Faculty members internationalize syllabi through Global Academy

WCU faculty members (from left) Todd Watson, Yanjun Yan and Ian Hewer gather to deliver presentations based on their internationalized syllabi.

Three faculty members participating in Western Carolina University’s Global Learning Academy – Todd Watson, Ian Hewer and Yanjun Yan – recently delivered presentations on their respective internationalized syllabi titled “Global Health Issues in Central America,” “Nurse Anesthesia in Africa” and “Global Engineering and Technology.”

“Dr. Watson, Dr. Hewer and Dr. Yan integrated new knowledge and skills learned from the Global Learning Academy into a syllabus and developed an internationalized syllabus that includes international perspectives and components,” said Ling LeBeau, WCU’s director of international programs and services.

Watson is a professor of physical therapy, Hewer is assistant director of the nurse anesthesia program, and Yan is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering and Technology.

The WCU Global Learning Academy exists to develop a team of WCU faculty who work with professionals to internationalize their curriculum, such as integrating global dimensions into academic courses, LeBeau said.

The academy experience provides participants with the opportunity to build experience and expertise in high-quality pedagogical content knowledge that emphasizes student global learning; develop a toolkit of evidence-based practices for implementing curriculum internationalization; launch a sustainable network of practitioners and support staff across the region; create an innovative course framework and set of course materials that reflect a vision of new possibilities for bringing the world to Western North Carolina; and serve as advocates for global learning and curriculum internationalization across WCU, the University of North Carolina system and elsewhere, LeBeau said. The academy is project-based, and participants are expected to develop a course or courses that integrate global learning in a substantial way.

The WCU Global Learning Academy was founded in 2016 by the Office of International Programs and Services and Coulter Faculty Commons. In 2016-17, six faculty members were selected to participate in the pilot program and successfully completed the academy with an internationalized course to be offered, LeBeau said. In 2017-18, the academy curriculum was adjusted based on faculty participants’ feedback, and five faculty members participated in the academy.

In 2018-19, the academy curriculum will continue to be refined to meet the needs and interests of WCU faculty, she said. A call-out for applicants for the 2018-19 Global Learning Academy will be sent soon. Contact LeBeau at lglebeau@wcu.edu with any questions.