This blog is the virtual “home” of the West Valley College Global Citizenship Committee and Center. (It is curated by Dr. Dulce María Gray.)
The West Valley College Global Citizenship Committee is responsive to the college’s mission and the ACCJC 2014 accreditation affirmation that “the institution creates and maintains appropriate programs, practices, and services that support its diverse personnel” (Standard IIIA.4.a).
- The GC Committee coordinates co-curricular programs that address cultural and social issues and promote open and informed discussion with students and the college community.
- The GC Committee creates opportunities for faculty, administrators and staff to develop and apply knowledge about Global Studies to their teaching, institutional service, and scholarly endeavors.
- The GC Committee works to affect curriculum change across the disciplines.
The work of the WVC GC Committee is presented through the WVC Global Citizenship Center located in the WVC Campus Center. Both the WVC GC Committee and the GC Center have established mission and vision statements:
WVC GC Committee mission: The West Valley College Global Citizenship Committee facilitates campus-wide commitment to the ideals of global citizenship through curriculum, co-curricular activities, and professional development of college faculty, administrators and staff.
WVC GC Committee vision: The WVC GC Committee works to advance understanding of global concerns as they pertain to every aspect of education in the community college.
WVC GC Center mission:
- Promote awareness by functioning as a resource where students, faculty, staff, administrators and surrounding community find information and participate in diverse multicultural activities.
- Support the processes by which students learn about interdependence in our world and prepare for successful integration into varied societies.
- Help to implement the WVC Student Equity Plan revised in spring 2015 aimed to improve student access, retention, persistence and success.
WVC GC Center vision: The GC Center works to actively engage the WVC community in understanding global issues.
The GC Committee and Center work arduously to address these concerns:
The West Valley College Mission Statement
The West Valley College community supports students along their pathways to reach transfer and career goals in an environment of academic excellence.
Description of Global Education/Global Studies/Global Citizenship
The terms “global education,” “global studies” and “global citizenship” describe a transformative attitude and approach to learning, teaching and being that centers on the effort to recognize that people, cultures and our environment are inextricably woven and interdependent, and that therefore we are all collectively responsible for resolving global problems despite geopolitical boundaries. In The Practices of Global Citizenship Hans Schattle notes that the following elements fundamentally define and anchor “global citizenship” as concept and enactment:
- Global citizenship is a voluntary way of “thinking and living within multiple cross-cutting communities—cities, regions, states, nations, and international collectives.”
- Global citizenship requires active self-awareness and awareness of others.
- Practicing global citizenship entails
- engagement in global issues while at home
- firsthand engagement with different countries, people and cultures
- practicing cultural empathy, intercultural competence, critical thinking and principled decision-making.
In Global Citizenship Education, scholar Muna Golomohamad defines Global Education as “the openness to new encounters, incorporating creative and multi-disciplinary approaches which ensures that understanding is achieved through mutual appreciation and respect for differences” (532).
In The Practices of Global Citizenship, scholar Hans Schattle clarifies that “citizenship” can be defined “as a way of life rather than as a legally binding tie to any particular country,” a way of life that recognizes how we affect the rest of the people on the planet; thus, “Global Citizenship” “can be domestic as well as international” (41).
The Maastricht Global Education Declaration of 2002 states: “Global education is education that opens people’s eyes and minds to the realities of the globalized world and awakens them to bring about a world of greater justice, equity and Human Rights for all. Global education is understood to encompass Development Education, Human Rights Education, Education for Sustainability, Education for Peace and Conflict Prevention and Intercultural Education; being the global dimension of Education for Citizenship.”
What is global competency?
Global Education promotes transformative personal growth, increased intercultural knowledge and skills, enhanced global perspective, and professional development. Transformative learning and global competency exists when a learner is able to:
- Analyze the present world situation from several perspectives.
- Envision alternatives to established dominant models.
- Critically analyze diverse and conflicting points of view.
- Purposely challenge ethnocentrism, cultural relativism exoticism and “othering.”
- Understand the interconnectedness of peoples and systems.
- Have a general knowledge of history and world events.
- Accept and cope with the existence of different cultural values and attitudes.
- Understand the richness and benefits of diversity.
- Make personal and systemic change for a more just and sustainable world.
“A global-ready graduate [is] a person with a grasp of global systems, global issues, the dynamics of how things are interrelated and interconnected in the world, and how society can best address global issues (Ron Moffatt, Director of the San Diego State University International Student Center). A globally competent learner “is able to understand the interconnectedness of peoples and systems, to have a general knowledge of history and world events, to accept and cope with the existence of different cultural values and attitudes, and indeed, to celebrate the richness and benefits of this diversity” (Educating for the Global Community: A Framework for Community Colleges).
Guiding Philosophy for the Work of the WVC GC Committee and GC Center
AAC&U’s Core Commitments: Educating Students for Personal and Social Responsibility
- Striving for excellence: developing a strong work ethic and consciously doing one’s very best in all aspects of college;
- Cultivating personal and academic integrity: recognizing and acting on a sense of honor, ranging from honesty in relationships to principled engagements with a formal academic honor code;
- Contributing to a larger community: recognizing and acting on one’s responsibility to the educational community and the wider society locally, nationally, and globally;
- Taking seriously the perspectives of others: recognizing and acting on the obligation to inform one’s own judgment; engaging diverse and competing perspectives as a resource for learning, citizenship, and work;
- Developing competence in ethical and moral reasoning and action: developing ethical and moral reasoning in ways that incorporate the other four responsibilities; using such reasoning in learning and in life.
West Valley College is located in Silicon Valley, in the affluent hub of technological innovation that is surrounded by pockets of economically poor and culturally segregated neighborhoods. WVC strives to be a leader in Global Education, acknowledges that Global Education helps to meet the college’s mission, and welcomes the obligation to awaken and nurture students’ awareness of our globalized world and to enable them to participate in creating just, equitable and sustainable global communities.