Global studies now recognized on transcript

Starting next fall, MCCC students will have a new opportunity to earn recognition for global studies. The new designation will be included on their transcript, to help students in transferring to a university or getting a job.

“We don’t have anything like it,” said Joanna Sabo, professor of Political Science and adviser of the International Studies Club. The Global Studies Degree Designation can be earned while pursuing any degree. It will demonstrate a student’s knowledge on cultural diversity and the global market.

“It’s not a degree, it’s not a certificate,” Sabo said. “It’s a special designation on your transcript from this institution, placing additional language that says you completed the Global Studies Degree Designation.”

To fulfill the requirements, students will need to complete 15 credit hours from a list of eligible courses, such as Intro to Anthropology or International Business. Student’s taking eligible courses will notice the indicator on the course syllabus.

Courses that have already been completed also count, giving students a potential head start toward receiving the designation. These global studies courses intend to teach students about the world at large, from art to business, and are applicable to many majors.

“The goal is to help you in transfering, and most importantly, in employment,” Sabo said.

Many schools, such as Harvard and the University of Michigan, are now requiring a global experience, Sabo said.

“Now employers want to know that you understand the world has been globalized — do you understand other cultures, international relations — if you’re asked to talk to another country, do you know what that entails? Employers want to know you have a global experience,” she said.

Sabo said that if a faculty member makes 25 percent of a course internationally related, it can be added to the list of
eligible courses.

“As this list of courses expands, it’s going to be easier for a student to meet the requirements,” Sabo said. A student going on study abroad, for example, could potentially meet all the requirements on the trip alone, Sabo said.

“There’s a lot of ways somebody can meet this,” she said.

Students on an MCCC StudyAbroad trip will attend at least three presentations, which will fulfill the three speaker/ lecture requirements.

“It’s pretty exciting; we’re going to give our student’s an edge,  I think,” Sabo said.

If students go on a field trip with another class, they can come to their global studies adviser and ask to get recognition if the nature of the trip taught them about another culture or global interaction.

Students will finish with a global studies resume and portfolio, which they will be expected to be able to explain to a potential employer.

For example if a student kept a journal in International Relations, they can use that as part of their portfolio. A global studies adviser will sign the student’s application, then send it to the registrar. The student will then be awarded the degree designation. Sabo hopes that members of the International Studies Club will sign up for the designation program.

“Word of mouth is powerful. When one student does it, they tell another student,” Sabo said. Sabo has been working on this for over two years, modeling it after a presentation she saw at a conference. Her goal has always been to bring the world outside of Monroe here to MCCC, and this is her next big step.

“There are a lot of other community colleges that have a degree designation,” Sabo said.

“Some even have outright degrees and certificates you can earn in global studies — and maybe we’ll go that way someday.”

The focus for now is helping students be competitive amongst applicants to universities, she said. Sabo said she has a passion for giving student’s a global experience.

“The world’s a very amazing, incredible place — there’s a lot outside Monroe County that we should live and experience, and it starts here.”

Questions concerning the Global Studies Degree Designation can be directed to jsabo@monroeccc.edu