The Normandale Community College World Languages and Cultures Department recently received a $118,037 grant for two years from the U.S. Department of Education through the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) program for the Accessible Global Immersion Learning Experiences (AGILE) project.
The AGILE project will allow Normandale World Languages and Cultures faculty to develop courses in Senegal, Peru, and China that will be designed to maximize the impact of the study abroad experiences on student learning. Faculty will foster relationships with institutions in the host countries to provide immersive learning during the study abroad trips and ongoing communication with 18 on-campus language courses through telepresence and social media.
The World Languages and Cultures Department will establish an International Experience certificate that includes the new study abroad courses, world language and culture courses, and courses from other departments that meet learning outcomes related to intercultural and international studies. This certificate will be eligible for financial aid, providing students with additional resources to pursue the credential.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to develop affordable, content-rich experiences for students to grow in their understanding of our local and global communities as they hone their linguistic and intercultural competencies," said AGILE project director and French faculty member Jen Bouchard.
Professional development provided by the University of Minnesota's Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition and their Global Programs and Strategies Alliance will increase faculty knowledge and skills in content-based language instruction, maximizing study abroad, and internationalizing the curriculum. This will provide support and best practices for faculty to encourage the long-term sustainability of the initiative.
The knowledge, perspectives, and skills that students will gain through these experiences are vital for living, working and thriving in a modern global community.