Office of International Programs Unveils New Global Engagement Scholar Program
By Adam Zahn, Academic Program Manager
Office of International Programs
The Office of International Programs unveiled its new Global Engagement Scholar (GES) program in Spring 2015 with its first cohort of 30 undergraduate students; twenty more joined over the summer. The GES program, designed by the Office of International Programs and a committee of engaged faculty, students, and staff, offers a dynamic opportunity for globally-minded students to document, connect, and reflect upon their on and off-campus international experiences during their time at Drexel. It also provides a way for these students to bundle these experiences together through an online community classroom, where they can share their experiences with other students and present them in a final portfolio with the support of a faculty mentor. Upon fulfilling the requirements of the program (a mix of on-campus programs, language study, international experiences, global classrooms, co-op, service, internationally-themed courses, etc.) the GES participants receive recognition of this status on their transcripts.
Requirements: After attending an orientation session and being accepted to the program, GES participants are required to complete at least 4 globally-oriented classes, including one foreign language. They also will complete at least 1 international and 1 cross-cultural experience or 3-cross cultural experiences. GES must participate in a minimum of six on- and off-campus globally themed activities and events. Lastly, these scholars complete and present a global engagement portfolio.
Technology: The Global Engagement Scholar program is run through Blackboard©, allowing students to complete their requirements and engage with their peers from anywhere -- on campus or across the world. The online platform is supplemented with in-person mentorship meetings and quarterly GES-specific events.
Mentor Relationships: The program operates on a model in which faculty and staff mentor students throughout their experience as Global Engagement Scholars. This encourages student engagement with professionals who have successfully incorporated global engagement into their careers.
The program has broad reach and is accessible to a diverse range of students in all majors who have at least a 3.0 grade point average. Although there are no additional credits for the program, the program provides students with the opportunity to highlight their international engagement and leadership in intercultural communication through an interactive portfolio of their global experiences.
Operating on a mentor/mentee model, the program boasts 18 faculty and staff mentors who span 11 different departments and administrative units. Students are paired with mentors based on their academic and career goals as well as personal interests. The mentor model aims to help students understand the importance of cross-disciplinary relationships in addressing contemporary challenges and building future academic and career-oriented partnerships.
The response by students to this program has been very enthusiastic, further demonstrating a demand by Drexel students for global opportunities. "Every class I have taken [for this program] has helped me better my international focus in some way…,” writes one student in a reflection on global-themed coursework.
Finally, the program hopes to function as a global learning community for the students who are involved in the program. The OIP supports quarterly networking and cultural events, such as a group visit to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology to hear the Colombian band, El Caribefunk (pictured left), and share their music and stories of their hometown, Cartagena.
Integral to the program’s mission is the importance of experiential learning and reflection. Students are required to write reflection responses for every activity requirement. This step is designed to help them critically think about the influence of global engagement in their lives.
“I feel that I have grown as a person. I have proven to myself that I am independent enough to live alone in a foreign country. I feel proud that I overcame the challenge of dealing with the unknown. I also feel accomplished because it was always a goal of mine to study abroad,” a LeBow College of Business student writes on the importance of studying abroad
The program looks to continue to expand both in enrollment as well as faculty and staff mentors in Academic Year 2015-2016. Please visit http://drexel.edu/oip/ for more information on the GES program.