ENRICHING THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT THROUGH GLOBAL AWARENESS
In 2000, Dickinson State University implemented the Global Awareness Initiative designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with living, learning and leading in the 21st century. Four objectives guided implementation of the Global Awareness Initiative:
- To create a more diverse and invigorating learning environment by recruiting and retaining international students and faculty;
- To increase student and faculty involvement in foreign exchange programs;
- To engage students and area citizens in activities which foster a greater understanding of the economic issues and opportunities related to globalization; and
- To foster the ideal that individuals can contribute to world peace through education, understanding, tolerance and interaction with people from other cultures.
The Global Awareness Initiative is in line with the vision, mission, and goals of Dickinson State University. The vision of DSU is to be recognized as a premier university in the Upper Great Plains, educating a diverse and international population through innovative teaching, learning and scholarship that foster responsible citizens who impact the world.
Making the university vision and goals a reality requires not only cross campus collaboration, but community involvement and commitment. Services and programs have been developed to meet the needs of international, diverse and domestic students as well as the DSU campus and Dickinson community.
The Center for Multicultural Affairs (CMA)
The CMA was established to provide academic, social and transitional support for international students and scholars, Native American students, students from historically underrepresented populations and Dickinson State University students studying and living abroad.
CMA staff work with DSU students, faculty and staff to expand their awareness of the wider DSU community by developing programs and initiatives in the areas of diversity and multiculturalism. Our mission is to promote exchange and dialogue between people of different countries, ethnic backgrounds and cultures by supporting the University’s efforts to increase, retain, and support the presence and success of a diverse student body population.
The CMA assists students with the admission process and administers the Global Awareness Tuition Waiver Program. Furthermore, the staff organizes campus and community activities designed to integrate students to campus and community life. An example of such activities is the annual Global Awareness month, International Education Week and the Friendship Family Program.
Native American and Multicultural Student Support Services
The CMA strives to provide culturally competent student services designed to support and enhance the academic and personal success of Native American students attending DSU. The Center serves as a vital link between Native American students and the university, working to develop sensitivity to, awareness of, and appreciation for diversity among students and staff. Our aim is to promote increased interaction and cross cultural understanding throughout the DSU community. Services available to Native American students include academic advising, financial aid counseling, recruitment, retention and transitional support.General Education Curriculum
Graduation requirements include a Multi-cultural Studies component which provide an opportunity for developing an awareness of the histories, cultures and contributions of diverse groups beyond the regional and ethnic boundaries of Dickinson State University. The purpose of these courses is to expand students’ horizons and to make them into globally informed citizens.
DSU is developing Education Abroad opportunities through affiliated partnerships. In addition, instructor lead education abroad opportunities are being developed and offered for credit. In the summer of 2010, a group of students and faculty traveled to Guatemala with the God’s Child Project and built houses. An education abroad program is currently in development for the summer of 2011 to take interested students on a study tour of China.
For advising on Education abroad opportunities, please visit the Center for Multicultural Affairs.
SUSTAINING THE VISION
Dickinson State University, through its Global Awareness Initiative, connects students, citizens, businesses and institutions in a collaborative effort to understand global issues. We are preparing our graduates, and the citizens of southwestern North Dakota, to become globally responsible citizens.