Like most business colleges, the Carson College prepares students to succeed in the business world with an international experience requirement that builds global expertise and confidence. Carson Cougs may complete the requirement in a variety of ways: internationally focused courses, language study, international internships, and—prior to the global pandemic—study abroad, which was suspended in 2020.
Carson College students who have participated in study abroad routinely share that their experience was life changing and the most impactful learning experience they ever had.
“Study abroad was the highlight of my college experience at WSU,” says Justin Walker (’20 Hosp. Busi. Mgmt.). “As a part of my coursework in Italy, I was challenged to plan and execute my own four-course tasting menu at Ganzo, Florence University of the Arts’ school restaurant. Having the opportunity to fully immerse myself in Italian tradition and culture through food truly enhanced the whole experience.”
Global Engagement From Home
To sustain students’ access to global education during the pandemic, the WSU Office of International Program’s Global Learning Department launched a novel program in fall 2020: Global Cougs Digital Badges.
The badges give all WSU students a path to develop global competencies without traveling abroad. They also help prepare students before departing on a traditional, in-person study abroad program and offer a free alternative to those who don’t want to or are unable to study abroad.
As part of her international business major requirement, Anika Ophus planned to study abroad in Greece in 2020. “Since things closed, there was no way for me to complete this requirement for my major,” she says. “By completing the six digital badges, I was able to receive my study abroad credit and graduate on time.”
“We launched this program in fall 2020 when WSU went completely online,” says Jacob Babb, an advisor in WSU’s Global Learning Department. “Students’ global learning competencies increased, and we are excited to offer the badges indefinitely as optional but recommended prep for study abroad.”
Building Global Competencies
Students may earn one or more of the six badges focusing on global self-awareness, perspective taking, understanding global systems, personal and social responsibility, knowledge application, and cultural diversity.
“My favorite part of this program was learning and discussing things with my fellow students. I was unhappy when I discovered I was not going to be able to study abroad and meet new people across the globe,” says Mia Burke, a marketing senior who completed all six badges. “The badge program gave me a new and unique perspective to my global studies requirement.”
Each badge is grounded in a specific global learning value defined by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. The Global Cougs Speaker Series, a subset of the program, provides students access to Carson faculty, alumni, and others who share information about their global experiences and projects. The series meshes with the Carson Career Amplifier Program, which incorporates diverse learning activities into a tiered system of professional competencies business students need to graduate.
“The global badge program currently fulfills half of Carson students’ international experience requirement and allows them to progress toward their goals without travel,” says Courtney Anne Jackson, assistant director of the college’s International Business Institute. “We hope to continue to have many Carson student participants even after they are able to return to in-person study abroad.”
BADGES ARE FREE OF COST
EARN MULTIPLE BADGES AT THE SAME TIME
COMPLETE AT YOUR OWN PACE WITHIN A SEMESTER
BADGES MAY BE COMPLETED IN ANY ORDER
APPLY A PAST GLOBALLY FOCUSED EXPERIENCE TOWARD A BADGE
EARN DIGITAL BADGES AND STUDY ABROAD
Develop a mature, integrated identity with an understanding of the systemic interrelationships among the self, local, global communities, and natural world.
Walk in someone else’s shoes, even when it’s difficult. Engage and learn from different perspectives and experiences; understand how your place in the world both informs and limits your knowledge of it.
Understanding Global Systems
Advocate for informed, appropriate action to solve complex global problems. Understand the complex and overlapping worldwide systems that operate in observable patterns affected by or are the result of human design or disruption.
Personal and Social Responsibility
Understand the local and global impacts of individual and collective actions. Recognize your responsibilities to society—locally, nationally, and globally—and develop a perspective on ethical and power relations across the globe and within societies.
Develop solutions to the world’s most pressing and interconnected problems. Understand integrated and systemic interrelationships between past and present challenges to effectively apply knowledge and put skills into action.
Engage with other cultures to address significant global problems. Recognize the origins and influences of your own cultural heritage along with its limitations. Develop the curiosity to learn and collaborate respectfully within the cultural diversity of other people.