Print

Diversity and Global Connections

The Diversity and Global Connections committee was formed several years ago. The contact person for the committee is J. Lynn Cale. He can be reached at calel@edgecombe.edu or 252-823-5166 ext. 327. Edgecombe Community College has been putting the people and the pieces in place to address both global education and globalization. Faculty, staff, and administrators have attended conferences, symposiums, and residential programs to better understand these concepts and how they need to become a part of the college’s mission.

ECC has joined forces with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in an effort to learn more about these concepts and to utilize the tremendous resources available to the college through this collaboration. In the spring of 2005, ECC became a partner in World View, a special global education and globalization center based at UNC-CH. Consortium partners include Duke University and North Carolina State University. The resources and programs available through World View are offered to colleges and universities, community colleges, public and private schools, and any agency or individual who might be interested in learning more about global education and globalization issues.

Since joining World View, ECC has sent 40 staff members to participate in its programs. World View Director Robert Phay visited the ECC campus in August 2005 and spoke to faculty and staff on why community colleges should become more actively involved in global education and globalization efforts. ECC has participated in UNC-CH conferences that have focused on serving the Hispanic/Latino population and how science can be a natural discipline that helps to promote global education and globalization. In addition, the college participated in a weeklong UNC-CH residential program known as Global Education Leaders Program. Topics included The Challenge of a Global World and the Need to Understand It; Globalization: An Economic Perspective; International Terrorism: Background and Future; The Challenges and Responsibilities for the Single Superpower; Searching for the Roots of 9/11; The Cultural Dimensions of Globalization; The Clash of Civilizations: The Huntington Thesis; Global Environmental Issues; Immigration and Demographic Issues in the South; and Major Challenges Facing Schools and Colleges.

What Is Global Education?
Global education is a concerted effort on the part of educators, policymakers, cultural specialists, and the international business community to educate citizens throughout the world about the languages, cultures, customs, education, politics, economies, environments, etc., that impact all of our lives in ways not yet fully understood. Simply put, global education is learning about other people and cultures. It is an effort to recognize and appreciate our differences while embracing our similarities.

What Is Globalization?
Globalization, as defined by Webster, is the attempt or process of making programs, cultures, education, and economics worldwide in scope or application. Globalization is a comprehensive term for the emergence of a global society in which economic, political, environmental, and cultural events in one part of the world quickly come to have significance for people in other parts of the world.

Globalization, according to Pulitzer Prize Winner Thomas L. Friedman, is the inexorable integration of markets, nation-states, and technologies to a degree never witnessed before in a way that is enabling individuals, corporations, and nation-states to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than ever before, and in a way that is enabling the world to reach into individuals, corporations and nation-states farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than ever before.

Putting Words Into Action
One of the most important documents that has been developed as a result of establishing the need to incorporate global education and globalization issues as a part of the college’s mission is “A Global Education Action Plan for Edgecombe Community College.” Following is an overview of the goal, objectives, and eight strategies that comprise the plan.

Action Plan

GOAL
To bring cultural awareness to faculty, staff, and students at Edgecombe Community College and to residents of the surrounding community

OBJECTIVES

  • Raise faculty awareness of global issues by providing new learning opportunities
  • Provide curricular and extra-curricular opportunities for the college’s students to discuss global issues
  • Create a sense of diversity on campus by recruiting minority faculty and students and by accentuating the physical campus environment
  • Provide opportunities for global awareness for community residents

Eight Strategies for Implementation and Evaluation
The college has established a Diversity and Global Connections Committee made up of students, staff, instructors, and community members. This 13- to 15-member committee provides the leadership involved in global education and globalization efforts.

The college will establish an International Welcome Center. The center will identify the diverse cultures and populations in our service area, and every effort will be made to “connect” with these groups. We want to establish a dialogue and relationship with these groups which will be beneficial to its members and to the college. Through the center, ECC will promote the resources available to these groups, and at the same time, the college will be enriched by getting to know members of these special populations.

The center will include partnerships with the Town of Tarboro, Edgecombe County, Edgecombe County Public Schools, the City of Rocky Mount, Pinetops, Macclesfield, Leggett, Conetoe, and other area towns. The Tarboro Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce, the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce, and area businesses and industries will be partners in this effort.

The college will increase its efforts to diversify its student population as well as its faculty, staff, and administration. Evidence of successful recruitment efforts will be apparent when the student body and community college reflect the diversity of Edgecombe County.

A Global Issues Lecture Series will be established. This series will be designed for all members of Edgecombe Community College and the community at large. Such topics will include “Understanding Globalization,” “The Rise of China and Its Influence in the World,” and “Serving Hispanics and Latinos in the Carolinas.”

ECC will explore partnerships with other countries, Mexico and China in particular. These partnerships will foster an intellectual and practical exchange of ideas. In addition to promoting good will, peace, and understanding, the partnerships will serve as a conduit for education, training, and workforce development.

ECC will “globalize” all departments: curriculum, continuing education, basic skills, and the Small Business Center. Global education, issues, and awareness will be evident throughout the campus through the offering of global issues curriculum courses and the sponsoring of global issues seminars.

Global education will be represented on ECC’s Web site. The site will include information that will highlight global issues curriculum and continuing education offerings, lecture series details, globalization readings, and various educational and Web site resources.

ECC will host international events throughout the year: festivals, dances, holidays, World Hunger Day, Earth Day, African American Heritage Day, Salute to Women, and Hispanic/Latino Heritage Day. These events will serve to remind the community at large that we all are connected through education, economics, the Internet, and globalization.