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 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.
International Student Support Services
Currently, there are 300 international students and scholars representing 29 countries enrolled at DSU. Although their reasons for coming to DSU may vary, their reason for staying is primarily the same: at DSU students get the support they need to succeed. The CMA staff is committed to helping students through every stage of their academic career, including admissions.
Global Awareness Tuition Waiver Program
The DSU Global Awareness Tuition Waiver provides tuition assistance for qualified and dedicated international students who desire to study at a progressive, student centered American university. The waiver is renewable and covers up to 53% of annual tuition costs. In order to maintain the waiver, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher and successfully complete 12 credits per semester and 24 credits per year.
International Flag Plaza and Walk of Pride
The University’s Foundation funded design and construction of an International Flag Plaza and Alumni Walk of Pride as its 50th Anniversary project. The Plaza features the flags of each enrolled international student. This beautiful plaza, located adjacent to the Student Center, serves as a highly visible reminder of our commitment to global awareness. In addition, the University’s Commencement exercises are punctuated by an impressive “Parade of Nations” presentation by university students from their respective nations as well as flags from represented American Indian tribes.
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.