World issues are becoming an essential element at all levels of education. As such, it is increasingly important for students and faculty to achieve global awareness (Zhai & Scheer, 2002). Employees today are seeking individuals that can not only work in diverse environments, but also have the ability to respect different cultures and adapt their behavior as necessary (Barick, Samy, Gunderson, & Thoron, 2009).
A primary function of colleges and universities is to effectively design and deliver educational programs that enable students to acquire the needed competencies to enter the workforce and to be able to live and work successfully in other cultures (Irigoin, Whitacre, Faulkner & Coe, 2002; Vulpe, Kealey, Protheroe & Macdonald, 2011). As international interaction and diversity grows, institutions of higher education must adapt in order to prepare graduates to work and live in the modern world.
New Mexico State University students already have the benefit of studying at an institution with considerable diversity and international focus. Its’ status as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, proximity to Mexico, and a well-developed International Student program exposes students to different cultures, languages and ideas on a daily basis. Opportunities for experiential learning are available through student exchanges, study abroad, short term faculty led international projects (FLIP) and Aggies Go Global.
There are many courses offered campus wide that directly or indirectly relate to international issues. A graduate minor in international development is available to any graduate student at NMSU through the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education. However, despite the many opportunities available there is not a cohesive plan of study for undergraduate students interested in international studies. After reviews of recommended competencies for careers in international studies and existing plans of study at other accredited colleges and universities, this undergraduate minor in international studies at NMSU was created.
This minor of study is consistent and supportive of Goal 2 of NMSU’s Vision 2020 strategic plan stating that NMSU will “provide a diverse academic environment supportive of a global society,” and with NMSU’s status as a Land-Grant University.
This interdisciplinary minor enables students, regardless of their major area of study, to develop a broad understanding of the rapidly changing global environment by proving a curriculum that encompasses the social, political, cultural and economic forces at work in an increasingly interdependent world. The diverse curriculum provides opportunities for reading, discussion and reflection through structured class experiences and practical application experience. The minor benefits students from majors that allow them to explore aspects of international systems and want to broaden their perspective to include other disciplines as well as the students whose disciplines currently offer fewer opportunities to pursue this interest. Students must complete 18 credits of course work, with at least 12 credits at the upper division (300 or above) level. Those 18 credits must include: 1) one three-credit Introductory Course, 2) three credits of international experiences (study abroad, FLIP course, internship, or other appropriate experience) and 3) the remaining 12 credits or 4 courses equally divided (one course each) from the following thematic areas: Culture/Arts/Humanities; History/Geography; Government/Politics/Economics; and Health/Education/Environment (see attached).
No more than 3 credits of Independent Study may be applied to the minor and only 2 courses (6 credits) may be double counted with the course of the student’s major(s). Students must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA.
To maximize use of available resources, only existing courses that have been offered in the past two years are included and no new faculty/staff will be hired to administered the program. Through careful advising and selection of courses, the majority of students should be able to complete the minor without extending their time to complete their degree. This can be accomplished with selection of identified courses with General (G) or Viewing A Wider World (V) from the list of offerings and a maximum of six credits that could be double-dipped with the requirements for their selected major.
Goals and Objectives:
The undergraduate minor in International Studies has benefits to both students and New Mexico State University.
The minor will:
- Provide globally focused academic programs, curriculum, and learning opportunities to enhance student preparedness in a global society
- Develop a workforce ready for international opportunities
- Enhance global awareness
- Expose NMSU students to international opportunities and experiences
- Attract domestic and international students to NMSU
- Encourage and support international research, study, scholarship and service, and
- Provide effective outreach and support to international organizations and communities by establishing networks and collaborations
Students completing the minor will be able to:
- Develop an awareness of the important and complex human, social, political and economic issues at work in international affairs
- Describe the larger issues regarding globalization and how the actions of individuals, business or governments affect these issues
- Critically examine how issues are presented and processed by various stakeholders
- Describe, analyze and examine the problems and proposed solutions to world problems
- Synthesize ideas from readings, class discussions, and their own experiences when describing problems of globalization and their potential solutions
- Write and present clearly and concisely with appropriate academic organization and style
- Be prepared to enter a global marketplace and workforce
Contacts and Administration
The minor is housed in Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. Faculty and advisors from each college and department can use the advising/approval form below to assist any interested students.
Final approval for granting the minor will require a signatures from the student’s advisor and Department Head and the Deans Office in the College of Arts and Sciences.