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KUIA team assists JCCC with implementing  UISFL grant to internationalize curriculum

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

A team at KU International Affairs is helping Johnson County Community College execute a two-year Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) grant. JCCC received the grant from the U.S. Department of Education in the late summer of 2020. The grant is designed to help JCCC internationalize its curriculum, with a particular focus on building international elements into STEM courses.

As part of the grant, KUIA is helping JCCC to run two-year-long internationalization seminars. This year's cohort has eight JCCC faculty, all of whom teach courses in STEM fields. In most cases, they have proposed to internationalize basic science classes that already have very clearly defined learning outcomes, so the challenge is how to build into these courses international components that satisfy JCCC's GAP program requirements while not disrupting the existing learning goals.
The seminar, which meets once or twice monthly from December through March, has four parts. Part one, which was run by Rachel Sherman Johnson, director of internationalization and partnerships, and Joe Potts, assistant vice provost for international innovation and initiatives, focused on intercultural competency. Sherman Johnson and Potts took a "train the trainer" approach to the workshop, which was held over a two-day period in December. A major goal of the workshop was to help the seminar participants to think about how they might get their students to engage in a more intentional way with the international elements that they work into their courses.

The January workshop was run by Megan Greene, associate professor of history, and Sherman Johnson, who were assisted by three KU STEM faculty (Mario Medina, Town Peterson, and Scott Hefty), all of whom have experience internationalizing their courses. The goal of this workshop was to provide a set of models for how STEM courses can be internationalized. Parts three and four are being run in February and March, respectively, by the Center for Teaching Excellence. Part three took a backward design approach to building international course content. Part four will focus on the assessment of student learning.
In the summer, the participating faculty will also travel abroad to sites that they have selected where they can do research and build connections that will help them to internationalize their courses. They are expected to teach their internationalized courses in the fall of 2021. Next year, JCCC will select a second cohort and the seminar will be repeated.

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