate institution.  The program combines three components - online courses, international fieldwork, and collaborative groups.  While the GCC program is intended for current teachers, it provides an innovative model and allows educators who may not have been given the opportunity to develop global competency skills as pre-service teachers the opportunity to do so in-service.

Faculty collaborators from Akron University, Kent State University and University of Miami of Ohio recently worked together to outline a template for an undergraduate global education certificate. Global Learning Scholars from the three institutions, supported by a grant from the Longview Foundation, worked to internationalize a course that they were currently teaching.  The goal was to identify shared objectives, outcomes, and program/course inclusion and design. The University of Akron has designed a Master’s of Arts in Global Education program that is currently in the college and university approval processes.  The program would revise existing courses, develop new courses and integrate an international project for candidates.

Rutgers University is also leading an institutional collaboration to create a model for networking, professional development, curriculum design, and diffusion of international and global content and connections into New Jersey teacher education programs. Questions to Consider:

What are the possibilities of a global certificate program on my campus or in my state?

What programs exist that will serve as a template for a global education strand?

What needs to be done to prepare faculty to participate in a Global Education certificate program?