Beginning in Fall 2013, Study Abroad at Eastern Illinois University will be linked to our university-wide integrative learning mission and the four undergraduate learning goals of the institution, and will be fully integrated into our general education curriculum. We are doing this by giving students the option of taking the following one-credit capstone course (prerequisite: successful completion of an approved study abroad program and 75 hours) en lieu of the otherwise required Senior Seminar. The Director of Study Abroad (me) and designees, including a list of interested faculty, are slotted to teach.
STA4000 Study Abroad Capstone
Students will exercise their abilities to think critically about their global education experiences. They will develop, summarize, and synthesize their individualized experience through readings, assignments, a reflective piece that may be submitted to the Electronic Writing Portfolio, an individualized project, and a presentation.
ASSURANCE OF STUDENT LEARNING
The Study Abroad Capstone will give students experiences in synthesizing, analyzing, and refining ideas/concepts while practicing oral and written communication. To this end, students will:
1. Demonstrate functional knowledge of the culture of their study abroad experience.
2. Obtain information on a topic from their study abroad experience from a variety of written sources, some including quantitative data.
3. Demonstrate critical thinking skills by analyzing, synthesizing and reflecting on the impact of study abroad on their curricular and co-curricular experiences and on their readiness for post-graduate employment.
4. Practice their ability to conduct a rational dialogue with others on topics generated by study abroad experience
5. Express in written and oral forms their synthesis of a study abroad project and a reasoned defense of conclusions flowing from the synthesis.
6. Evaluate how the skills and viewpoints acquired in study abroad bear on problems/situations of their major curricula.
7. Find links between their formal course work and contemporary problems/events brought to light during their study abroad experience.
8. Analyze their own views in light of readings and discussions in order to make informed, responsible, and ethical civic and personal decisions.
Study Abroad Project and Reflective Paper: In accordance with the goals of general education, students will exercise their abilities to think critically about their global education experiences. Then they will develop, summarize, and synthesize their individualized experience through a project. The project will involve self-initiative and creativity. They will analyze their own views in light of readings and experiences in study abroad and upon return and how that influenced their ability to make informed, responsible, and ethical civic and personal decisions.
Oral Presentation: The student will give an oral presentation related to their study abroad project. The 5-7 minute oral presentation should include insight into the study abroad country’s culture, how the study abroad experience impacted their thinking in the major curriculum, and how it affected their approach to decision making. Students should demonstrate the ability to respond to follow-up questions posed by the instructor or class members.
Potential Employer Project: Students will…
1) Research and find an advertisement for a position that interests them that they theoretically could pursue after graduation (the position could be with a potential private or public employer, an assistantship for graduate study, etc.).
2) Gain more information about the position
3) Summarize in writing the position’s expectations/duties and the knowledge and skills that the ideal candidate for the position would possess
4) Develop a resume highlighting curricular, co-curricular, study abroad and other employment experiences
5) Write a letter to the potential employer highlighting how the student’s knowledge and skills gained from curricular, co-curricular, study abroad and other employment experiences make them a good candidate for the specific advertised position
6) Obtain feedback about letter/resume from faculty in discipline or professional in field and revise
7) Reflect on other opportunities that the student could have/might still participate in during their time at EIU that would have further developed their readiness for the position. Reflect on choices made during their time at EIU and how these positively or negatively impacted their ability to be the ideal candidate for the position.
8) Small group oral dialogue employment interview practice – Each individual responds to the potential employer’s interview prompt of “tell me about yourself and how you’re qualified for this position”. Students should demonstrate the ability to respond to follow-up questions posed by the instructor or small group members.
Electronic Reflection/Reaction Journal: Students will submit reflection/reaction pieces in relation to class readings, activities, presentations, and discussion.
Study Abroad Project and Reflection Paper 35%
Potential Employer Project 35%
Oral Presentation 20%
Reflective/Reaction Journal 10%
WEEK BY WEEK GLANCE
Week 1 – Go over Syllabus and Reading Schedule. Logistical Issues
Week 2 – How to Develop a Reflective Paper for the Study Abroad Project. Discuss Oral Presentation of Study Abroad Project. Group Activity and Discussion about Types of Study Abroad Projects being Developed.
Week 3 – Adjusting to Life Back Home (Reentry Challenges You Faced or are Facing, Reflect how you have Changed, Accomplished Goals, Knowledge and Skills Gained). Group Activity/Discussion. Journal Entry #1
Week 4 – Global Citizenry (Intercultural Sensitivity, The Role of the US in the World, Review your Perspective on the US, The Role of Culture in Global Issues, Challenge yourself in your own Community). Group Activity/Discussion. Journal Entry #2
Week 5 – Continuing Your International Experience (Graduate Programs Abroad, Funding for Graduate Programs Abroad, Build an International Career). Journal Entry #3
Week 6 – Approximately 4-6 Study Abroad Presentations (with follow-up questions by instructor, class members, others from campus community) Journal Entry #4 (reaction to presentations given an initial prompt related to reading) Study Abroad Project and Reflection Paper due
Week 7 – Approximately 4-6 Study Abroad Presentations (with follow-up questions by instructor, class members, others from campus community). Journal Entry #5 (reaction to presentations given a second prompt related to reading)
Week 8 – Approximately 4-6 Study Abroad Presentations (with follow-up questions by instructor, class members, others from campus community)Journal Entry #6 (reaction to presentations given a third prompt related to reading)
Week 9 – Approximately 4-6 Study Abroad Presentations (with follow-up questions by instructor, class members, others from campus community)Journal Entry #7 (reaction to presentations given a fourth prompt related to reading)
Week 10 – Job Search (Skill Assessment, Learn to Articulate Your Experience)
Week 11 – Job Search (Create Your Resume Highlighting Curricular, Co-curricular, Study Abroad, and Employment Experiences). Due: Potential Employment Project- Written summary of the position’s expectations/duties and the knowledge and skills that the ideal candidate for the position would possess based on job advertisement and other research
Week 12 – Job Search (Articulating your Curricular, Co-curricular, Study Abroad, and Employment Experience Related to a Particular Position in a Letter and Interview) Due: Potential Employment Project- 1st draft of Resume
Week 13 – Due – Potential Employment Project- 1st draft of Letter to Potential Employer. Peer Review/Critique of Resume and Letter
Week 14 – Completing Assessment: Watson-Glazer Critical Thinking and Global Citizenship Survey Obtain feedback about letter/resume from faculty in discipline or professional in field and revise
Week 15 – Small Group Practice of Mock Interview Prompt. Complete Potential Employment Project due (including position description summary, final draft resume/letter, and reflective component)
I am interested in your thoughts and ideas about additional activities that could be incorporated and materials that could be considered for this course. I’m also interested in hearing your general impressions, so please comment!
Submitted by Wendy Williamson, Director of Study Abroad, Eastern Illinois University