Expanding horizons

$184,268 grant will make international education possible for more students


Photo provided to the Clarion

Students show the international hats they wore at the 2014 Global Showcase event held at the Truax Campus.

Yunzhu Shen, Staff Writer

A $184,268 grant will help Madison College provide more international education opportunities to the community. Madison College was recently awarded a Title VI Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) grant from the United States Department of Education.

The grant is competitive among not only community colleges but also public and private universities.  The grant will provide $184,268 over the next two years. The college will match these funds through a combination of staff time, matching Foundation scholarships, and other support to provide more than $370,000 in combined federal and local resources to support internationalization projects.

The Center of International Education (CIE) announced that the grant will be used to help the community, especially minority and low income students to expand their international education experience.

A part of the grant will provide scholarships for students to study abroad. Geoff Bradshaw, director of the Center for International Education, explains they want to use this fund to provide resources to get those students involved, and help those students to realize the opportunities are available to them as well.

“For a lot of underrepresented students, studying abroad was something that never considered as a part of the possibilities of higher education,” he said. “Not only have they thought maybe it’s too expensive, they don’t have family members that has ever supported that.”

The grant will be partly used to open the global and multicultural center in summer 2017, as a part of the new student services. The center will provide global learning opportunities by organizing activities and bringing in speakers.

The grant will also update curriculum across Madison College. Teachers will rearrange the curriculum to give students exposure they need to work with diverse teams. The grant funds will help start the Global Passport Program in partnership with UW-Madison.

Students who enroll in global studies certificate can now take courses at UW-Madison and get a dual credit from both the University of Wisconsin and Madison College, which is counted toward credits for graduation. The grant will make up the cost differences in the courses in UW-Madison.

Bradshaw believes that in the globally connected society we are living in today it is critical to have global competency. Bradshaw said employers are looking for people who are able to work with diverse suppliers, customers, coworkers; people who are able to have that level of cultural understanding and intercultural communication.

“It’s also important for people to be responsible global citizens who are able to understand and appreciate the cultural differences, the diversity of the world,” Bradshaw said. By doing so, he believes people can understand what it means for them to interact with their peers, and be an engaging member of the community. Having a global vision is not only a work skill, but a critical life skill as well.

“This is possible for everyone. It’s really the matter of if you decide that this is something that you want to make priority,” Bradshaw said.