The Big Picture

Global Citizens and Global Scholars

The campus community is committed to providing our students with an inclusive learning environment that prepares our graduates to meet the challenges of an increasingly global society and to begin careers in fields that may not yet exist. The Global Citizenship and Global Scholar courses that are part of this new curriculum, and the Global Scholar Certificate, have been designed to help prepare UW Oshkosh graduates to become talented, liberally educated, and technically skilled global citizens.

Global Learning across the curriculum

University Studies Program (USP) students must take at least one course designated as a Global Citizenship course as part of Quest or Explore. The purpose of the Global Citizenship Requirement is to provide students with opportunities within their introductory USP courses to deepen their knowledge about the world and its peoples, develop their talents for local and global engagement, and build their capacities as citizens in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. Global Scholar (GS) courses are upper-division courses that build on those earlier GC courses. Built into the larger curriculum, these courses support three key learning student learning outcomes: with knowledge of nations, cultures, or societies beyond the U.S.; with an understanding of how interaction, interdependence, and inequity among diverse geographical, social, political, or economic systems have shaped historical and contemporary global challenges and opportunities; and with the skills needed to exercise the responsibilities of informed citizenship in the global community.

The Global Scholar Certificate is self-directed global learning pathway for students who wish to distinguish themselves as a Global Scholar upon graduation. UW Oshkosh Global Scholars have invested in the global and cultural knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to navigate a complicated and interdependent world as a part of their course of study. For those students who want to build on the Global Citizenship (GC) courses they take as part of their USP global learning foundation, the Global Scholar Certificate allows them to do so intentionally without adding credits-to-degree. Global Scholar courses are designed to provide students with advanced opportunities to expand their worldview and global knowledge in ways that connect directly to their major field of study.

All Global Scholars participate in a Global Experience that offers students opportunities to engage deeply with their learning, with different perspectives, and with real world challenges and opportunities. Global experiences are transformative learning opportunities such as study abroad, Model UN, an international clinical experience, or a globally-related research project – these experiences may or may not be paired with course content. Because the Global Scholar option is student-directed, it is flexible enough to pair with any major and open to students in all the colleges.

Brief Background

In the summer of 2013, a dialogue group made up of faculty from all four Colleges (Nursing, Education, Letters & Science, and Business) worked through the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) to examine best practices in global learning and learn how the curricular programs and co-curricular activities at other universities across the country promote global learning. The work of the summer group built on previous efforts undertaken by the College of Letters and Science through its Global Learning Initiative. The CETL dialog group’s deliberations were shared with the campus in 2013 and 2014 in university-wide discussions, forums, workshops, Provost’s Summits, etc., and ultimately resulted in a specific change to the USP: in October 2014, the Faculty Senate approved changing the Non-Western Culture requirement to a USP Global Citizenship Requirement.

The Global Scholar Certificate grew out of the collaborative process described above as a response to a clear need to scaffold students’ global learning from the USP through to graduation. A different group of faculty experts examined our global-content courses at the advanced (300/400) levels, where we have particular strengths across all four Colleges. That group developed a truly creative model to allow students to craft their own global learning pathway building on their general education foundation. Global Citizenship and Global Scholar are intended to work together such that students have multiple opportunities to make connections across individual courses and other learning experiences as well as between general education and the major in ways that deepen student engagement with complex global questions. The earlier Global Scholar Option was approved by the Faculty Senate in April 2015, and then the Global Scholar Certificate was approved in April 2020. It is a unique opportunity for UW Oshkosh graduates to set themselves apart as they embark on careers in a complex and interconnected world after college.